Communities in Action: The Participation of Communities in Two South African Literacy Campaigns

  • Veronica McKayEmail author
Part of the International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life book series (IHQL)


This chapter describes two national literacy initiatives to illustrate the way in which literacy interventions can contribute to the enhancement of the quality of life of vulnerable communities. Using a mixed methods research approach, it explores two adult literacy campaigns (the South African Literacy Initiative and the Kha Ri Gude Mass Literacy Campaign) implemented in South Africa and highlights how they targeted their interventions in order to impact positively on the quality of life of the learners, their families and their communities. Written from an insider perspective this chapter outlines the features that contributed to enabling illiterate adults to address some of the many challenges they faced. The author outlines the background to the Kha Ri Gude campaign (which found its roots in the earlier South African Literacy Initiative) and focuses on how the two campaigns jointly impacted on and benefitted the lives of nearly five million learners, their families and communities. The author argues that the social capital and the web of interconnections emerging from the social movement context of the literacy campaigns, this she argues provided a network of agency and resilience to the desperateness faced by communities.


Resilience- Ubuntu- Social capital Adult literacy Social impact Kha Ri Gude ABET Mass literacy campaign 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of South AfricaPretoriaSouth Africa

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