Two local musicians, Danny K and Kabelo, were moved to create an initiative SHOUT for a Safer South Africa to fight crime through education after popular artist, Lucky Dube, was tragically murdered in a hijacking.
The two founded NPO and BEE certified charity in 2007, and for the past decade have worked on a variety of campaigns, which includes ‘rehabilitating the police force and their families, helping to find missing children and donating to a variety of crime fighting initiatives’.
Shout’s main focus though, is uplifting disadvantaged children through reading. “Due to the high levels of illiteracy in South Africa, increasing literacy and empowering children with the tools they need to learn and flourish, means they will be better equipped to live a successful and crime free adult life,” say co-founders Kabelo and Danny K.
One of the methods SHOUT is using to raise money to build libraries around the country, is to donate all funds raised from downloads of its new track, Smile. This is the third song they have released, after Shout and You’re The Voice. So far three libraries have been built from these proceeds, in Soweto, Mitchells Plain and Phalaborwa.
Currently the organisation has also teamed up with footwear brand Hush Puppies® to raise funds to build their 11th library for underprivileged children. Hush Puppies is once again creating a calendar with the proceeds from the sales going to a worthy cause. Together this time with Shout, the calendar will feature popular local celebs, and the proceeds will be used to build a SHOUT S.E.E.D (Schools Extended Educational Device) library.
Hush Puppies Managing Director, Laurence Lotzoff says, “The concept with regards to our SHOUT OUT to the Decades Campaign this year is in line with Hush Puppies strategy of aligning ourselves with the best NGOs, that have the most impact in their communities.”
Celebrities such as Pearl Thusi, Anatii, Boity, Gail Mabelane and Loyiso Bala joined in for a day of fun painting their own pair of Hush Puppies and posing for the calendar, in an event hosted by artist Yiull Damaso at his studio in Craighall Park.
Danny and Kabelo explain that the SHOUT S.E.E.D library design is a ‘sustainable, replicable and easy to erect library structure that houses almost 4000 books with a whole lot space for children to read and write. The libraries also include pragmatic solutions to the unique problems some communities face, from housing rain water tanks for veg gardens, to housing swings for recreational reading. Each library’s exterior panels are custom-designed to tell a story: providing a two-way dialogue and extra stimulus or simply a brighter aesthetic for the community. The story is brought to life by inspiring and creative illustrations that encourage and empower children to believe in themselves and their futures’.
“We are delighted to welcome Hush Puppies to the SHOUT family as they join a long list of responsible corporates who remain committed to education and the youth. We welcome and encourage other companies to join the likes of Hush Puppies in helping us create a better brighter future for South African children.”
The two are extremely pleased at how effective the libraries have been saying: “The feedback from the schools is measured independently by NGO Breadline, who measure the impact on the children’s literacy rates. There is absolutely empirical evidence that confirms the benefits of children reading and assisting with vocabulary and books provide an excellent form of entertainment and escape.
“We call our libraries ‘Dream Stations’ where children can relax, be happy and have fun. Take a look at the exterior and interior and you will notice how open, relaxed and colourful these facilities are! We want to inspire our kids to question, seek information, to challenge and discuss what they read. We owe it to our children and future generations to give them the best start in life so that they will go on to impact every level of society with their knowledge and creativity. For example, a pupil in the Freedom Park, Soweto library won a Spelling B and credited the SHOUT Library for her victory.”
And they are always grateful to their fellow South Africans who have helped their cause: “The generosity of South Africans is unequalled. SHOUT is inundated with the generosity of folks who want the best for our children. Education is the most effective way to ensure that our future will be better. Nothing is more pressing than for children to be loved and educated.
“Everyone can play a meaningful role by either volunteering to read to our children, raise funds so we may have a library in every community. Donating books is another excellent way of developing young fertile imaginations and inquisitive minds.
Help every child today through the power of stories for a better future by either purchasing a calendar, available at Hush Puppies stores, or you can also donate directly to the SHOUT Foundation.
Savings Account no 9015 969 560
Branch Code 198765