You Are Viewing


IMG_4495 2



“The seemingly smallest moments of connection and friendship, be it teaching, coaching, learning, or playing, can have immeasurable effects. You never know how the work you have done and the relationships you have built will affect someone’s decision-making in the future, be it tomorrow or in 20 years.”

– Beth Henkle, SheWinS, 2012, 2013 & 2014



“I have been coaching now for almost 10 years, and I have yet to come across a group of kids who were more excited to play the game of soccer. The young women in Memel came to practice with a fire in their hearts and a true appreciation for the opportunity.”

-Kelsey Hans, SheWinS, 2009


IMG_0997“SheWinS allows the girls to understand that their self-worth does not solely lie in their ability to attract men, bear and raise children, and tend to a home. They begin to define themselves through their hobbies, their choices, and their strong suits, not simply through their gender-based obligations and biology.”

-Eliza Bryant & Natalie Hutton, SheWinS, 2013


“I was aware that I would be changing their lives, although I had little knowledge of the ways in which they would change me. Forming these bonds that will last for the rest of my life completely changed the person that I am and that I aspire to be.”

-Hannah Young, SheWinS, 2012


memel runner

“Well, working in the library is such a nice job. When I started working at the library, it seemed pupils didn’t know how to use it. Some didn’t even have interest in coming to take out books. We had a little bit of novels, but now we have more than enough. Cindy is always donating books to the school, so because of her, our library is full of good story books. We have all languages in our library. I trained last year’s and this year’s grade 3 how to take out a book, how to concentrate when reading so that pupils will understand the story after they finish the reading. Their teachers will ask each and every child what is in the story book he/she took out. So every Wednesday and Thursday every child now enjoys coming to the library. They now know it’s good for their education. On Wednesday and Thursday, I usually sign out over 100 books. So this means Wednesday 70 pupils come into the library – and Thursday 50 or more! The way I see these children, they have improved a lot. They now show a lot of interest in reading.”

– Nyarayi, Head Volunteer Librarian, Memel Primary School


memel africa kids“According to the Department of Education, all schools in South Africa must adopt the policy – Drop all and read – in primary schools. The objectives are to improve the reading abilities of learners in public schools. During 2015, Memel Primary School also adopted this policy. At the end of a school day, 14:00, all learners then – drop all – and read a book of their choice. Our library plays a vital role in that regard. Learners get a chance to take a book from the library to read during this allocated time. Wednesday is also a special day in the grade 3 class. After first break, learners get the opportunity to select a book from the library. Children can’t wait for Wednesdays! They read for enjoyment but also do book reviews, which are introduced in the grade 3 curriculum. I am sure this will foster a long-term relationship with books for them! We are so fortunate to have a functional library at school.”

– Stefanie, Teacher, Memel Primary School



Nothing gets accomplished without a hero. Steven Ablondi and Cindy Burns have been at the heart of this effort, and along with them contributions have been made by hundreds of people.