Bibles and literacy materials for South Africa

Help vulnerable children and adults in South Africa know Jesus Christ through the Bible

In South Africa, people are longing for freedom: freedom from inequality, freedom from poverty, freedom from hopelessness. Working through its partners in schools and prisons, the Bible Society of South Africa is endeavouring to bring some of South Africa’s most vulnerable children and adults the freedom that comes from knowing Jesus Christ through the Bible.

Will you partner with us?

By partnering with us in this mission, you will help bring Bibles to prisoners, Bible-based literacy programmes to children and biblical values to teenagers in South Africa.

Here’s what your donation will go towards:

  • Prisons – Distribute 12,500 Bibles to people in prison

  • Pre-schoolers to Grade 3 children – Provide 200,000 booklets in South Africa’s eleven official languages, including Afrikaans, English, isiZulu and isiXhosa.

  • Grade 7 teenagers – Deliver 600,000 Bibles and 600,000 copies of a Scripture resource entitled, Help! How should I read my Bible?

Will you help to support this work this year by making a gift? Your gift would make such a difference helping to bring the Word of God to those most in need in South Africa.

Want to read the full appeal PDF publication? See it here.


Read more about these 3 Bible distribution and literacy projects:

Bible discipleship courses in prisons

By working with partners such as World Hope Baptist Ministries, Kairos Ministries and the Spiritual Care Services (chaplaincy services) of the Department of Correctional Services, Bible discipleship courses are being run in prisons across South Africa. They are also run on the outside for the families of those incarcerated. In this way all of the facilities are provided with Bibles, albeit some are limited in numbers.

Last year, Bible Society distributed 19,628 Bibles to people in prisons and this year it aims to distribute 12,500 Bibles. It’s hoped that through these Bibles prisoners will come to know the forgiveness, love and mercy of Jesus Christ.

Charles, who was serving a 16-year prison sentence for armed robbery, is living proof of the transformative effect the Bible can have on those in prison. One day, he heard a visiting preacher say, “Today, if you hear the voice of the Lord, you must not harden your hearts.”

Just click play on the video to watch the rest of Charles’ amazing testimony.

Read more about this project

Prisoners with their Bibles and certificates after completing a Bible discipleship course.

With approximately 40 per cent of South Africans living below the poverty line¹ and high levels of unemployment, the country has high crime rates meaning that its 235 prisons are full to overflowing. Inside the prisons there are many issues, including overcrowding, gangs, infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, and violence both by and towards prisoners.
For many prisoners, hope has been restored in God, in humans, and in themselves through the Bible discipleship programme. Many begin to seek restoration with their families and ask forgiveness from those who have been affected by their actions.
Jeffrey’s testimony
Jeffrey was in prison for a double murder. Surrounded by inmates from violent street gangs, fuelled by drugs and alcohol, and full of anger and hatred, there seemed little chance that his life would ever change.
Then one day a team of volunteers told Jeffrey about how God can forgive us of our sins. That night, alone in his cell, Jeffrey felt a strong conviction and he gave his life to God.
Jeffrey went on to complete a 16-week Bible discipleship course, and he received a Bible. He was granted parole, moved to a new town, married and started a church. Today, he pastors two churches and runs the Bible discipleship programme in a prison with 3,000 inmates.
For just $40, you will provide four Bibles to prisoners like Charles and Jeffery. Donate here.

¹http://www.statssa.gov.za/?p=12075


Bible-based literacy materials for pre-schoolers to Grade 3

Unfortunately, the education system in South Africa is in decline and failing children. By the time children from disadvantaged areas reach Grade 3 (nine-year-olds), most have not gained basic literacy skills.

In a recent Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), which assessed literacy amongst Grade 4 learners, South Africa was placed last out of 50 participating countries. Four out of five Grade 4 children in South Africa could not read in any language2.

Continued disparities in the quality of education offered by schools reinforce existing socio-economic inequalities, limiting the future life choices and work opportunities of children who are born into poor households.

That’s why the Bible Society of South Africa decided to provide Bible-based literacy materials in disadvantaged areas for pre-schoolers to Grade 3.

Read more about this project

A young boy with My Second Bible: Do and Learn Book in the language of isiXhosa

For pre-schoolers to Grade 3 children, it’s providing 200,000 booklets in South Africa’s eleven official languages, including Afrikaans, English, isiZulu and isiXhosa.
There are a series of three booklets entitled: My First Bible Do and Learn Book, My Second Bible Do and Learn Book, and My Third Bible Do and Learn Book. Teaching materials are also provided, including a teacher’s manual, posters and flashcards.
Bible Society recently distributed Do and Learn Books 1 & 2 at Impendulo Daycare Centre, an independent daycare centre in Windmill Park, a poor township in the city of Boksburg, near Johannesburg.
The daycare centre was started by a local woman, Dudu Makhubo, as a place for children to go to, whom she saw wandering the streets on their own. The centre currently cares for 63 children, ranging from one to five-years-old. It opens from 7.00 am – 4.30 pm daily and provides the children with breakfast and lunch. Many of the children have HIV/AIDS and a nurse comes and checks on them every two weeks.
Through the literacy programme it’s hoped that not only will the children’s literacy skills improve, but they will come to know God’s love in their lives. Their families will also benefit as the children are encouraged to take the booklets home with them.
A gift of $60 will provide 100 Bible-based literacy booklets to these children. Make your gift here.

² http://www.childrencount.uct.ac.za/indicator.php?domain=6&indicator=61


Sharing the Word – Bibles for Grade 7 learners

In 2011, the Bible Society of South Africa formed a motorbike group called the Word Riders and began visiting schools in some of the poorer areas to distribute Bibles to Grade 7 learners.

The Society realised deeper involvement was needed to address the challenge and the project: Sharing the Word – Bibles for Grade 7 Learners was born.

The goal of this project is to introduce these students to the Bible and its values.

This year, Bible Society aims to deliver 600,000 Bibles and 600,000 copies of a Scripture resource entitled, Help! How should I read my Bible? to students in schools.

Read more about this project

Young student with his Good News Bible

The children receiving these Bibles are 12 – 13 years old. They are just entering their teenage years when they are most vulnerable to different influences including peer pressure. It’s considered an important time to connect them with the Bible message and its values.
With nearly 80 per cent of South Africans identifying as Christian, the project is building on an existing foundation and is welcomed in schools and by families, many of whom will now have a Bible in their own home for the first time. With more children owning a Bible it’s also of benefit to churches and Christian organisations who are working with the children.
Will you help to bring biblical values to at-risk teenagers in South Africa? A contribution of $104 will bring 10 Bibles and Scripture resources to these Grade 7 learners. Donate below.

Here’s what your donation will fund:

To donate, just use the one of the options below.

Donations of $5 or more are eligible for a tax credit.


Online Form


Internet Banking

If you’d like to do a bank transfer to Bible Society, our account number is 03 0558 0245656 02.
Please include your name in the reference field and SA2020 in the particulars. We’ll send you an acknowledgment of your gift by post.

In the event that an appeal becomes oversubscribed, funds will be distributed where most needed.