A Babalela for Christmas

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Most South African children will never own a book of their own. That could change.

The Friends of Afrikaans would like as many children as possible to receive their own copy of Babalela for Christmas. In addition, a soft Babalela toy and a useful backpack will be given to each recipient.

You can make it possible for only R120. Yes, all three of these items together cost only R120, thanks to corporate sponsorships.

You can help change the statistics and make a child's eyes shine this Christmas. If you can't afford R120, any amount is welcome.

It is very easy to participate: deposit your chosen amount at ABSA BANK 0170166728 with BABALELA as reference. For foreign payments, use the following swiftcode: ABSA ZA JJ. No donation is too small. 

A copy of the proof of payment will help us a lot! Please send it to [email protected].


Why Babalela?

Not only is Babalela one of the most successful children's books ever, it has also been proven that this book can change children's lives.

In Babalela, the first book in the series, the Babalela is captured by a large man and gets stuffed into a box. Eventually the pent-up rage within this small creature gets so big, that it yells: "I'm a Babalela, leave me alone!" This outcry against the enemy causes so much consternation that the little animal can slip out and fly back to "deep, deep in the dark forest" where it belongs.

The children of Kewtown, a very poor neighbourhood in Cape Town, understood the Babalela's cry; it actually became a mantra in their school. Again and again they wanted to hear the story, but very soon this outcry became part of how they saw themselves.

In the video above, children tell the viewer what Babalela means to them. The narrative is in Afrikaans, but there are English subtitles.

For those who can understand Afrikaans, here is an academic article written about how the donation of picture books can make a real difference to children’s self-esteem. If you cannot understand the language, the article explains two things: 1) donating quality picture books to schools are completely in line with the curriculum and 2) good, quality children’s books often do more to a child’s self-esteem than generic, subject-driven posters stuck on walls.

A Babalela for Christmas is a campaign by The Friends of Afrikaans and aims to help as many children as possible to receive an own book for Christmas.

Depending on how much you are prepared to pay, we would like to donate a Babalela parcel to children across South Africa.

Babalela by Martie Preller is published by LAPA and is sold at leading bookshops. For this campaign, the three items together have been made more affordable, thanks to corporate sponsorships by LAPA and the ATKV. The Friends of Afrikaans and LAPA are both divisions of the ATKV.

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