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South African school children with their books.
South African school children with their books.

Schools in the UK were invited to donate their unwanted English language, text and reading books as part of the Help a South African School campaign. Illiteracy is widespread in South Africa and the country’s schools are in desperate need of resources.

24 pallets (compared to 16 last year) were shipped on the 9th January 2016, containing over 1,100 boxes from 80 schools. The boxes were stored by Manchett’s in Warboys, Cambridgeshire, over the collection period.

The South African fruit industry teamed up with a number of transport and logistics companies, who kindly donated their services to ensure the books arrived safely with around 50 South African schools.

Linda Mortimer, Service Manager at myHermes said: “Using our extended network enabled the collection from schools in all parts of the UK and Northern Ireland. myHermes is delighted to have been part of the initiative and will continue its support in the coming years”.

myHermes provided its services for the third year in a row, Express Freight Services organised the haulage from Manchett’s to London Gateway port, Damco arranged all shipping logistics; and Maersk provided shipping.

LCL Logistics Southern Africa Pty Ltd assisted Damco with the export. Tineke Mong, LCL commented: “We had the privilege of not only co-ordinating import logistics, but were present during the distribution of books at the schools and having first hand
exposure to handing books over to “future readers” . It was a humbling experience and we are extremely proud to have been part of this project that will no doubt have a massive positive outcome on some of our less fortunate youth.”

The 2016 competition, with the theme of ‘A Taste of South Africa!’ will launch at the end of February 2016 and book collections will begin in March/April. Please see for further updates.

Westfield Junior School, St Ives used the opportunity to start its library from scratch. They donated almost every book in the school and have now replaced with over 1,500 new ones. A new state-of-the-art library has just been opened to its pupils, with year 6 children in charge of issuing books.

Notes to Editors
The Help a South African School competition is run by HORTGRO, the industry association representing South African fruit growers.

Only 20 per cent of schools in South Africa have libraries.
The Beautiful Country, Beautiful Fruit campaign has been running in the UK and Germany since 2009.

The South African fruit season begins in December with peaches and nectarines. This will be followed by plums and then apples and pears.

Twitter: @SAFruit

For more information about this competition or images, please contact:
Dominic Weaver, RED Communications Ltd, on 01480 465953. Email:
Pippa Moore, RED Communications Ltd, on 01480 465 953. Email:

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