History - The birth of the Rally
The Rally to Read was launched in 1998 when the HSRC (Human Sciences Research Council), approached McCarthy to lend them a 4x4. Such a vehicle was required by the HSRC to reach some of the most remote rural schools in KwaZulu-Natal as part of a study of school resources.
Upon their return the researchers shared with McCarthy the schools’ desperate lack of educational resource and one of the most successful rural educational initiatives in the country was born.
The early years
R180 000 was raised in the first year and 80 sponsors and volunteers in 4x4s delivered books to the schools in the Nkandla district. Teachers at these schools were also provided with a two-year development programme, run by the READ Educational Trust.
What was to be a once-off expedition quickly became a national project and sponsorship from South Africa’s business community was raised.