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As Organisers of the Rally to Read, Bidvest plays a pivotal role in organising the rally behind the scenes.

They say it takes a village to raise a child and this is very true of the Rally model! It begins with finding the correct Rally schools based on the following criteria :

a) The School most in need of our support (i.e., Libraries; Teacher Training; in situ Monitoring &

b) School with a good principal with strong leadership skills

c) School in the right rural location within a deserving community

We work together with the Department of Education and the READ Educational Trust to finalise the school selection process. An ideal Rally is 12 schools within a 100km radius of each other. In order to accomplish this, we often need to visit the province up to three times to choose about thirty schools, and then, together with the DoE, we whittle that down to our 12 final schools most deserving of the Rally support for a three-year period.

We then need to find suitable accommodation for the 160-odd volunteers that will join us on the Rally weekend! This is not easy due to the rural location of the Rally schools. Hence, we strictly keep to a maximum of four people per vehicle, as accommodation in these rural areas is scarce. It is important to remember why we are part of the rally and not to expect the best accommodation, but rather to focus on the children and the purpose of our visit to this area.

It requires several hundred volunteers to ensure that we have enough Team Leaders and Coordinators to guide you to your schools. These Team Leaders give up their free time to visit your Rally area twice beforehand to ensure they know exactly where the schools are located, with landmarks sometimes being ‘turn left at the very large tree next to a red container’! When you return on rally day, there are many large trees next to red containers! Our Team Leaders are Senior Managers within the McCarthy Motor Group.

We work with the READ Educational Trust to finalise Book Selection and Rally Course Material for the Teacher Training Modules.

The funds that are donated to the Rally go directly to the READ Educational Trust for the Box libraries and the Teacher Training! It is the responsibility of the Host Sponsors to carry all the costs relating to the accommodation and meals of the rally weekend. The Rally cannot happen without the role of the Sponsors, so we manage the website, answer all sponsors' queries, ensure you get put into the correct team, paired with a Team Leader, arrange your vehicles if you need one, manage your meals and accommodation needs. The list is endless.

So as Bidvest, we manage the whole process of putting together the magic that is the Rally to Read and we work tirelessly behind the scenes for nine months beforehand to ensure that your Rally experience is a great one! Thank you to every one of our sponsors and volunteers who are part of the ‘village’ that is required to raise a child, a Rally child!

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