A shared vision of a country where every home has a book brought two Lowveld NPO’s together. Penreach Books in Homes promotes literacy in schools and homes across Mpumalanga. Books in Homes was established in 2007, by founder and previous Penreach employee, Val Morris. On 27 July it was officially incorporated in its new home at Penreach, and now operates as ‘Penreach Books in Homes’.


The International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) has placed South Africa at the near bottom of the pile in performance results. Consequently, there has been reference to South Africa’s literacy level as a “national catastrophe”. Social impact organisations, Penreach and Books in Homes, continue to dedicate their efforts in improving reading instruction in the classroom and access to reading materials in both Siswati and English.

Watch here: Grade Three Learner Thandolwethu Shongwe reads Books in Homes ‘The Red Van’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXGyMn4pnSk&t=6s

During her time working at Penreach, Val discovered an urgent need for a solution of literacy materials in rural communities. An opportunity of distributing appropriate and affordable readers to the children in the community would launch the now 500 000 demand of ‘Gogo’s books’. The readers are now available in seven official languages and the burgeoning demand for such, has extended across the continent to China and Wales.

“My belief is that learning starts at home and this was the genesis of my mission to create a culture of reading in homes. Penreach kindly allowed me to take my concepts and books with me, and it has been a perpetually fulfilling journey since.” – Val Morris




The overall response from teachers and learners in community schools across Mpumalanga has launched this turnkey bookshop into a major success for its founder, Val Morris. From conceptualizing the content of readers to distributing as the final bookseller. In addition to manufacturing readers, Books in Homes now produces charts, phonic books series with CD aids, as well as workshops to assist educators in utilizing these readers and teaching aids correctly for a literate South Africa.

Penreach officially welcomed Books in Homes and its Bookshop to the Penryn Campus, where all Penreach Books in Homes operations will take place under the Penreach Asifundze Programme. A tribute to retired founder Val Morris brought members of the Lowveld Community together. Sincere gratitude expressed by all, for her commitment to literacy in South Africa, along with the acceptance of new ownership by Penreach.

Penreach Books in Homes will continue to produce affordable reading material and classroom aids in its contribution, prompting a culture of reading in homes for a literate South Africa.

Penreach Books in Homes Housewarming Gallery: https://penreach.co.za/penreach-in-pictures/

Sanette Mattheus, Director of Penreach Asifundze Programme reveals the Val Morris Reading Camp Volunteer of the year award. This will be presented to a Reading Camp Volunteer at the Annual Penreach Awards on 24 November 2018

Left to Right: Rodes Abell (Previous Books in Homes Chairman), Val Morris (Founder of Books in Homes), Trice Nukeri (Reading Camp Volunteer), Nomsa Magagula (Reading Camp Volunteer), Santie Barrish (Volunteer of Books in Homes, Sanette Mattheus, Ronald Chanetsa and Susanna Oosthuizen.













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