Since the Link’s inception in 2010, trained Link volunteers have provided over 300 000 hours of literacy and numeracy assistance to more than 7000 disadvantaged Grade 2s and 3s, which is a truly remarkable achievement.

These children, who come from a variety of single parent, grandparent and child led homes, have multiple cultures and languages and are in schools that are typically overcrowded and under-resourced, are identified as needing support, based on assessments, which are done at the beginning and end of each school year.

The volunteers will vouch for the fact that, in addition to the improvements in assessment results, they witness a transformational change in the self-confidence and self-belief of the children they assist – we refer to this as the Link Magic and we believe it sets the Link apart.

The 2023 Monitoring and Evaluation report, which can be found here, provides useful insights into the impact of the Link, as does the Literacy Results 2023 infographic below.



2023 saw our 17 centres operating to normal days and times. The number of volunteers and thus the number of children being assisted was improved. The improvement per learner was maintained.

This year we have reported on the results of our newly established numeracy centres. Both the results and participation by the volunteers and learners has been inspiring.

*For a more in-depth analysis of the 2023 numeracy results, please click on this link to access the full Brombacher  Report.

2024 sees the opening of more numeracy centres and some literacy centres have extended their teaching times to twice a week. The dedicated Centre Managers and volunteers are commended on their dedication and hard work.



It’s not a secret that Covid-19 had a devastating effect on literacy and numeracy skills of primary school learners. This, together with a drop in volunteer numbers caused by various social and economic factors; lack of space in schools; reduced number of weekly sessions; and an increase in learner numbers, has meant that we had our work cut out for us to get back to “normal” in 2022.

We’re not quite there yet, but thanks to the grit and dedication of our team of volunteer centre managers we slowly built up our volunteer and learner numbers during 2022.

Literacy Results

The great surprise was that the average literacy improvement numbers per learner were better than expected (2022 – 31% vs. 2019 – 28%).

Onwards and upwards during 2023 to add more volunteers, open up centres on more days and be able to help more learners.

Numeracy Results

We are helping students who are not necessarily in strong mathematics. Overall 98% of our students showed improvement which is most gratifying.

Although we had more students in the lower levels with no or little sense of number, the improvement through to level 3 is most rewarding.

The improvement shown in individual centres like HA Jack, Orange Grove and Melpark is very pleasing.

2018 vs 2019

Due to Covid, our presence at the schools was disrupted for most of 2020 and 2021.  We hope to be able to run assessments again at the beginning of 2022.  Please refer to the 2019 results below.

Literacy Comparison

2019 Numeracy Results

This report presents the summary graphs for the testing conducted in Grade 2 and Grade 3 during 2019 in The Link schools. In 2019 the assessments, developed by Brombacher and Associates, were the same for both grades. This allows for comparison of performance across grades.

View the report here

The Link uses the Number Sense workbooks developed by Brombacher and Associates, to help develop the children’s numeracy skills.

“I believe that there are encouraging trends evident in the data collected and summarised in this report. As cautioned before, care should also be taken in assuming that the change in performance level from February to November is due to the activities of The Link alone. In the absence of a control group it is hard to know what part of the increase is the consequence of an additional year of schooling and what part is the consequence of the intervention. That said, the performance on the EGMA assessment is generally encouraging when compared with other data in the EGMA database (approximately 25,000 records) and I do hope that The Link team draws encouragement from this.”

Aarnout Brombacher – Brombacher and Associates, March 2019

The graphs in the report summarise the data for all the Link students (by grade) for 2019. It shows an improvement in the scores across the board, but of particular interest is the reduction of leaners who originally scored in the bottom two levels.