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About Us


The Otto Foundation is an education-focused philanthropic organisation established in 2016. The Foundation aims to improve early literacy by fostering a love of reading, promoting access to books, and developing and promoting contextually relevant reading materials for South African children. 

Our strategic focus is a response to South Africa’s literacy crisis - ‘Progress in International Reading Literacy’ studies indicate that 4 out of 5 Grade 4 learners in South Africa are unable to read with comprehension in any language. 

There is strong research evidence linking reading for enjoyment (or “voluntary reading”) to improved literacy outcomes. Children who read for pleasure on a daily or weekly basis score better on reading tests. The amount of time spent in independent reading is one of the best predictors of the amount of gain made in reading achievement between the ages of 8 and 11. Reading for enjoyment is also more important for children’s educational success than their family’s socio-economic status - a crucial finding for the South African context, where income inequality is high, and education outcomes are so often correlated with household income.

Our Strategic Priorities

strategic priorities 2022