In 2005 the founder of Shine, Vineet Bhatnagar, worked for 6 months as a volunteer in a community school in a poor township in Zambia. Vineet was appalled at the poverty and level of illiteracy, even in children who had access to education. He set up his own remedial literacy programme for illiterate children in the school and successfully taught many children how to read and write. The children became passionate about reading and were filled with a new found hope and self-belief.
Upon his return to the UK, he decided that action should be taken to help many more children benefit in this way, hence he set up Shine. His vision, through Shine, is to share the wonderful gift of being able to read as well as a love for books, with the children of Africa.
In 2010 Sian’s third trip to Zambia brought her to Shine Zambia Reading Academy where she spent three and a half months volunteering at the school. The skills she brought as a trained and experienced Mathematics teacher were used to train Shine teachers and work with them to develop the school programme. On her return she became a trustee and took on many responsibilities within the charity, particularly with regards to running the school.
Richard is a Zambian national from a poor background who is now living and working as a computer systems administrator in London with his wife. Having lived most of his life in Zambia, he knows the levels of poverty afflicting children, and managed to overcome it himself through a determination to become educated. Having educated himself and worked his way out of his situation, Richard is very aware of the capacity that children have to shine if they are given the opportunity.