The organisers of the 10th Knysna Literary Festival announced last week that during the Festival support was pledged for 4 school scholarships for previously disadvantaged learners, and one for their Creative Writing workshops for the youth, taking place later this year.

Festival founder and sponsor, Ling Dobson of Pam Golding Properties Knysna & Plett, said they could not have wished for a better outcome. “Our dream and quest has been to stimulate and create a proud legacy of learners, who are the future leaders of our proud nation.  The importance of education comes up time after time in the panel discussions we facilitate and it is clear that this is a key focus area if we want to change the future of South Africa for the better. “

Sanlam Private Wealth who has been keen supporters of the Literary Festival for the last 3 years announced on the last day of the Festival that they will sponsor two bursaries. Humphrey Price, Senior Portfolio Manager at Sanlam Private Wealth, said that they believe investing in education is an investment in the future of South Africa. “Over the last three days we have been challenged to look at how we can make a difference, each in our own way, and this I believe is a step in the right direction.”

Two more bursaries were pledged by private individuals, and another sponsorship was received after the Festival towards the creative writing workshops that will take place later this year. Dobson said that to date more than 3000 learners took part in workshops and competitions. “Our aim with these is to encourage a love for reading and writing, and ultimately improve literacy.”

She thanked the public of Knysna and elsewhere for their support. “Without them attending the events, during the Festival, but also during the year with our Literary Liaison events, we will not be able to achieve what we do. “

Dobson concluded by quoting Michael Charton, narrator and story teller of the First World Champions during the Festival.  “The quote Michael used during his story, referring to the 1937 Springboks and their interaction with the Maori’s from New Zealand, stays with me. He said that once we are freed of the prevailing political narrative, our shared humanity will ultimately prevail. That given the opportunity, we will discover, regardless of our cultural differences, that there is far more we have in common than that which differentiates us, and that once we are freed from a throttling political narrative, we will realize what is truly important in life and legacy. Just as the First World Champions did.”

“The comments we received on this year’s Festival was that the events were uplifting. Attendees said that they were reminded that we can make a difference, each in our own way. I am looking forward to the year ahead, and to us making a difference. Where it matters.”