Bibles for prisoners



To supply free Bibles to the Department of Correctional Services for distribution among prisoners.


  • The Bible Society allocates funds to make free Bibles available to prisoners annually.
  • The Directorate of Spiritual Care of the Department of Correctional Services manages the distribution of these Bibles which become the property of the prisoners.
  • There are approximately 160 000 prisoners in South Africa. That means that for every 100 000 members of the population, 292 people are in prison.
  • Overcrowding is one of the biggest challenges facing South African prisons. The prison capacity allocated to accommodate prisoners, is currently in excess of at least 40 000 inmates. In some prisons, up to 90 people share a single shower and toilet.
  • According to a recent UN report, violence is rampart in most South African prisons and the safety of prisoners cannot be guaranteed.
  • In 2016, 15 997 prisoners received a Bible thanks to this project.


Expected impact
  • The Bible will bring comfort and hope to people who are imprisoned.
  • The Bible can contribute to the rehabilitation process and encourage prisoners to lead a crime-free life when they have completed their sentences.


How can you help?

For 2017, some R700 000 is needed to make Bibles available for prisoners.

For less than the price of dinner and a movie, R200, you can become an agent of hope and make a difference in the life of a person who has lost all hope.


Bank: ABSA
Account number: 260 208 950
Branch Code: 632-005

* Please use reference code: 1504


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Bibles for the poor



To provide free Bibles available in a responsible manner to those who cannot otherwise afford one.


  • According to Stats SA, 21,7% of South Africans (about 12 million) live in extreme poverty, in other words they cannot pay for basic nutritional requirements.
  • According to the latest available data, 27,1% of the economically active South African population is unemployed.
  • Approximately 63% of little children are raised in poverty, which inhibits physical, emotional and cognitive development.
  • Many people cannot afford a Bible of their own. Our Bible Houses receive requests from people who would like to receive their own Bible or from churches who would like to assist the poor to do so on a daily basis.
  • A strategy is in place to ensure that the Bibles reach the right people.
  • Thanks to this project, 22 744 people unable to afford Bibles of their own, received one in 2016.


Expected impact
  • The Bible will be placed in the hands of people who desperately need it, but cannot afford it.
  • In this way, the life-giving message of the Word will bring hope and comfort to people who sometimes feel they are marginalised.


How can you help?

R700 000 is needed specifically for this project in 2017.


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Bible-based literacy project



To promote basic literacy, as well as Bible literacy, among children in the foundation stages of education through Bible-based literacy material.


  • Thousands of children in poor areas are not exposed to literacy in the same way as privileged children and they often start their school careers at a disadvantage.
  • After thorough research, the Bible Society developed Bible-based literacy material to promote basic reading and writing skills.
  • The two booklets, My first Bible Do and Learn Book and My 2nd Bible Do and Learn Book are available in English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa and Sesotho. The Sesotho booklets were launched in 2016, while the isiZulu will be launched in 2017.
  • The Sepedi material is already in the test phase while the development of the series in Setswana, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Siswati and isiNdebele is underway.
  • Any person who can read can, with the help of the accompanying manual and flashcards, teach others these basic skills.
  • Suitable partners (churches, organisations and individuals) help to implement the programme.
  • The booklets are made available free of charge to schools and organisations who cannot afford to buy the booklets. In 2016, some 80 600 children received these Bible-based booklets.


Expected impact
  • Some children who live in poverty will learn to read and write.
  • Children will also learn more about God and the Bible from an early age.
  • Many children who receive the booklets come from homes where neither of their parents can read. They may take their booklets home and teach their parents to read.


How can you help?

R937 500 is needed in 2017 to ensure that there are enough copies of these booklets available for free distribution and for the development of the booklets in additional languages.


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Bibles for Grade 7 learners


Project top 4


To make Bibles available free of charge to Grade 7 learners in schools in the poorest parts of our country.


  • There are 14 558 primary schools in which approximately 6,6 million learners are educated. According to the latest statistics there are some 842 729 Grade 7 learners.
  • Grade 7 learners are the target group for this project because they can read with understanding. They are at the start of their teenage years and are especially impressionable. The Bible message can help to establish a value system which will assist them in making the right choices.
  • The project is managed responsibly. Churches and Christian organisations help to identify the schools most in need of Bibles. Each child also receives a booklet Help! How should I read my Bible?.
  • In 2016, some 32 249 Grade 7 learners in schools mainly in poor areas received a Bible of their own.


Expected impact
  • The life-giving message of the Word can help to anchor the children in their faith.
  • It will help churches and Christian organisations working with these children, as more children will have a Bible.
  • For some of these children, the Bible they receive is the only Bible in the home.


How can you help?

R1 000 000 is needed to give Bibles to about 26 666 Grade 7 learners who cannot afford one of their own in 2017. A copy of a booklet Help! How should I read my Bible? accompanies each Bible.


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