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Books make a statement at House & Garden Show

Alvon and Bongwa are ready to sell books at the ECR House & Garden Show. Perhaps they have already read “The Smartest Guys in the Room”!

Alvon and Bongwa are ready to sell books at the ECR House & Garden Show. Perhaps they have already read “The Smartest Guys in the Room”!

Published Jul 1, 2022


Durban - Vendors from the Denis Hurley Street Lit project have been given a stand at the East Coast Radio House & Garden Show to sell their quality second-hand books to the thousands of visitors to this high-profile event.

The show, which celebrates its 40th year, is on at the Durban Exhibition Centre and runs until Sunday, July 3.

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Street Lit has survived lockdown and gained momentum since people have had more time to read and, with many libraries still closed and new books so expensive, access to quality pre-read books has become even more attractive.

“We are hugely grateful to the organisers for giving us this great opportunity,” said project facilitator Illa Thompson.

“Like so many other initiatives, we were battling over lockdown. Finding places to trade has been a challenge. We have motivated vendors and excellent books, we just need places to sell. So being offered a stand at the show is really important for everybody,” she said.

Homeless people are recruited into the Street Lit programme if they have an aptitude to set up their own micro business and have a love of books and reading. Working with the rest of the Denis Hurley team, Thompson identifies, trains, supports and nurtures the booksellers.

Should anyone have books to donate, or know of places to sell books, feel free to contact Thompson at 083 326 3234 or email [email protected]

One of the dozens of volunteers and hundreds of happy shoppers who came together for the Street Store. Picture: Brett Morgan

While the booksellers are busy in action, the Denis Hurley Centre also hosted its first Street Store in June since 2019. It was a huge success.

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The annual Street Store held in conjunction with the Grace Family Church provides a range of services for poor people in central Durban. The concept of the Street Store has spread around the world, but it’s proudly South African. It is not just about collecting and handing out thousands of items of clothing, but doing it in a way that reinforces dignity and choice.

All the clothes are neatly sorted and folded and each customer is helped by a personal shopper to choose the clothes that fit them. It’s an upmarket department store.

A whole morning was spent at Grace sorting the bags of donated clothes into boxes, and those boxes filled an entire container which was delivered to the centre.

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The Independent on Saturday