Mourning the loss of Neville Alexander

Posted on Thursday, August 30th, 2012 under Blog.

PRAESA mourns the loss of its founder, guide and support, Neville Alexander, who died on the 27th August 2012.  Under Neville’s leadership, PRAESA has been a story of inspiration, hope and persistence. All who worked with him have been motivated to help transform the linguistic and educational landscape in South Africa, and other parts of Africa to one where democracy could truly mean ‘power to the people’, because people would be carrying out their lives and learning with dignity and understanding in languages of their choice. This struggle will continue.

So many children and adults experienced the generous way that Neville shared his time with them – in a multitude of relationships, where each and every one was made to feel heard, special and respected. And in recent years, he volunteered his Saturday mornings to commune with children and adults through storytelling and reading at the Vulindlela Reading Club. In 2012 we began a new phase in the life of PRAESA, with a focus on reading clubs and stories through a national reading for enjoyment initiative. Neville was fully supportive of this, as someone who understood and appreciated deeply the significance of narrative to motivate, include, persuade, comfort, heal and transform lives.

Neville, although you had already retired from PRAESA, we did not expect you to leave us in this sudden and final way. You will live on in our work and your warmth and words will resonate in our hearts and minds for many years to come.

By Carole Bloch