The FunDza Literacy Trust believes in the transformational potential of literacy to boost academic performance, personal development, access to opportunity, and ultimately social justice. The organisation provides locally-created, high-quality reading material to young people, and inspires them to read, write and learn. This has a powerful impact on the development of literacy among the youth.
To promote literacy, FunDza focuses on the pleasure aspect of reading and writing. Studies show that reading for pleasure is a powerful indicator of future success. Reading fiction is linked to increased empathy, creativity, and an understanding of cause and effect, as well as the more obvious skills of language and vocabulary development. FunDza harnesses the power of technology to reach readers and writers across the country. The online fundza.mobi platform is accessed by more than 15,000 users daily.
Through the platform, FunDza publishes local and original content that is relatable to young people and engages them in reading. Every day there is a new story, book, article, blog, play or poem to read. There are also a wide array of open online courses available – and successful completers earn certificates – that develop language and life skills. In addition, young people can send in their own writing for publication too. Some of the top writers are selected for writing mentorships or a writing Fellowship programme in order to further develop their talents, and so that they can produce content for fundza.mobi on a professional basis.
FunDza’s online platform, which is zero-rated across all SA mobile networks, is shifting attitudes and behaviours towards reading, writing and learning.
The key outcomes of this project are: