The FunDza Literacy Trust

Reading is the fundamental pillar of education. Education is the foundation of a healthy, stable, growth-oriented society. The FunDza Literacy Trust is a non-profit organisation dedicated towards growing educated, engaged and empowered young South Africans. Only 8% of schools in South Africa have libraries, and books are expensive and often difficult to find. FunDza aims to boost literacy among teens and young adults in South Africa by popularising reading; growing communities of readers; and, developing young writing talent.

FunDza achieves this by providing content that will get young people hooked on reading. Our books and stories are exciting, relevant and authentically South African. In addition, FunDza leverages the powerful reach of mobile technology to connect and interact with readers in innovative ways. Cellphones (largely feature phones) are pervasive in South Africa. Almost everyone has access to one.

FunDza’s approach is getting teens and young adults reading. Currently, the organisation works over 200 groups that collectively reach more than 130,000 young people and it has grown a “virtual” reading club reaches 50 000 young South Africans each month through its mobi site and Mxit portal.  In addition to commissioning professional writers to create gripping and engaging weekly content, FunDza edits and publishes the work of its Fanz in this section on the mobi-site . It also tries to further develop young writers via mentorships and writing workshops.

The more that young people read and are exposed to literature, the faster they will acquire the language skills necessary for both academic and professional achievement in later life.

Literacy is a powerful tool with lifelong benefits: the importance of reading cannot be underestimated in influencing choices, giving value to readers’ lives, enhancing critical and creative thinking and encouraging personal development. Literacy is a major driver of economic mobility and social upliftment.

Join FunDza in getting young South Africans reading!