Microsoft Education Award celebrates organisations that seek to address barriers to educational opportunities that arise from social and economic injustices, learning disabilities, geographic isolation, and lack of resources of all types. Used creatively, technology can enhance the education of people of all ages, by enabling learning and improving the effectiveness of teaching. Technology has the promise of making lifelong learning a reality for more and more people around the world. Click here to find out more about the awards.
For this prize, FunDza’s online reading solution was selected as a finalist for its ability to disseminate exciting locally-generated content to large numbers of people in South Africa, and beyond too.
Says Mignon Hardie, executive director of FunDza: “We are delighted that our programme has again been recognised by The Tech Awards for its innovative approach in getting young people reading and for showcasing their writing talents too. We are proud to be – for the second year in a row – one of five finalists for this prestigious global prize.”
In the last financial year FunDza’s online platform – available at fundza.mobi or via Mxit or via our Android app, FunDzApp – reached more than 400,000 people, the vast majority of whom were reading through their mobile phones. This is a huge achievement showing the reach and potential of technology to bridge divides and provide fantastic, relevant content in otherwise book-scarce communities.
Through the feedback we receive from our readers we can see that FunDza’s stories are hitting the right mark and are helping readers acquire the language skills that they need for school and for life.
Here are some comments from FunDza readers – in their original SMS text and using their online usernames – saying why they love reading.
“I love reading stories that have a message in it, that gives a reader knowledge of life.”
“I luv reading bcoz thats when i get to understand the world even more”
“I love reading coz it’s my escape to another world. Reading has always been my thing”
“Reading helps me being fluent in speaking english, i find comfort in reading and i just love reading.”
“I love reading cause fudza stories are fascinating and real story most of the time and reading helps me become or want to achieve something big in a life and m just addicted to reading its also my escape to a different world i love nope my parents did read to me but i read to my niece”
“Reading to me is not a hobby its a lyfstyle i love reading. I read human drama,biographys, real life storys n novels too, reading is very good cos it improves languange n its a gud exercise for de brain muscles. I love discussing storys wth frends n i wud love to join a book club wth ppl who lyk to read too, iv just not been lucky enaf to meet such ppl were i stay. It wud b nys if i cud meet such ppl.”
“Reading helps me With school work because i found new words i dont understand and it increases my vocabulary”
“I love reading because i learn some words that are difficult , and it keeps me busy and my eyes are used to reading all day all time reading makes education fun i say it is good to read and have reading skills. Lets read guys there is no time for playing.”
“I love reading because every great reader is a great leader.”