FunDza Literacy Trust is proud to announce that the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) has today named it as a 2014 WISE Awards Finalists. This year’s list of Finalists represent some of the most inspiring and visionary work undertaken by non-governmental and charitable organizations, cultural institutions and in the private sector. Inaugurated in 2009, the WISE Awards identify and promote unique and novel solutions to real-world education challenges.
The FunDza Literacy Trust is a non-profit dedicated to growing generations of South Africans, empowered through literacy and a love of reading. To this end, the Trust’s ‘Growing Communities of Readers’ programme provides young people across the country with access to quality, locally-generated reading content via their mobile phones. FunDza’s mobi network (responsive website and Mxit app) is accessible to users on smartphones, feature phones, tablets and computers with Internet access. And, FunDza’s programme is having an impact: each month approximately 50,000 unique readers access its content. A recent independent evaluation of the programme, by University of Cape Town’s Institute for Monitoring and Evaluation, found that FunDza readers were reading more thanks to their engagement with the programme.
This year’s Finalists from around the world showcase creative approaches to issues of access, quality and employment. The projects combine conventional tools with a range of technologies to achieve results in a variety of areas including addressing special needs, encouraging a love of literature, running a small business, and reaching marginalized communities.
The WISE Awards Finalist projects, evaluated by a Pre-Jury of internationally recognized education experts, demonstrated innovative thinking and concrete impact on communities and societies as well as the ability to be replicated in other contexts and regions.
Mignon Hardie, Managing Trustee, FunDza Literacy Trust said: “We are delighted that FunDza has been named as one of the 2014 WISE Awards Finalists. FunDza is dedicated to growing generations of educated, empowered and engaged young people. Literacy development and growing a culture of reading and writing is an important part of this. Having FunDza’s work recognized as a global innovation is truly gratifying.”
The six winning projects will be announced in September and celebrated at the sixth World Innovation Summit for Education, November 4-6, 2014, in Doha, Qatar. Each will receive $20,000 (US).