The FunDza Fanz are the young people that FunDza reaches through its online ‘library on a phone’ – fundza.mobi. Readers and writers can connect with FunDza through its mobile-friendly site, Android app and app on FreeBasics.com. Currently around 250,000 individual users access FunDza content on a monthly basis.
Reading for Pleasure
To encourage reading for pleasure, FunDza is continuously developing new content. Each week it posts a new short story on fundza.mobi. These stories are written by many of Southern Africa’s top writers including Sifiso Mzobe, Tracey Farren, Jenny Robson, Yewande Omotoso, Lauri Kubuitsile, Jayne Bauling and more. In addition, FunDza is mentoring young emerging writers to get their work showcased. Every weekday there is something new for readers, whether a blog post, article, children’s story or the #FunDzaFriday special feature.
The platform is interactive – readers can comment, like and share the content. This gives readers a sense of ownership over the content – they are collaborators, rather than mere consumers. Reader feedback helps determine what type of content works in getting teens and young adults excited about reading.
Writing for Expression
Aspirant writers can also send in their own creative work to be published in the ‘Fanz’ section. More than 3,000 readers have been published in this way. FunDza staff editors polish the writing to ensure that it is grammatically correct but without losing the writers’ individual voices. For those who submit essays and stories, they also provide feedback, to help writers improve their work.
Literacy for Life
Users on fundza.mobi can access a variety of online courses to test and improve their language and comprehension skills, and to broaden their vocabulary. At any point in time there are three open online courses available. Some are geared towards comprehension and vocabulary, while others are based more closely on content covered in the school curriculum. Those who successfully complete courses receive certificates from FunDza.
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