On 4 September, Ros Haden (FunDza’s content developer) spoke at the 10th RASA (Reading Association of South Africa) National Literacy Conference.
This year’s RASA conference was a big one as it was combined with the 9th Pan-African Literacy for All conference, and had representatives giving papers from all over the continent. The theme was ‘Imagination & Literacy – Theory and Practice’. The conference was abuzz with people passionate about reading sharing their ideas and experiences.
Ros presented for FunDza on: Fiction for social change – using short stories on cellphones to shift attitudes and encourage empathy amongst South African teens.
FunDza Literacy Trust and Cover2Cover Books believe that fiction is a powerful vehicle for social change. Reading for pleasure develops critical and creative thinking as well as empathy for others.
Ros spoke about the power that fictional characters have in taking readers on a journey that shifts attitudes and perceptions.
She looked at three FunDza short stories, and the readers’ comments they evoked, as examples of how stories can shift attitudes to gender-based violence, xenophobia and religious prejudice.