Xneelo, formerly known as Hetzner, has sponsored FunDza’s dedicated server hosting since 2013. FunDza is hugely grateful for their support. In February, the web hosting company approached us to find out how their support of our online platform has made a difference to our programme work, and to the lives of our beneficiaries…
How an NPO makes reading a part of daily life
Making books and stories meaningful to all South Africans
The FunDza Literacy Trust was established with one aim: to get young people across South Africa to love reading, stories and books, and make them a part of their daily lives. “It can be hugely disempowering when young people can’t find books or online content that they can relate to,” explains Mignon Hardie, Executive Director of FunDza. “It often means that they struggle to feel that books can be meaningful to them. This lack of a reading culture translates into low literacy rates that have an impact on academic performance and access to wider opportunities too.”
Reading isn’t just about storytelling: research shows that reading helps with language acquisition, comprehension skills, higher-order thinking, social skills and an understanding of the wider world. “Literacy is a game-changer. And its lack is felt in all sectors of society at the moment,” says Mignon.
Using cellphone technology
“Our purpose is to get young adults reading for pleasure and writing for expression and meaning. We use cellphone technology to broaden our reach and ensure that our homegrown stories, blogs, poetry and plays are easily accessible to anyone with a cellphone,” explains Mignon. “We’re the only literacy organisation in South Africa with a sole focus on teens and young adults, and we’re growing an ever-increasing ‘library’ of local content that is accessible on cellphones. Every day there is something new to read on fundza.mobi, which is proving to be hugely popular.” With 200,000 unique users each month, it’s a recipe that’s clearly working…