Dorothy Dyer

Every year, the Library of Congress awards literacy prizes to organisations in the US and internationally in recognition of their work. We were delighted that in 2021 FunDza was an honoree (a euphemism for ‘runner-up’!) and received 5000 dollars prize money. 

The overall winner of the International prize was The Luminos Fund, an organisation that runs educational programmes for marginalised children in Liberia, Ghana and Ethiopia, see here.

To hear from the winners and honorees, the Library of Congress ran a set of online webinars. FunDza participated in one titled Culturally Relevant Literacy Approaches, along with representatives from three other organisations: Friends of Tonga, Inc, Global Center for the Development of the Whole Child (which focused on Haiti), and Associates in Research and Education for Development (ARED, working in Senegal).

The panel was chaired by Doctor Gholdy Muhammad, who asked us thought-provoking questions such as ‘How do you bring joy into your work’ and ‘How do you celebrate black excellence?’ It was very interesting to hear about the work of our fellow Honorees, and also to recognise the similarities in our challenges – of language politics as described by ARED, which develops learning materials in Senegal, and in the challenges of poverty described by Friends of Tsonga and the Global Center for the Development of the Whole Child.

Due to time differences, the panel was 10pm our SA time, so it was mainly attended by Americans and Canadians. It was an enriching experience to hear from others working so far afield in different contexts, but with common purpose.

You can find the link here to watch the recording.