Organization Name: FunDza Literacy Trust

Focus Area: Growing Learners
Region: Africa
Sector: Non-Profit
Investment Year: 2015
Status: Alumni
The FunDza Literacy Trust believes that reading stories can change lives. But the vast majority of South Africa’s youth do not have easy access to relevant and exciting reading material. FunDza is changing this. FunDza creates, collects and shares content that resonates with young South Africans through mobile phones and other channels at low or no cost to the end reader. And, FunDza encourages young people to write their own stories. Through its innovative work, FunDza is growing generations of educated, empowered and engaged young citizens and future leaders.

Why We Invested

In 2012, it was estimated that 9 million South Africans, including 4.7 million schoolchildren, were functionally illiterate. According to a 2009 study by Equal Education, just 8% of public schools in South Africa had functioning libraries when research has shown that access to books has a direct link to literacy outcomes. Reading and writing encourage personal development and enhances critical and creative thinking. FunDza uses technology to improve literacy for South Africa’s most disadvantaged learners by providing access to quality reading materials.

The ability to escape into books and stories throughout my life has had a profound impact on my choices and life. I am proud to see that FunDza’s work is bringing this same possibility to thousands of young people across our country on a daily basis.
Mignon Hardie, Executive Director, FunDza Literacy Trust