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Mobile education startup FunDza a finalist in 2014 WISE Awards

The South African non-profit literacy trust FunDza has been named one of the 15 2014 WISE Awards Finalists. The international WISE Awards seeks to identify and promote unique and novel solutions to real-world education challenges and has thus chosen FundZa as one of its inspiring initiatives.

With an aim of making reading accessible and appealing to the youth of South Africa, FunDza is behind the Growing Communities of Readers programme. This provides people across the country with access to quality, locally-generated reading content via their mobile phones.

The reading material is available in a variety of formats, such as mobi or a Mxit app and boasts more than 50 000 readers each month.

According to the press release, a recent independent study by the University of Cape Town found that readers were reading more thanks to their engagement with FunDza’s education programme.

The WISE Awards Finalist projects are supposed to demonstrate innovative thinking and a concrete effect on communities and societies, as well as the ability to be replicated in other contexts and regions.

Mignon Hardie, Managing Trustee of the FunDza Literacy Trust, said: “FunDza is dedicated to growing generations of educated, empowered and engaged young people. Literacy development and growing a culture of reading and writing is an important part of this. Having FunDza’s work recognised as a global innovation is truly gratifying.”

The six winning projects will be announced in September and celebrated at the sixth World Innovation Summit for Education, 4-6 November 2014, in Doha, Qatar. Each winning project will receive US$20 000.

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