Home » Fundza launches virtual bookclub in partnership with Zibuza.net and the Department of Arts, Culture & Sport to improve literacy rates among SA youth

Fundza launches virtual bookclub in partnership with Zibuza.net and the Department of Arts, Culture & Sport to improve literacy rates among SA youth

by Tia

In celebration of World Storytelling Day today, the Fundza Literacy Trust has partnered with Zibuza.net and the Department of Arts, Culture and Sport to launch South Africa’s first, cost-free virtual book club, tailored specifically for South African youth. 

As a South African EdTech dedicated to promoting literacy and access to literary resources, Fundza is thrilled to announce this ground-breaking initiative, made possible through the generous support of the Department of Arts and Culture in the Western Cape. This innovative virtual space is aimed at fostering a love for reading and writing across geographical boundaries, bringing together young people, teachers, and parents in a vibrant community of book enthusiasts.

The initiative began through the Fundza Literacy Trust’s zero-rated mobisite, which successfully provides reading and writing resources to millions of young people in our country. With over 4.1 million site visitors in 2023, Fundza’s platform has become South Africa’s most popular fee-free digital reading and writing platform for young people looking to improve their literacy and critical thinking skills.

“The funding provided by the government has been instrumental in actualising our vision to build bridges using safe virtual spaces, allowing this initiative to transcend the confines of the Western Cape and embrace a global audience. A special focus has been placed on multilingualism and multimodal literacy, with the project incorporating audio recordings to cater to diverse linguistic and learning preferences, truly embodying the essence of inclusivity,” shares Lea-Anne Moses, Executive Director at Fundza.

“In this digital age, literacy is increasingly multimodal, encompassing not just the written word but also audio and visual elements. By introducing audiobooks like ‘Taxi to Hell,’ we’re embracing this reality, making reading accessible to all, regardless of their preferred learning mode,” adds Moses. “And with the launch of the virtual bookclub, we want to reaffirm our belief in the power of technology to bridge gaps in literacy and education.”

The collaboration with zibuza.net, an educational platform, offers a shining example of how partnerships can extend the reach and impact of educational initiatives. “The Virtual Book Club is a manifestation of our commitment to collaboration over competition in the digital realm. Through this initiative, we are reaching out to young people and teachers and parents, making it a comprehensive community effort,” comments Malcolm Mooi, CEO of Zibuza.

Lorato Trok, a distinguished author and trustee of Fundza, will lead the monthly book club sessions live on Zibuza. She adds: “this book club is not just about reading; it’s about connecting, sharing, and learning from one another. I am excited to guide our readers through this journey of discovery.” 

All materials and books discussed in the club will be available on fundza.mobi, free of charge, ensures that everyone has access to high-quality literary content regardless of their financial situation. The Zibuza platform will host these live sessions, offering a dynamic and interactive forum for participants to share their thoughts, insights, and perspectives on the books.

Fundza’s Book Club is more than just a space for reading; it’s a community that bridges distances, cultures, and languages through the power of literature. We invite young people, teachers, and parents to join us on this exciting journey to explore new worlds, ideas, and possibilities.

For more information on how to participate in the Fundza Virtual Book Club and access our free resources, please visit fundza.mobi and Zibuza.net. Together, we can build bridges, one book at a time.

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