FunDza’s Developing Young Writers Programme gives young people a platform to have their voices heard by working with young writers to develop and edit their work (retaining the writer’s original style) and publishing finished work on FunDza’s mobi network.
There are two core elements to the program: working with writers to get their work published in the ‘FunDza Fanz’ section of the FunDza network, and hosting of Write4Life workshops, which provides further content and language training to improve writing skills.
The ‘FunDza Fanz’ platform is an interactive space where young writers can comment on and discuss material published on the site and also to send in their own work for publication and comment. As the program expands its pool of contributing young writers, the number of new readers also grows, in part because this expands the contextual relevance of the stories and the content for the readers, and also because popular stories can go viral through this online platform.
In addition to the publication platform, FunDza also offers four Write4Life workshops, that can run over either a day or two days:
1. Writing Me: This is designed to develop creative, memoir-based writing;
2. Branding Me: This targets school-leavers to give them the language and writing skills they need to apply for jobs, write CVs, or undergo interviews;
3. Investigating Life: This is aimed a aspirant non-fiction writers or journalists who want to learn how to tell compelling true stories in a feature article format;
4. Writing Good Essays: This is aimed at both teachers and learners of secondary schools who want to improve their essay writing skills for exam purposes.
Many participants of the Write4Life workshops are recruited through a separate program, Popularising Reading, which works with beneficiary groups around the country to increase literacy by providing printed books and organizing reading groups.
A resources section on the mobi network provides tips for the aspiring writers participating in the Write4Life Workshops and also more broadly to those contributing on the ‘FunDza Fanz’ platform.
The writing submitted is predominantly in English, with some in isiXhosa, isiZulu and Afrikaans.
Click here to see full program profile
CEI approaches in action
About 100 learners served through Write4Life workshops; about 200 writers published on FunDza site. About 20 - 25 participants per course.
A total of 14 Write4Life workshops have been held that have reached more than 250 learners in the country. In addition, more than 500 young people have had their work published on the FunDza mobi network.
There has been significant growth in popularity and in the number of submissions to the FunDza Fanz platform since its inception in 2012.
FunDza aims to increase the resources for developing writers ('Tips for Writers') and to train other people to run the Write4Life workshops so that these workshops can be scaled and replicated.
Monitoring & Evaluation
FunDza monitors the number of submissions on the platform, number of individual writers submitting work, number of Write4Life workshops and the quality of writing subsequent to those interventionss, and feedback from the course participants.