FunDza – Developing Young Writers Programme

The Developing Young Writers programme aims to support a new generation of young writers in South Africa by building their confidence, showcasing their creative work and providing them with valuable writing skills.
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Year launched: 
2012
Launch country: 

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting
Primary Approach: 
Implementer: 
FunDza

Location Data

State/Province: 
Nationwide
City: 
All
Geography type: 
Program Description: 

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.