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Introducing new Fundza board members: Helping to harness technology to amplify young South African voices

Stories are at the heart of human existence. It is how we connect with others and pass on learning from one generation to the next. Thanks to technology, we can now share more stories faster.
Introducing new Fundza board members: Helping to harness technology to amplify young South African voices

For more than a decade, Fundza has told stories that have touched the hearts and minds of young people. Exciting local content, by South African writers, is one of the unique features of our mobisite as it enables youth to see themselves in the stories they read. During the Covid-19 lockdown, fundza.mobi was a source of fresh, local online content that was relevant and responsive to the lives of our readers.

As the organisation now looks ahead to the next decade, it is intent on expanding its reach, diversifying its pool of writers and the languages offered on the platform – all while leveraging technology to make literacy more accessible and inspiring.

Fundza is therefore pleased to welcome new trustees on its board who will help the non-profit organisation capitalise on the gains already made in its use of technology for literacy. The organisation is mindful of the challenges, opportunities and the impacts technology can bring. The new board members all have extensive experience and skills. They have held or continue to hold senior positions at organisations or companies like Community Chest, GovChat and KPMG.

The new trustees will join mobile learning specialist Steve Vosloo and early childhood development expert Ruby Motaung on the board. Vosloo and Motaung have served on the board for more than three years and provide an important anchor for the new board members.

One of the four new board members is new chairperson Lorenzo Davids. Davids is an experienced chief executive officer with a demonstrated history of working in the civic and social organisation industry. Davids is also a lifelong activist and writes a regular column in the Cape Argus about active citizenry, among other topics. “This is a great land, this land of ours. We will fix it. All of us. For within us is a greater dream than power, a greater desire than money, and a greater hope than the disappointments of today. Tomorrow, we rise again to build our dreams, desires and hopes,” he says.

Tracey-Lee Johnson is also new to the board. Johnson is a chartered accountant and financial analyst at MiX Telematics. She accepted the role because she believes that stories influence choices, beliefs and how we engage with one another. Additionally, they can create hope through relatability. “There are so many stories yet to be told and no story is ever the same because of our unique intersectionality. The youth need to be encouraged to tell their stories with pride and confidence and have access to learn from other stories.”

Eldrid Jordaan is a professor of Practice at the Johannesburg Business School, University of Johannesburg, a former special advisor to the Minister of Public Enterprises and an advisory board member at Mxit. He is also a world-renowned public speaker on social impact innovation, civic engagement, digital governance and open government partnerships. “In my roles as the founder and CEO of GovChat, and having worked with UNICEF, what we are trying to achieve at Fundza is a very important journey for us as we seek to maximise the use of technology to advance children and their rights through literacy,” he says.

Lorato Trok has spent her entire career in advocacy and field work in early and family literacy, developing, translating, editing, producing, and publishing early literacy materials for educational and reading for enjoyment in multiple African countries. “I am passionate about creating materials that support children and young people in realising their potential in education and beyond. My strengths are particularly in developing, writing, translating and editing material for specific audiences and users as well as project management,” says Trok.

Fundza executive director, Lea-Anne Moses, is thrilled with the formidable new board members who will bolster the organisation’s ambitions. "At Fundza, everything we do is to unlock the imagination required to create a better reality. We strive to do this every day by challenging people to a greater literacy level, making it more accessible and inspiring. The Fundza board now has an impressive collection of digital, non-profit, legal and literacy experience, which will help to accelerate the execution of our vision of expansion,” says Moses. "The comments and feedback from our readers continue to inspire us and demonstrate our impact on people's lives. Our jobs go far beyond the provision of excellent content. We use our digital platform to make people's lives better, richer, more rewarding and more fulfilling.”

Fundza
The FunDza Literacy Trust is a South African nonprofit dedicated to improving literacy among teens and young adults.

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