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Education And Training

South Africans rewarded for championing children’s literacy

National reading-for-enjoyment campaign, Nal’ibali, is launching a loyalty programme for South Africans committed to making a difference in children’s reading development. Known as FUNda Sonke, isiXhosa for ‘everyone read’, the programme seeks to grow and support the campaign’s network of more than 17 000 literacy volunteers, known as FUNda Leaders, nationwide.

Launched in 2016 in response to public demand, the FUNda Leader network brings South Africans into the campaign in mentoring children to read and enjoy books and stories.

And, while reading regularly brings children many rewards, such as improved school performance, better job prospects and higher levels of self-confidence, the FUNda Sonke loyalty programme brings benefits to the adults who make this possible.

FUNda Sonke members can earn points by completing online training courses and taking part in monthly literacy challenges. Points accumulated through participating in various activities can be redeemed for books, airtime and subscriptions to the Nal’ibali multilingual newsprint supplement.

“With 17 000 active FUNda leaders nationwide, the time seemed right to take this campaign to the next level,” said Nal’ibali Managing Director Jade Jacobsohn. “FUNda Sonke takes all the elements of our successful volunteer programme and rewards South Africans for being the everyday magic that help make our children flourish.”

The FUNda Sonke programme will be activated in a series of pop-up events from April 8-12 in seven provinces. A list of these events, which will spread information on the FUNda Leader network and offer opportunities to sign up to both the network and the loyalty programme, is available from

Sharing her own love of stories and encouraging young people and caregivers to join, SABC 1 Uzalo’s actress and storyteller Mpumy Ndlovu will be attending the KwaZulu-Natal sign-up events and championing the drive.
“Reading makes me feel empowered and enlightened. I have travelled all over the world through imagination that I get from beautiful illustrations and wonderful writings in books I read,” Ndlovu said. “My mission in life is to introduce young people to this wonderful world of imagination and the wealth of knowledge that books and reading provide. For this reason, I am excited to be part of the FUNda Sonke initiative to introduce more young people to the love of reading.”

Those unable to attend the launch events can sign up on or, or call 02 11 80 40 80 (toll-free).

For more information about the Nal’ibali campaign, to sign up to be a FUNda Leader and join the FUNda Sonke loyalty programme, or to access children’s stories in a range of South African languages, visit and You can also find Nal’ibali on Facebook and Twitter: nalibaliSA.

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