Content & Learning Department



In 2019, Nal’ibali established a new Content & Learning department to drive content development, training and skills development, and distribution partnerships.

Developing new writers

Season 5 of our SABC Radio partnership kicked off with a call for stories from the general public. We welcomed stories in all South African languages. After a selection process, the top 63 stories – several by first-time authors – were converted to scripts for broadcast in all 11 official SA languages.

Improving access to reading materials

In 2018, we learned from an external evaluation that while the Nal’ibali reading supplement is an effective and well-used resource, it was not always reaching those who needed it most.

To improve targeting, reduce and remove cost barriers, and increase access to the supplement, we moved it from the Sunday World to the more affordable Sowetan, and increased the percentage of supplements going directly to reading clubs and partner organisations from 42% in 2017 to 63% in 2019.

We also piloted distribution in two Caxton community newspapers in Gauteng. This removes the cost barrier of buying a newspaper, allowing us better reach new audiences, via direct delivery people’s doors. A small formative evaluation showed positive reception and use rates, especially when newspapers are free and delivered directly to people’s doorsteps. We scaled up our Caxtons partnership to distribute nearly 400,000 copies via six titles in five provinces in Q1 of 2020.

We also bulk printed 242,000 copies of our four Read Aloud Collections in all eleven languages, at a reduced price of less than R4 per book – an extremely cost-effective way to deliver more stories to more children.

The team also laid the groundwork to add a ninth supplement language, Siswati, starting in April 2020.