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PRESS RELEASE: UN in South Africa joins FUNZI in launching an e-learning course on COVID-19

Pretoria – The United Nations in South Africa and FUNZI, an e-learning service based in Finland, today launched the educational initiative “COVID-19: Adapt and Thrive”, a course aimed at engaging adults and children on how to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The course, which is also supported by the governments of Finland and South Africa, aims to deliver hope in a time of crisis by empowering people with access to essential and accurate information in an interactive and engaging way.

Speaking at the virtual media launch this morning, head of the UN in South Africa, Ms. Nardos Bekele-Thomas, indicated that this course is “just one of the many ways the UN is responding to the impact of COVID-19. This initiative was created in collaboration with Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, supported by the Solidarity Fund and is rolled out as part of the national initiative to reach three million young people during the lockdown.”

She added that “the Funzi COVID-19: Adapt and thrive’ course aims to give everyone the opportunity to improve their lives through learning. FUNZI has the experience, the research, and their activities have shown that mobile information technology is an effective mechanism to reach the majority of the population and disseminate information. Access to relevant and factual information has a calming effect during times of uncertainty.”

In his statement, the Acting Head of the United Nations in Finland, Razi Latif, said with both offices were looking forward to ensuring that the course becomes available in many if not all South African official languages. The course is currently available in English and 10 other languages including Arabic, KiSwahili and Dutch.

The “COVID-19: Adapt and Thrive” course can be accessed here.

The media launch can be viewed HERE.  Password: 5u&v?#Dt

Media enquiries:
For further information, please contact National Information Officer at the UN in South Africa, Zeenat Abdool at 082 77 88 080 or



The United Nations in South Africa comprises 17 UN different agencies working on South Africa’s economic and social development challenges including the Sustainable Development Goals, poverty, climate change and income inequality.  It is headed by the Resident Coordinator, Nardos Bekele-Thomas, and works closely with the government, civil society and the private sector.

Funzi is a mobile service that gives all mobile users access to motivating and useful learning. We empower our learners to develop skills they need to build a better tomorrow with our service’s engaging experience and effective pedagogy. Through our global partnerships with the world’s largest education publisher Pearson and social network Facebook, among others, we aim to solve the greatest challenges in education.


Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator is a not-for-profit social enterprise with extensive experience of building solutions and innovations aimed at solving the youth unemployment challenge in South Africa. We partner with business, government, young people and many other partners who are committed to results that can work at scale. Visit  to find out more.