World Literacy Day
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World Literacy Day

September 8th marks World Literacy Day 2018. The United Nations has been celebrating literacy since 1967 along with partners and organizations around the world. It is a day to reflect on how far the world has come in terms of literacy over the past decades. At the same time, it’s an opportunity to address the challenges that continue to exist.

Why World Literacy Day?

The world has come a long way in improving literacy rates. Many countries are achieving nearly 100% literacy among their population. Governments are investing heavily in education and knowledge development. That said, 1 in 5 people in the world cannot read or write. Two-thirds of them are women.

According to statistics, literacy has a strong impact on a person’s life. It allows individuals to enrich their lives and participate more meaningfully in society. For example, those who are illiterate are more likely to commit crimes. This is often due to lower job prospects and fewer opportunities overall.

At the same time, literacy impacts health and gender equality. Women often lack access to education. As such, they do not have access to employment and independence. Through literacy programs and investment, we can reach higher equity and inclusion in our society.

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NGOs Working to Advance Literacy

Thousands of NGOs work daily to improve literacy and education around the world. Their tireless pursuit of these goals ensures a healthier, more inclusive, and more equal society. Here are some examples of the excellent work NGOs are doing to promote literacy.

Book Aid International

Based in the UK, Book Aid International focuses on book donation and library development. Their work ensures that about 29 million people can have access to books each year. They achieve this by supplying books to nearly 3,000 libraries around the world. Their programs also include support for young readers and refugees.

World Literacy Foundation

The World Literacy Foundation works around the world to promote literacy and to make sure that every person can read and write. The organization collaborates with thousands of grassroots projects. For example, they provide book distribution and community grants for literacy promotion.

One of their flagship projects is in Africa. They provide solar-powered tables for classrooms that lack access to books, computers, and electricity.

Room to Read

Room to Read is a not-for-profit organization that has aided over 12.4 million children and their families. They do so by collaborating with local governments and schools on literacy programs. Room to Read also provides teacher support, quality materials, and learning environments and advocates for education.

Their special focus is on education for girls and women. Room to Read programs provide support to female students to ensure more social equality and their future opportunities.

Volunteering as a Teacher

Looking for an opportunity to get involved in literacy promotion? One of the most impactful ways to help is to volunteer as a teacher. You can do so locally through library programs. Alternatively, you can become a volunteer and teach abroad. Programs are available around the world.

Communities around the globe face lack of access to education. This reduces their chance to compete in the labor market, creating inequality and leading to poverty. Therefore, as a volunteer teacher, you can make a real difference for those in need.

NGO’s Dedicated to Education

There are many organizations dedicated to improving education. NGOs, and other charities provide humanitarian aid to help people in need, but every NGO has a specific focus. Some organizations are dedicated to fighting hunger. Other organizations are focused on fighting poverty, while still others fight for human rights and dignity. Here you will find a list of 38 NGOs dedicated to improving education.

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