Today is International Literacy Day, a day recognized worldwide and officially supported by UNESCO and the United Nations. There are776 million people who can’t read- over 90% of whom are in Asia and Africa and 2/3 of whom are female.
Reading has always been a passion of mine, and after finding out about Literacy Day and the illiteracy stats, I was thankful for the ability to read. Let’s put books aside for a second- imagine not being able to read a work contract or your bills or a shopping receipt, or what’s displayed on the screen of your mobile phone ; how can you go about your daily life if you were illiterate? Millions of people, generation after generation, are stuck in a vicious poverty cycle because they can’t read. Literacy shouldn’t be a privilege- everyone should have the right to basic education; it’s as important as food and water.
Here’s what you can do to help:
- Visit Twitter’s Hope 140 page and tweet the symbolic scrambled message to your followers.
- Make a donation to support the publication of one of Room to Read‘s locally published books for kids in South Africa.
- Join the Facebook page and suggest it to your friends
- Donate your Facebook status for a day by posting this scrambled message: “Wehn yuo cnnaot raed, noe hruendd ftory ccrhaetars maen noinhtg. Hlep ptoorme goalbl latceriy”, and link to Hope 140.
- If you’re a parent, teach your kids the importance of reading and literacy so they can grow up to appreciate it and continue in helping break this cycle (it’s not going to happen overnight, and they are the future after all)
- Support initiatives like the 8 Day Academy, founded by Masarat Daud-Jamadar, through donations and spreading the word (to learn more about 8DA and Masarat’s amazing work, check out this video)