Because there is no point in writing a novel if half the world won’t ever be able to read it.
Over 260 million children are out of school.
43 million adults in the U.S. only possess basic literacy skills. That’s 1 in 5 people.
I am far from being an expert on data, education or humanitarian work, yet I firmly believe that:
This is a global issue that everyone should be aware of.
Literacy rates are lowest in the least developed regions of the world, and there is severe gender disparity, with young girls, on average, getting fewer educational opportunities than boys.
Illiteracy and lack of education results in the inescapable cycle of poverty and child labour. Young girls who don’t enroll or finish school are forced into child marriage and have a higher chance of contracting HIV. None of those 100 million illiterate children can contribute to their communities and bring constructive change.
I urge you to read the research and data gathered by UNICEF. Especially because you can read.
The statistics are shocking, but what do we do?
Personally, I’ve been fortunate in my upbringing and education and I want to use my opportunities to bring the same to those in need.
There are numerous charities working on solving the problem of illiteracy – through donations, training school staff, building schools and ensuring students can learn safely and finish their studies. There are links to quite a few organisations down below, but personally, I have chosen to contribute to one of Room to Read’s projects.
I am starting a donation page for this non-profit, to which I hence pledge all proceeds from the first year of sales of my book. A loud proclamation, I know. Yet, even more essential to raising the money I can, is raising awareness.
Please head over to my own Room to Read support page (coming soon), even if you are unable to contribute directly, I encourage you to take a look at all their work and successes in promoting literacy.
Literature for Literacy.