Literacy an essential building-block

Sept 2Literacy is an essential building-block for personal and community development. Yet, 793 million adults around the world do not know how to read or write. Incredibly, nearly one-third of the 6,900 languages spoken in the world do not even have a written alphabet. These 1,967 languages are spoken by the poorest of the poor — who cannot escape poverty without this essential tool.

Tragically, poor people who cannot read or write are easily ignored in the market place and have few opportunities to attend school. Lack of education makes them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. And the communities in which they live often miss out on the most basic services because government, aid agencies and mission groups can’t communicate with them. They lack the dignity that comes through knowing their language has a written form, and the opportunities that open door literacy provides for them to contribute to the larger society.

Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General, stated: “Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development . . . especially for girls and women, it is an agent of family health and nutrition. For everyone, everywhere, literacy, along with education in general, is a basic human right. . . . Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realize his or her full potential.”

OneBook, as part of our integrated projects provide community-based literacy programs, teaching children and adults how to read and write their mother tongue. Providing an essential tool for both personal and community development.