About International Literacy Day
International Literacy Day Poster, 2012. Photo courtesy of UNESCO.
For over 40 years now, UNESCO has been celebrating International Literacy Day by reminding the international community that literacy is a human right and the foundation of all learning. Literacy, like education in general, is a tool of personal empowerment and is the primary vehicle for social and personal change and development.
Literacy is essential to eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality, and ensuring peace.
This Year’s Theme: Literacy and Peace
The theme of International Literacy Day 2012 is Literacy and Peace. This theme was adopted by the United Nations Literacy Decade (UNLD) to demonstrate the multiple uses and value that literacy brings to people. As the UNESCO Director General stated "education brings sustainability to all the development goals, and literacy is the foundation of all learning. It provides individuals with the skills to understand the world and shape it, to participate in democratic processes and to have a voice, and also to strengthen their cultural identity."
Literacy contributes to peace as it brings people closer to attaining individual freedoms and better understanding the world, as well as preventing or resolving conflict. The connection between literacy and peace can be seen by the fact that in unstable democracies or in conflict-affected countries it is harder to establish or sustain a literate environment.
SOS Children's Villages and International Literacy Day
SOS siblings in Morocco read a book together.
SOS Children's Villages is proud to take part in International Literacy Day. We're celebrating the event with the hundreds of thousands of children and adults that we have helped empower and enrich with the power of reading and writing. SOS places a central value on education for all peoples, children and adults alike, and we are continually working to provide educational assistance to peoples across the globe.
Literacy is a key investment in the future of children, families, and nations and we are committed to bringing literacy to everyone.
Unfortunately, literacy rates are not as high as they should be. Only 82% of the world's population is literate, and of that only 77% of women are literate. This leaves 1.25 billion people, children and adults, unable to read.
You can help. By donating to SOS Children's Villages you can provide the educational tools necessary for children and families to become literate, productive members of society.
- $35 provides 31 children in Southern Africa with school books for the year
- $70 gives 10 children with school uniforms
- $317 provides an education package to a child, including a year's worth of tuition, uniforms, books and school lunches
- $1280 covers the educational costs of an entire SOS Children's Village
Donate to SOS today to help children and families around the world learn to read, write, and realize their dreams.