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Where there is illiteracy,
there is poverty.

1 out of every 5 people in the world cannot read or write.
Illiteracy is linked to higher rates of:

Unemployment

Reading and writing are essential skills for job acquisition and progression.

Illiterate persons earn 30 percent – 42 percent less than their literate counterparts, and often struggle with poor communication, barriers towards advancement, and decreased productivity.

Crime

Statistics show a correlation between high crime rates and illiteracy.

In the United States alone, 85% of all juveniles involved in the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate and about half of the adults entering the prison system never finished high school.

Long-term illness

Illiteracy significantly limits a person’s ability to access, understand, and apply health related information to their lives.

In developing countries, a child born to a literate mother is 50 percent more likely to survive past the age of five.

Prejudice against women

A literate woman is more likely to seek fair treatment, find access to health and reproductive information, and send her children to school. Literate women tend to be more economically independent and participate in her societies’ political and social structure.

Knowing how to read and write can break the cycle of poverty.

The World Literacy Foundation is a not-for-profit organization working to lift youth out of poverty through literacy and education.

We believe in creating strong partnerships, assisting grassroots organizations, and maximizing existing resources to create innovative and cost-effective methods of bringing quality education to the world.

WHY DO WE NEED LITERACY?

Literate societies encourage innovative thinking, build problem-solving skills, and offer better work opportunities.

Read more in our 2015 Economic and Social Cost of Illiteracy report.

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Volunteer, become a literacy ambassador within your own community, or simply tell your family and friends about us. Every action, no matter how small, creates a huge impact.


SPREAD THE WORD

Awareness is powerful. Tell your friends, family and colleagues why you think it’s important for everyone to know how to read and write.


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Scale Mount Everest or host a book swap in the name of literacy – the possibilities are endless!


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