September 8 is International Literacy Day — a day which most people reading this blog, updating their Twitter status, or checking up on the latest online news will probably take for granted. The act of reading of writing is so integrated in our daily lives that rarely do we stop and appreciate how empowering it is to be able to understand and manipulate lines on a sheet of paper or words in a composition.
But for 773.5 million adults around the world, reading and writing can still seem like an insurmountable task. This is especially true in South Asia, where a staggering 39% of the population is still illiterate. That’s why the work of nonprofit organizations like READ Global is so important. Through its READ Centers, READ Global not only teaches disadvantaged communities how to read and write so they can carry on with their lives; it imbues in people the value of an education that unlocks opportunities.
Check out their work in Bhutan below!
Imagine a country with just one public library. That was Bhutan just 6 years ago. Thinley, a young Bhutanese girl, explains what it’s like to grow up in this extremely remote Himalayan Kingdom without access to education: “My parents are farmers. They don’t know how to read and write.”
But Thinley has hope for the future now that she has learned to read at a READ Center, a library that offers much more than books to rural villagers like Thinley. Today, her goal is to become a teacher when she grows up.
To learn more about READ Global this International Literacy Day, click here.