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W = World Hunger. It’s no coincidence that most of the 795 million hungry people in the world are illiterate. Explore the Alphabet of Illiteracy

...is for World Hunger

Words can reduce hunger. It’s no coincidence that most of the 795 million hungry people in the world are illiterate. A World Bank study showed increased literacy would lead to increased food production. Being able to read and write can help put food on our plates.

World Bank / Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (2002)

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Throughout the world raising literacy levels could be the key to increasing food production. Addressing literacy in rural communities can help reduce hunger, increase food production and prepare the world for an increase in population and food demand. Indeed, literacy helps give people access to information about improved farming techniques and supports improved incomes so that families are more equipped to provide for themselves and their families, thereby reducing hunger.

Throughout the world raising literacy levels could be the key to increasing food production. Addressing literacy in rural communities can help reduce hunger, increase food production and prepare the world for an increase in population and food demand. Indeed, literacy helps give people access to information about improved farming techniques and supports improved incomes so that families are more equipped to provide for themselves and their families, thereby reducing hunger.

Cecilia Ankrah was born in the Taido community in central Ghana. At 62 years old, she is the sole supporter of her family, and had to live day to day. She owned less than an acre of farmland from which the whole family had to be sustained.

Cecilia couldn’t read or write. This meant that it was even more difficult to climb out of the cycle of subsistence farming that she’d been trapped in her whole life.

When The Hunger Project came to her community, she met local volunteer leaders who inspired her to attend the adult literacy programme.

Since graduating from the programme, her life has turned completely around. Now she has the ability to read important notices and information, like medical prescriptions and her bank pass book.

She also started to attend local committee meetings where, after a short amount of time, she was recognised and voted onto the food security subcommittee.

Cecilia also attended a practical workshop about the best practices in farming. Using her new knowledge, she negotiated more land for her family, and now owns two acres of maize farm, two acres of cassava farm and has half an acre for peppers and garden eggs. She sells her extra produce to create more income for her family.

Gaining confidence from her new knowledge and success, Cecilia is now the Women Organizer for the National Democratic Congress Party, the leading political party in her community.

Even at 62, once Cecilia learned to read and write, her life and the lives of her family were transformed. Now, Cecilia is working to transform her community.

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The Hunger Project aims to end hunger and poverty by pioneering sustainable, grassroots, women-centered strategies.
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