Discover our database of the best inspiring articles from around the world about the challenge of illiteracy and the opportunities that literacy creates.

Literacy articles

Some of these articles are original contributions by the Project Literacy team, some are contributions from partners, and some are curated from the Web, but all are going to teach you something new and different about the power of words. Enjoy browsing and remember to come back regularly to check for new additions.

The Power of Words Came Alive for International Literacy Day

The power of words really can… rewrite lives!

Last month for International Literacy Day (September 8th) Project Literacy set out to make a difference. The aim was to raise awareness about illiteracy by asking people all around the world what the power of words could really do, and what happene...

Wafaa signed away her house, jewellery and shop because she couldn't read, but a new literacy app has changed her life

A mobile app is helping to eradicate illiteracy in Egypt

Wafaa Mohamad Ramadan was just 12 when she got married, and was forced to sign away her rights to her husband. With little education, Wafaa was unable to read the document and so did not know what she was signing. She lost her house, her jewellery ...

A market selling textiles and other provisions in Monrovia, Liberia. Photo by Flickr user Mark Fischer

How Adult Literacy Boosts the Textile Sector in Liberia

An unsettling past of colonialism and slave trade, civil wars and a major public health crisis are never a recipe for high literacy levels. The West African state of Liberia, which has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world, has se...

How do you teach a child to read when you don’t have any books?

How kids are learning to read (without books) in Guatemala

That is the question faced by too many rural teachers in developing countries like Guatemala. A government system strapped for resources means that many teachers find themselves responsible for teaching students how to read in a classroom that has ...

Pencils of Promise is helping students like Justine by providing improved school facilities and e-readers.

How Pencils of Promise is helping in Ghana: Justine's Story

Justine is 13 years old and in 6th grade at Hohoe Presby Preschool & Primary school in Ghana. She has five siblings who are also all in school. Justine told us that she loves going to school to “learn new things and to make herself smarter.” ...

Children queue barefoot outside a school in Uganda. Credit: James Akena/Retuers

Anti-child trafficking campaign in Uganda taken to schools

In a remote corner of Uganda a team of American volunteers are distributing books to children, but this is no ordinary literacy drive; their aim is to protect children at risk of being trafficked into prostitution, forced labour and even for use in s...

Heartbeat, a musical literacy program for Palestinian and Israeli musicians, performs in Boston. Photo courtesy of Avi Salloway

A Musical Literacy Program Combating Violence in the Middle East

It was the end of Heartbeat’s first nine-month pilot. The program, which brings together ensembles of Palestinian and Israeli musicians aged 14-22 for weekly music-based dialogue programs, had just put on a performance in which Israeli and Palestin...

Unesco headquarters, Paris

Time to Start a Literacy Brigade?

Yesterday we celebrated the 50th anniversary of UNESCO's International Literacy Day and annual conference. The key theme of this year’s event was ‘Reading the Past, Writing the Future’ in which a wide range of topics were covered from the role of civ...

Adult students listen carefully to their teacher during an adult literacy course, in a classroom in a secondary school in Gaga refugees' camp in Chad. More than 780 million adults (age 15 and over) globally still lack basic reading and writing skills. Photo by: F. Noy / UNHCR

5 ideas for moving the needle on literacy

Being illiterate is like wearing unseen shackles. It not only limits an individual’s ability to escape poverty and reach their full potential, it also limits a person’s ability to stand up for and advocate for one’s self. And yet more than 780 mil...

Women at the Maison de Citoyenneté develop basic reading, writing, and numeracy skills.

Solving the Literacy Gender Gap in Morocco

Morocco has long been touted as a beacon for progress in the Middle East and North Africa, especially since 1999, when King Mohammed VI ascended to the throne. Over the last 15 years, the developing country has seen the advancement of women’s do...