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.

Visual cues help many people to understand the world in a way they cannot process with words alone.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

What is a word? It may seem like a simple question with an easy, dictionary definition answer: “an element of speech or writing.” However, some world travelers and communication experts believe words extend beyond the literal and into the realm of ...

A visual representation of the workshop experience by Eleanor Beer

Project Literacy Partners Gather for London Workshop

This month we invited Project Literacy partners to a workshop in London to meet face-to-face and share their experiences and expertise with each other, with the aim of strengthening the coalition of (more than 80) partners who are helping to drive ...

The Big Issue founder became a crossbench peer and says he has gone from being part of the problem to part of the solution

"Close Libraries and You'll Be Forced To Build More Prisons"

Lord Bird was speaking during a House of Lords debate on the the damage of illiteracy across Britain and the crisis facing public libraries and independent bookshops. "I am here to talk about poverty,” Bird told the chamber. "The poverty of the ...

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.” ...