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.

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...

International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of UNESCO's International Literacy Day, Project Literacy is helping to raise awareness of how the world would be improved if we increased literacy levels. By working with some of the most innovative literacy organiza...

Rewriting Lives: Cieran

Cieran started at Playdays Pre-school with very challenging behaviour. He would come into pre-school agitated and wasn’t able to express his feelings very well. At home he was used to play fighting with his two older brothers, which ...

Lives Rewritten: Lalita

Basic knowledge of sanitation, medication and nutrition increase with literacy. In fact, increasing female literacy by 50% would result in 30% fewer infant deaths. This is the story of 31-year-old mother Lalita who, with the hel...

Lives Rewritten: Anil

Adults with the lowest level of literacy are the most likely to be unemployed, often leading to homelessness. This is the story of 35-year-old Anil who, after struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues, found his feet and began h...

Credit: Room to Read

A Former Dropout Empowers Tanzanian Girls to Stay in School

If you stroll far enough into the coastal town of Bagamoyo in Tanzania, away from the cultural, tourist and conference hub it has become, you may catch a glimpse of an unusual site — a school whose classrooms are filled with girls, one of them led by Madam Yustina, as her students like to call her.

Credit: Reading is Fundamental

Reading is Fundamental is helping students beat the 'Summer slide'

Some of my favorite childhood memories don’t spring from my own childhood at all; they are borrowed from the pages of books. I waited for spring with Frog and Toad, helped deliver Grandmother’s kiss to Little Bear, and walked to school along the beach in Provincetown on The Day the Whale Came to My Town.