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LitBase Features on the UNESCO International Literacy Prize Winners

2017 UNESCO International Literacy Prize Winners

The UNESCO International Literacy Prizes are given on International Literacy Day, marked each year on 8 September with reflection on the achievements and challenges in advancing the global literacy agenda. With a thematic focus on ‘Literacy in a digital world’, this year’s prizes will be awarded to five programmes, in recognition of their excellence and innovation in leveraging digital technologies to promote literacy. Three out of the five programmes feature as case studies on Litbase:

We Love Reading (Taghyeer, Jordan)

Initiated by Taghyeer, a Jordanian non-governmental organization in 2006, this programme aims to bring about positive social changes throughout Jordan and the Arab world by creating a new generation who love reading books. It seeks to achieve its goals through establishing a library in every neighbourhood in Jordan, while training and mobilizing older-age groups, women in particular, as reading-aloud volunteers for children, thereby promoting reading as a shared value across the generations.
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The Aagahi Adult Literacy Programme (Citizens Foundation, Pakistan)

The Adult Literacy Programme is named “Aagahi”, meaning “creating awareness” in Urdu. Launched by the Citizens Foundation – one of the largest non-profit organizations in Pakistan in 2005, this programme, as its name suggests, aims to foster an active social engagement of community members, primarily women and out-of-school girls, by providing them with trainings in basic reading, writing and numeracy skills. One highlight of the programme is its use of a mobile phone-based data collection system, which enables efficient and effective monitoring and evaluation of its activities.
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FunDza (South Africa)

The book- and reading-poor environment of South Africa is of great concern: the country was the lowest-ranked benchmarking participant in the 2011 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS); more recently, a National Reading Survey from 2016 found that 58% of South African households do not contain a single leisure-reading book. Against this backdrop, since 2011, the FundZa Literacy Trust, a non-profit organization, has been dedicated to cultivating a culture of reading and writing for pleasure among South African youths, especially those from low-income or under-resourced communities. The key to FundZa’s work is providing material that young people want to read, that will develop their understanding of the world around them, and that exploits the most accessible media available so as to engage as many young people as possible. An online platform serves as a center for reading sources as well as a space where learners could practice their literacy skills and exchange their ideas.
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Past UNESCO Literacy Prize Laureates

Along with other innovative programmes, the winners of UNESCO International Literacy Prizes have been featured on the UNESCO Effective Literacy and Numeracy Practices Database (LitBase) for the past several years. To learn more about past awardees, please click on the following links: