Support World Literacy Day!
Literacy organisation READ is helping to wage the war against illiteracy on World Literacy Day with an intensive programme.
In support of International Literacy Day (September 8), READ has drawn up an intensive programme spread over the organisation's own Literacy Week. "We cannot emphasise too strongly the importance of literacy in both the global and the South African context," says Bertus Matthee. "The cost to the world economy is staggering. In South Africa alone the figure is R550 billion in terms of income and GDP. Illiteracy leads to joblessness, poverty, over-population, crime. Illiteracy is probably the world's single most dangerous enemy."
Half a century ago, the United Nations declared literacy to be a basic human right. Yet today, 50 years later, according to UNESCO, about 861 million people - roughly one adult in five - cannot read or write. More than two-thirds live in sub-Saharan and North Africa, southern and western Asia, and Arab countries.
For industrialised and developing countries, literacy education is near the top of policy agendas. For READ there is no let up on the war South Africa has to wage on the problem.
READ's Literacy Week programme includes visits to schools by Readathon ambassadors who will expound on the theme 'the more you read, the more you know'. On September 4, Grethe Fox and Hlubi Mboya, currently Isidingo and Jacobs Cross stars respectively, will visit the Protea South Primary School in Soweta, and on September 6, Ntsiki Mazwai will cast her magic on the Kwa Duka Thole Secondary School in Kathlehong.