By Azka Asif, Rotary Service and Engagement Staff
Today, 103 million youth around the world still lack basic literacy skills, and more than 60% of them are women. An estimated 50% out-of-school children of primary school age live in conflict-affected areas. Enrollment in primary education in developing countries has reached 91%, but 57 million children still remain out of school. *
Why are these statistics so important? By supporting education and literacy in communities around the world, we can change these figures and help improve lives. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 calls on ensuring inclusive and quality education for all and promoting lifelong learning.
Rotarians worldwide are committed to supporting this goal through education-oriented projects that provide technology, teacher training, vocational training teams, student meal programs, and low-cost textbooks to communities. Rotary’s goal is to empower communities to support basic education and literacy, reduce gender disparity in education, and increase adult literacy. Here are a few examples of Rotarians taking action:
- The Rotary Club of Flemington (USA) adopted a school in Bogor, Indonesia, in support of education for children with autism. The club provided financial support for educational materials, organized teacher trainings from the Western Autistic School, Olga Tennyson Institute at LaTrobe University, and coordinated teacher visits to local government schools where children with autism are integrated into classrooms. Bogor also received technical support in reviewing current practices and planning for future development.
- Learning to read is a critical foundational skill strongly correlated with academic and vocational success. The Rotary Club of Waterville’s Rhoda Reads™ program trains Rotarians on early childhood development for children ages 0-5 in Maine, USA . The program equips each Rotarian participant with a tool kit including a variety of books along with a stuffed owl named Rhoda (the program mascot). Rotarians are matched with a local early childcare provider which they regularly visit and spend time reading to children.
- In order for children to succeed after high school, they must be computer literate. With the support of the Auckland University of Technology, the Rotary Club of Taveuni provided a digital learning room for high school students on the Island of Taveuni, Fiji. Watch the video below to learn more.
During September, Rotary Basic Education and Literacy Month, we’ll be sharing tips and resources to help with club and district literacy projects. Read previous posts below focused on education and check back here for more inspirational stories!
- Enchanting young minds with the magic of books
- South African projects advance literacy and basic education