International Literacy Day celebrated on the 8th of September was aimed to remind the international community of the importance of literacy for individuals, communities, and societies. Since then, quality education has been incorporated as a Sustainable Development Goal as set by the United Nations. One of the aims of Sustainable Development Goal Four is to ensure that all young people obtain reading and numeracy, as well as those adults who lack these abilities are allowed to learn them.

What is Literacy?

Literacy is defined in the dictionary as “the quality or state of being literate: educated…able to read and write.” It is unacceptable that there are people living and working in this day and age who cannot read a book, a road sign, a voting ballot, an instruction manual, a prescription bottle label, or a cereal box.

Can you imagine navigating modern-day life without the basic ability to read and write? International Literacy Day is all about eliminating illiteracy in every local community around the world.

We at the Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International (COFI), put a great deal of emphasis on education, which is a human right, a public good, and a public responsibility.

Founding father and humanitarian, Chris Oyakhilome has been famously quoted as saying: “One of the most important things we receive at an early age which sets us up for a successful future is education.”

Through various initiatives, we are reaching out to hundreds of thousands of children in needy communities all around the world, to try and provide essential educational materials to enhance learning and promote literacy skills.

We also strongly believe that education can be the catalyst that breaks the cycle of poverty. Together with the InnerCity Mission (ICM), we are trying to provide essential tools for learning and nutrition for school meals.

Knowledge gives children the power to dream of a better future and the confidence needed to pursue a full education, which in turn will help generations to come.

Promoting Literacy as a tool of empowerment

World Literacy Day has been observed every year since 1967 to educate the public about the value of literacy as a matter of pride and civil rights, as well as to promote the literacy agenda for a more literate and progressive society.

The goal was to promote literacy as a force that could empower individuals as well as entire communities, not just to combat illiteracy. It would also help many individuals across the world to find work and improve their lives.

This year’s International Literacy Day was celebrated worldwide under the theme, Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces, and is an opportunity to rethink the fundamental importance of literacy learning spaces to build resilience and ensure quality, equitable, and inclusive education for all.

International Literacy Day brings ownership of the challenges of illiteracy back home to local communities where literacy begins, one person at a time. We are grateful to all our partners, sponsors, and volunteers who tirelessly give of their time, resources, and donations to help others, not only in their communities but all over the world. Remember what Chris Oyakhilome said: “Every Child is Your Child”.