On the 8th of September, the world celebrated International Literacy Day (ILD). We commemorated this day to remind the international community of the importance of literacy for individuals, communities, and societies.
We at the Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International (COFI), put a great deal of emphasis on education, which is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals, as set by the United Nations. Education is a human right, a public good, and a public responsibility. 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 at home and promote literacy skills, making it easier, more interactive, and convenient whilst awaiting the resumption of school.
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.”
The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted the learning of children, young people, and adults at an unprecedented scale. With fewer resources and less of a focus on education at home, children growing up in poverty are behind from the very beginning. Poverty and education are inextricably linked, because people living in poverty may stop going to school so they can work, which leaves them without literacy and numeracy skills they need to further their careers. Studies have repeatedly shown a link between poverty and education. The pandemic has been a reminder of the critical importance of literacy. Beyond the right to education, literacy empowers individuals and improves their lives by expanding their capabilities to choose a kind of life they can value. It is also a driver for sustainable development. It makes up the 4th goal for Sustainable Development. Literacy, therefore, is central to recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, and International Literacy Day (ILD) 2021 will explore how literacy can contribute to building a solid foundation.
Family income is one of the strongest predictors available for measuring success, both in the classroom and later in life. The effects of poverty on children are wide-reaching and can lead to lifelong struggles, especially when young people don’t receive educations.
Education can be the catalyst needed to pull families and communities out of the cycle of poverty. 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.
Often, people take advantage of what they get for free, not realizing that this basic need is not something that everyone has access to. In an ever-growing and expanding world, it is clear to see just how important education is to us, our societies, and our economies. Education is that building block that helps to build a sustainable society.
You can sponsor commemorative notebooks for needy children as they prepare to return to school, and also join us in sponsoring vulnerable children in conflict areas #backtoschool so together we can take an important step towards breaking the cycle of poverty and crisis.