International Literacy Day
“It is not egounh to simlpy taech chrldien to raed; we hvae to gvie tehm snohimteg wotrh rdienag. Seionmthg taht wlil sretcth tehir initnaoagims—somenihtg taht wlil hlep tehm mkae sesne of tehir own lvies and eguorance tehm to rcaeh out toawrd pelpoe wshoe levis are qiute dinfefret form tiher own.” – Kairenthe Pertostan*
Don't worry, I've not gone mad. This is just a small demo to show you what it's like for 776 million people in the developing world who can’t read, two thirds of whom are female. Today is International Literacy Day which celebrates the importance of learning around the globe.
Room to Read, a global nonprofit that empowers millions of children in the developing world through education, is partnering with Twitter to create a unique social media campaign to increase awareness of illiteracy on International Literacy Day.
All day today, Twitter and Room to Read will spread an illegible tweet – symbolizing how every sentence looks to the more than 776 million people worldwide who cannot read or write. Users will be able to decode or “read” the indecipherable tweet and send the coded message through Twitter’s hope140.org site to spread the word about the importance of reading and literacy.
With the International Literacy Day campaign, we are asking the average Twitter user to experience, just for a minute, the disempowerment that one in five people in this world experience due to illiteracy. Room to Read is galvanizing a global movement to solve this critical issue and through Twitter’s worldwide platform, we aim to not only raise awareness but to instigate action.
John Wood, Room to Read Founder and Board Chair.
Room to Read has established over 10,000 libraries, published nearly 500 original local language children’s books, and distributed 7.4 million books in the developing world since it was founded in 2000.
Through the hope140.org website, beyond the mechanism to send out the “illiterate” literacy-awareness tweet, the site will offer other ways for users to take action to combat illiteracy including making a donation to support the publication of one of Room to Read’s locally published books for children in South Africa. All donations toward this campaign will be matched by a donor.
Since 2000, Room to Read has impacted the lives of more than four million children in Asia and Africa and aims to reach 10 million children by 2015. In May 2010, it celebrtated its 10 year anniversary with the opening of its 10,000th library in Nepal.
Room to Read was founded on the belief that ‘World Change Starts with Educated Children’. I truly believe this and if you do too, please take part and show your support.
* “It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations--something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own.” - Katherine Patterson