Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE)

Literacy is a prerequisite for most forms of learning, whatever the age group may be.

'... it is crucial to the acquisition, by every  child, youth and adult, of essential life skills that enable them to address the challenges they can face in life and represents an essential step in basic education, which is an indispensable means for effective participation in the societies and economies of the twenty-first century' (Literacy Initiative for Empowerment 2005-2015 Vision and Strategy Paper. 2nd Ed. 2006).  Yet an estimated 771 million adults, a clear majority of whom are women, lack these important skills.

UNESCO has continued to support the important work already being undertaken in many countries.  However, it became apparent that existing literacy efforts would not be enough to achieve a 50% improvement in levels of adult literacy by 2015.  This was one of the goals agreed upon by the international community at the World Education Forum on Education for All (EFA) in Dakar in 2000.  To address this situation, UNESCO has created a ten-year framework of collaborative action, the Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE).

To achieve the objectives of LIFE, there will be a need for active and committed partnerships at country, regional and international levels.  It will need a wide range of actors; governments, civil society, NGOs, development agencies etc.  Above all, partnerships must be developed with learners themselves as an essential condition for genuine empowerment.



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