Global Action Week 2009 (April 20 to 26) focuses on youth and adult literacy and life-long learning to raise awareness about the global literacy challenge.
Worldwide, some 776 million adults lack literacy skills, 75 million children are out of school and millions more leave school early without acquiring basic literacy and numeracy skills. Literacy is a basic right and a fundamental condition for being part of today’s knowledge societies. Literacy is a key to reduce poverty, increase economic opportunities, improve child and maternal health, prevent HIV and AIDS and encourage political participation.
Under the slogan ‘Open Books, Open Doors’, Global Action Week, led by the Global Campaign for Education, will send a strong signal to policy-makers and the international community on the importance of one of the most neglected Education for All goals. More political commitment, more effective literacy programs and more funding are required to make literacy a basic right for all.
The highlight of the campaign is the “Big Book”, a collection of short stories about how education changes lives. “Big Read” events will be organized, during which individuals will read from this book and sign a statement at the back of it calling for more commitment and investments to ensure that everyone is able to read and write.
UNESCO, as coordinator of the EFA movement and of the United Nations Literacy Decade (2003-2012), supports this campaign and will be organizing activities around the world related to the “Big Read.”
A session of the "Big Read" will take place at UNESCO Headquarters with the Director-General, laureates of the UNESCO literacy prizes and the Swedish author Bjorn Larsson, followed by a round table on literate environments.
Check this site regularly for stories, videos, presentations and studies about literacy and Global Action Week 2009.