WISS Today Article

Reading not only changes lives, but it SAVES lives. “With socio-economic disparities increasing and global crises over food, water and energy, literacy is a survival tool in a fiercely competitive world” (UNESCO 9). According to the UNESCO Education for All Global Monitoring Report (2006), the skills and knowledge that are acquired through reading has the ability to lift people out of poverty and empowers them to become more socially and politically active.  The benefits of literacy include:


Human Benefits-Self-esteem, Empowerment to take individual and collective action

Political Benefits-Increase political participation

Cultural Benefits-Cultural change, Preservation of cultural diversity

Social Benefits-Health, Reproductive Behavior, Education, Gender Equality

Economic Benefits-Economic Growth


Many international declarations from the past and present declare that literacy is a right for all people.  But accessing education, due to poverty, conflict and lack of resources are a struggle for many in this world.   For the WISS community, sharing our skills, knowledge and love of Reading is our opportunity to manifest this inherent right for those whose access to education is limited.  This is a one way of how we can work towards our Mission statement-utilizing our “skills and intellect to help shape the future.”


UNESCO.Literacy in the 21st Century ” The Global Literacy Challenge” UNESCO, 2008. p.9 http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0016/001631/163170e.pdf

UNESCO. “Why  Literacy Matters” Education for All Global Monitoring Report (2006),UNESCO, 2006. P.5 http://www.unesco.org/education/GMR2006/full/chapt5_eng.pdf

Fore more information about global literacy rates, please see the UNESCO Institute for Statistics page on Literacy.