We strive to ensure that every young individual regardless of geographic location has the opportunity to acquire literacy and reading skills to reach their full potential, succeed at school and beyond. We provide free access to quality education materials and innovate solutions that target wide-scale illiteracy.
History of the World Literacy Foundation
In 1966, l started school unable to read. Thanks to a wonderful Reading Specialist, l discovered the joy of reading. Later in life, l understood the power of literacy and how all learning starts with the ability to read.
In 2001, I read a United Nations report and I was deeply troubled by the high rates of illiteracy. Then I traveled to Ethiopia in 2002 and was shocked to see classrooms empty of any books and basic educational resources. I witnessed first-hand the link between young people and the poverty trap due to their limited education.
After a successful commercial career, l wanted to give back to the community. Therefore in 2003, I established the World Literacy Foundation with the goal to bring books, tutoring and literacy resources to children without any support. In 2005, we started with the transportation of children’s books to Africa and a few later years, incorporated the creation of low-cost digital e-books in local languages.
In 2016, we designed a solar panel tablet device called “Sun Books” to bring an e-library of local and international educational books to classrooms in Uganda where there are no internet, electricity or textbooks.
In 2018, we started the creation of e-books and literacy games in local Indigenous languages and English, to better support children learning English through their mother-tongue.
Meanwhile, in 2014 we run for the first time the World Literacy Summit at Oxford University to bring together the global literacy community to build greater collaboration and partnerships. It was a complete success and we decided to celebrate it again in 2016, 2018 and now we are working on the 2020 conference.
Last year, we reached more than 350,000 children and young people with our services in USA, Australia, UK, Africa, and Latin America. I am satisfied and keen to continue working for literacy and education for children because I strongly believe literacy is the vehicle, the pathway to young people reaching their full potential.
ANDREW G KAY
Founder and CEO World Literacy Foundation