“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Why it’s important to tackle illiteracy in Africa , Development starts with education and education starts with knowing how to readand write. Virtually everything we do, and everything we use, is based on ourability to read. With technology, we have all the information we need at the tip ofour fingers. The internet connects all of our collective knowledge and is instantly accessible.
The only prerequisite: you need to know how to read.
Besides the obvious, literacy has far more benefits than we realize. Educatedmothers have fewer children than uneducated mothers. And they are able to take care of their children, because they are more knowledgeable when it comes to nutrition and hygiene. There is a direct link between knowing how to read and write and child mortality. When literacy is up, child mortality is down.
Literate mothers are more likely to send their children to school, because theyknow how important it is for their future. Once those children get further in their education, completing high school, they will push them to continue further studies. Each generation will be educated a little more than the previous, improving their opportunities and with greater earnings potential.
Eight Countries – Over 15 Projects
% Global literacy rate for adults
% Sub-Saharan African literacy
% of males can read and write
% of females can read and write
Read our report from Ethiopia
The educational objectives of Meseret Humanitarian Organization (MHO) are focused on reducing vulnerability among children from underserved families in Ethiopia.
MHO creates opportunities to improve their lives; instilling in them a can-do spirit, smoothing out impediments that lie between them and attaining a better life; helping them avoid the pitfalls of becoming a product of their environment. The main mantra of the organization is "making a child's dream, a child's reality."
Public education is free at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels. Primary education is offered for eight years and is compulsory between ages 7 and 12 with four years of secondary education following. Primary schools are generally accessible, and there is a high rate of enrollment; in contrast, there is a shortage of secondary schools, and enrollment declines at that level. The public school system in general has deteriorated from lack of adequate funding, teaching staff, facilities, and space, and overcrowding is common. Literacy rates in Ethiopia are much lower than regional and world averages. About half the male population is literate; literacy rate estimates for the female population range from about one-third to two-fifths.
Read our report from Magadascar
School supplies were purchased and delivered by Miracle Madagascar an organization sponsoring a newly inaugurated school in Antananarivo, the capitol of Madagascar.
We find the children to be eager for knowledge and receptive to anything that might change their cycle of poverty.
Madagascar is recognized as one of the poorest nations in the world, however, the country’s education system is trying to change that. Education in Madagascar is derived from the French high school system – a program adopted at independence from France in 1960. In 1972, 100,000 students attended approximately 300 secondary schools, but by 1998, the number had risen to almost 2,000 schools educating around 500,000 students.
Read our report from Morocco
Friends of Nomads (aka Ramlia Children’s Literacy Fund) started a primary school for Berber children in the desert of Morocco.
For a Nomad family, the education of children is not a priority, as their survival depends on food, shelter and the animals they herd. The children are involved in the caretaking of livestock and, given their remote locations, educational facilities are simply beyond access. IFED worked directly with RoughTours Company Manager, Youssef Boughrara, who is the founder of Friends of Nomads, to develop and provide the teaching/learning resources for use in the classroom. With their help, we have delivered clothing and Shoes That Grow to hundreds of Nomad families living in the desert near Ramlia.
The Shoe That Grow is a patented design, invented by Kenton Lee after a trip to Kenya, of an innovative shoe that adjusts and expands up to five different sizes. It was developed with the help of multiple shoe design firms inspired by feedback from those who need and will use them. Simple, innovative products like these can meet immediate needs of health and safety for children and families in poverty and crisis situations.
Read our report from Mozambique
On a visit to Maputo, the most populous city of Mozambique, we visited local markets and schools for handicapped persons who live in extreme poverty.
We delivered school supplies to mothers with small children and shoes to barefoot children living in squalor outside of the city center. Despite recent political stability, low literacy and high poverty rates continue to threaten Mozambique’s development. With 46% of its population living below the international poverty line of $1.25 a day, poverty remains widespread in the country, dependent primarily of subsistence agriculture.
While 94 percent of girls in Mozambique enroll in primary school, more than half drop out by the fifth grade, only 11 percent continue on to study at the secondary level, and just 1 percent continue on to college. Among children who finish primary school, nearly two-thirds leave the system without basic reading, writing, and math skills.