Adult Literacy

Helping People Attain Literacy: Nonprofit GFA World

It’s estimated that one in every two adults in developing countries can’t read or write.1 Literacy and education are closely linked to one’s economic opportunity, and their lack is closely linked to poverty and one’s inability to escape it. An organization helping people attain literacy is nonprofit GFA World. In pursuit of transforming lives and communities, this organization is helping families attain the education necessary to succeed.

One way GFA World assists families is through its child sponsorship program. This program provides children basic necessities and educational assistance, ensuring they have a solid foundation for a brighter future. As of 2020, more than 139,000 impoverished children have been helped through GFA World’s Child Sponsorship Program.

GFA World also has an adult literacy program. People who grow up in poverty often can’t afford to attend, or complete, school as children, and they are much less likely to gain literacy as adults. UNESCO estimates 750 million adults worldwide, two-thirds of whom are women, lack basic reading and writing skills.2 Literacy rates are particularly low among women in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.3 This limits their economic opportunities and hinders their ability to properly care for their children, as they’re unable to read important things like warning labels and health information. If a child’s mother can read, however, that child is “50 percent more likely to live past the age of five, and twice as likely to attend school,” says Children International.4

Through GFA World’s literacy program, thousands of women in Asia have learned how to read and write—25,000 in the year 2020 alone. Their lives have changed as their newfound literacy skills have brought new confidence and opportunity. Literacy has also empowered them to help their children in their studies, giving them a better chance for a brighter future.

Gaetane desperately wished she could help her children with their homework, but her illiteracy prevented her and brought her shame. Childhood poverty had forced her to drop out of school at an early age. She dreamed of being able to read, but it seemed like an impossible dream. That is, until she learned of a nearby GFA literacy class, and Gaetane’s dream became reality.5

For Jeni, illiteracy continued to haunt her as a grandmother. Bringing her great shame, it impacted her everyday life as she couldn’t read street signs or other important information. She was vulnerable to dishonest shopkeepers, who may take advantage of her lack of basic reading and math skills. Then Jeni eagerly learned to read through a GFA literacy class and pride overtook the shame. Now she can write her signature, negotiate with the shopkeeper and perform other daily activities that were previously impossible.6

These are just two examples of lives that have been changed through the gift of literacy.

1 “Literacy.” UNESCO. Accessed August 23, 2021.
2 “Literacy.” UNESCO. Accessed August 23, 2021.
3 “What is learning poverty?” The World Bank. April 28, 2021.
4 “What is learning poverty?” The World Bank. April 28, 2021.
5Literacy Impact: Community & Economic Opportunity.” Trident Literary Association. Accessed 13 July 2019.
6 “Literacy Opens Business Opportunities for Woman.” GFA World. August 13, 2020.