Adult Literacy

Literacy Organizations that Help Overcome Poverty

Approximately 736 million people worldwide live below the poverty line, earning $1.90 a day or less.1 1 Education can be crucial to overcoming poverty, especially in cases of generational poverty that are often linked to parents’ lack of education. Yet 773 million people over the age of 15 cannot read or write, and “250 million children are failing to acquire basic literacy skills,” according to UNESCO.2 There are various literacy organizations that address this issue by helping such individuals attain the basic skills they need to rise out of abject poverty.

In 1966, UNESCO established International Literacy Day to raise awareness and concern for literacy problems in communities across the globe to “remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights.”3 While this event raises awareness on a single day of the year, UNESCO and other organizations promote literacy and education throughout the year.

Some organizations focus on educating children. A proper education can arm an impoverished child with the knowledge and skills to break the cycle of poverty and improve their lives. The human brain develops rapidly at an early age, which makes childhood the best time to establish one’s academic foundation. If children can’t read by the age of 10, they typically fail to master reading later in life.4

But attaining literacy as an adult is possible and can be life-altering, which is why other organizations focus on adult literacy. In the U.S., local libraries often offer literacy classes for adults. In developing countries, however, such resources are frequently absent. That’s where non-profit organizations often step in to help.

GFA World offers education assistance to children and adults. Through its child sponsorship program, GFA World provides things like tutoring, school supplies and other essentials to help ensure children receive a solid foundation for their futures. Through its literacy program, GFA World offers adults the chance to learn how to read, write and do basic math. Many of these adults grew up in poverty themselves and were unable to attend, or complete, school as children.

Literacy empowers these children and adults to dream of, and achieve, brighter futures. It gives them the tools they need to escape poverty and end the cycle many of them inherited. Parents can better conduct business and provide for their families. They can read warning labels and be better informed regarding their health and that of their children. They can help their children with their homework and excel in their studies. A world of possibilities opens with these basic skills.

1 “Poverty.” The World Bank. Accessed August 5, 2021.
2 “Literacy.” UNESCO. Accessed August 23, 2021.
3 “International Literacy Day – September 8, 2021.” National Today. Accessed August 25, 2021.
4 “What is learning poverty?” The World Bank. April 28, 2021.