Published: Monday, 08 September 2014
“My parents are farmers. They don’t know how to read and write,” said 10-year-old Thinley Pelzom, from rural Bhutan. Growing up in this extremely remote Himalayan Kingdom, access to education is limited for villagers like her: 36% of public schools are not accessible by road, and around half of Bhutanese adults are illiterate.
On Sept. 8, International Literacy Day, we invite you to join us in celebrating the people around the world who are learning to read, regardless of their age.
Published: Wednesday, 03 September 2014
“At last, I can write my name and address!” says Subhagya Mahato, a 40-year-old woman from Bacchauli, Nepal, who is happy to finally be able to recognize the Nepali alphabet, and to no longer have to use her fingerprint as a signature.
In a country with an overall literacy rate of only 60% (less than 50% for women), rural communities often have the largest populations of people who cannot read and write. But Nepal is committed to eradicating illiteracy by bringing communities together in the desire to learn to read through the Literate Nepal Campaign.
Published: Thursday, 28 August 2014
With limited health education available to them, many women in Bhutan do not know basic health and hygiene skills. Some health issues are taught in schools, such as hand washing and cleanliness, but subjects like menstrual health are never part of the school curriculum. Furthermore, 55% of women are illiterate and never attended school, and others dropped out of school very early, never completing primary or lower secondary school.
Published: Tuesday, 26 August 2014
In 2014, READ Global staff member Shannon Kimball visited Nepal to see READ’s work for the first time. Below she writes about the READ Center that inspired her the most.
As I approached the Fulbari READ Center, a dozen women rushed me inside. I had learned to handle the heat in Nepal’s Terai region—which was about 100 degrees in the shade—but the dust storm was another thing entirely. The smiling faces inside told me that the Center wasn't just a haven for me.
Published: Friday, 22 August 2014
From media attention about sexual assault to an increased focus on the 33% of women who are illiterate, women’s empowerment in India is a growing national issue. One area in which India lags behind even its neighboring countries in South Asia is in women’s participation in the labor force: only 29% of Indian women work.
When women are restricted to housework and prevented from leaving home, they can’t contribute to the family income, making it difficult for families to escape the cycle of poverty.