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Mozambican young girl in a classroom

International Literacy Day 2022

Every child deserves to learn to read and write.

International Literacy Day (8 September) celebrates the importance of learning to read and write. Now, more than ever, we need to encourage children to develop literacy skills. 

Improving literacy builds better lives 

At least 771 million people were lacking basic literacy skills, according to UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation). And with the pandemic, 1.6 billion learners were affected by school closures - around 24 million learners may never return to formal education. 

These are sad statistics; every child deserves the opportunity to learn to read and write.  

World Vision believes education is vital for children  - for over 70 years, we've focused on helping girls and boys go to school, so they can learn, grow and thrive.  

World Vision is empowering children 

Together, we’re helping children across the world to dream big. Like Poonam, now 19, and her friends, Tulsi and Pooja, who live in India. With a lot of determination, and a little help from World Vision, these girls were determined to have an education and a better life. 

Their inspiring story has set an example for the girls in her community. Poonam says, “I used to go for rag picking almost every day and even begging in the street. Now I am happy that I am getting a chance to study and later try to get a decent job. I want to motivate other children also to study and not give up hope.”

Girls like Dércia too. 

Dércia, 16, lives in the southern province of Gaza in Mozambique with her mum and dad. Like most rural families in Mozambique, Dércia’s family couldn’t afford the cost of school fees and transport. 

Mozambican girl outside her school
Dércia is delighted to be at school

No education

“When I finished primary school, my parents did not have money for me to pursue further education in secondary school, since there are no secondary schools in my community and so it was necessary for me to travel miles,” says Dércia. 

Attending secondary school seemed impossible. 

“Things started to change”   

That’s when World Vision stepped in to help Dércia get an education. Now she is a sponsored child, Dércia can go to secondary school and realise her potential. 

Dércia says, “The Child Sponsorship programme helped my parents learn about savings. They joined a local savings group and started saving money,” she adds. “From there many things started to change. My parents were able to pay for my education at secondary school, they had money to pay for transport for me daily.  

Mozambican community learning how to save money
Dércia’s parents are grateful to be a part of a savings group

I enjoy going to school. I have a lot of fun. I hang around with my school mates and do lots of things. But most importantly I learn new things, which will help me fulfil my dream of becoming a teacher to contribute to the development of my community,” says Dércia. 

She wants to make her parents proud 

Through the Child Sponsorship programme, World Vision is helping communities create better futures for their children. We work with local leaders and families to understand where they need support. Together, we make a lasting impact to a child’s education, health and wellbeing, and transform their prospects for the future. Children like Dércia are on the path to reaching their dreams.

Kids who dared to dream 

In the 100 countries where World Vision works, we see first-hand the challenges that kids growing up in tough places face – and the amazing dreams children have. How they’re standing up, speaking up, and taking action to create the world they want to live in. 

They’re part of a transformation that’s happening bit by bit – one idea, one conversation, one life at a time. 

Kids Who Dared to Dream brings to life the truly inspirational stories of kids in an illustrated eBook that adults can read to children. This is a great resource at any time but especially to celebrate International Literacy Day 2022. 

Stories of children like Jhesie, 10, who lives in the Philippines.

The cover for the storybook - Kids Who Dared to Dream

Inspire and empower the next generation to make a change in their worlds

While most of the children in her community hope to be teachers, Jhesie dreams differently. Her goal is to become a restaurant owner someday. 

Jhesie belongs to a savings group that World Vision helped set up in her community to teach children how to save at an early age. 

World Vision is helping children realise their potential 

She says, “I used to save money in an empty plastic jar. But I don’t enjoy doing it now. It is more fun to do it with other children.” 

Every week, Jhesie and other children meet to save money. After a year, the savings would be returned to the children. Last year, she purchased a mobile phone that really helped for learning online when her school was closed. 

“I am saving because as the eldest child, I want to give something to help my parents and siblings. The previous year, I gave my savings to my parents as additional money for the repair of our house. I am proud of what I did. But my mother didn’t spend all money on the repair of our house. Mostly she would buy me things I need for my school.”  

I hope all children’s dreams would come true so we would always smile and laugh - Jhesie

Jhesie is a young businesswoman 

When the pandemic hit, she helped her uncle sell pandesal (local Filipino bread) to earn money. 

Jhesie says that selling pandesal is her way of practicing her business skills. “When I have my own restaurant, I would always buy ice cream for my siblings and parents,” Jhesie shares. “I hope I and all other children’s dreams would come true so we would always smile and laugh, and not have any problems. But, I guess, to fulfil our dreams we should study hard, learn how to save, and follow our parents.” 

All the girls and boys featured in Kids Who Dared to Dream are being positively impacted through World Vision’s Child Sponsorship programme, where sponsors empower children and their communities to break free from poverty, for good. 

Learn more