The 8th of September was proclaimed “International Literacy Day” by UNESCO in 1966 to remind the international community of the importance and need for intensified efforts towards more literate societies. At DCI, we know that literacy is a powerful tool that has provided thousands of children in our programs the ability to perceive the world in ways that are unimaginable for those who are unable to read and write. Which is why we have worked for 18 years across 4 countries to consistently prevent underprivileged children from entering the workforce by providing educational support such as expenses, materials, and after-school tutoring.
This mission is more essential than ever in 2021, with the pandemic not only disrupting the way in which children learn, but also causing immense increases in poverty, which is directly linked to increased rates of children dropping out of school. The COVID-19 crisis has led to school shutdowns resulting in classes being held exclusively online. We have many volunteers abroad who are dedicated and compassionate, working hard to provide classes from all subjects to the children in our programs via virtual platforms. However, in our project areas, many children do not have access to the internet, and although we do have technology centers, the disparity is devastating.
DCI’s Field Staff have been working tirelessly by going around in vans on a monthly basis in our project areas, providing the children with valuable materials- such as notebooks, school textbooks by grade level and subject, writing utensils, and books for leisure reading. We want the children to read stories that open their imagination, solve math problems that increase their logical reasoning, read about other places that they can dream about exploring, and start becoming aware of the vast opportunities that they can reach if they aspire to study.
We want EDUCATION for ALL. We want LITERACY for ALL. On today’s International Literacy Day, we encourage you to visit our website (https://distressedchildren.org/) and learn about ways you can contribute to our mission to aid children to access education, whether it be volunteering with us, sponsoring a child, or donating for the cause, every little bit counts. Happy International Literacy Day!
Ehsan Hoque, MBBS, Ph.D.
Founder and Honorary Executive Director,
Distressed Children & Infants International (DCI)