Week 1 Secondary Post: Inequality in Illiteracy

I’ve always felt uneasy every time I think about illiteracy.

I know I’m lucky to be able to read and write. I’m even luckier to have access to libraries and bookstores. Not everyone can pick up a book that easily. Even fewer can read any of the words printed on a page.

If I had to describe my childhood in one word, I’d use the word sheltered. That probably explains why I was shocked to learn illiteracy exists. It exists in a way I can’t comprehend. Even today I can’t even begin to envision a life where I couldn’t read a novel or write my own name. But that’s the life millions of people live every single day.

I don’t know what it’s like to be illiterate, to not have access to a good education, to face the challenges others face through no fault of their own. This reality sunk in the most when Grammarly approached me in helping to promote International Literacy Day. It fell on the 8th of September last year. I couldn’t turn down an opportunity to promote and raise awareness for such a worthwhile cause.

They simply wanted me to post this infographic:

(Image courtesy of Grammarly.)

What I couldn’t wrap my ahead around was that for just writing about literacy and posting the graphic on my blog, they’d donate ten dollars in my name to a charity of my choice. The charities, of course, were literacy-promoting ones.

I had a tough time deciding between Reading is Fundamental, First Book, and ProLiteracy. In the email, I wrote back saying, “I would love for the Reading Is Fundamental organization to receive the donation”. Even though it upset me that I couldn’t donate to all three back then, I promised myself one day I will.

At the time, I appreciated the work RIF was doing and has done. I know a ten dollar donation doesn’t seem like much. Still, I like to think they made good use of it.

I hope I stay true to what I said in 2015.

“In the future, I hope to donate more of my time and money for the cause.”