In 2021, Manos Unidas approved 108 educational projects worth more than 6.5 million euros to directly support 154,000 people.And
Valencia, Wednesday 09/07/22
In case of International Literacy Daywhich is celebrated on September 8, and as part of its campaign “Our indifference is dooming them to oblivion”, Manos Unidas highlights these people who do not have access to education or that as adults they have not acquired the basic concepts of reading and writing that enable them to face their daily lives with certain guarantees. Because, according to UNESCO, in the 21st century, in the digital age, “773 million young people and adults around the world still lack basic literacy skills, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic threatens the hard-won gains in literacy.” Women and girls make up two-thirds of the nearly 800 million illiterate people.
Although literacy and the right to education have been ratified by various international agreements and national legislation, the reality is that many countries do not deliver on what they have promised. For United Hands the access to education it is a key right without which none of the Sustainable Development Goals planned for 2030 can be achieved.
“Illiteracy is synonymous with lack of opportunity, lack of participation, chronicling poverty and increasing inequality,” says María José Hernando of the research department at Manos Unidas.
Women and girls are most affected
Women and girls are again the most affected by these disadvantages stemming from a lack of literacy. Inequality in the distribution of household duties, as well as the customs and traditions of certain communities, place women at a lower level than men in terms of literacy. “As long as women and girls continue to take on most of the household work (collecting water and firewood, caring for people, cleaning, working in the garden and with animals…), this inequality in education will continue.” In most of the poorest households, when they have to choose between a boy and a girl to attend school, the boy is usually chosen,” explains Hernando.
“Furthermore,” María José Hernando continues, “in some parts of the world there are practices such as child marriage that prematurely turn girls into adults and deprive them of their right to study and, along with that, to prosper and have a proper role in society.
The non-governmental organization of the Catholic Church emphasizes lack of opportunities resulting from educational gaps. According to Hernando, “people who cannot read or write have more difficulty knowing their rights and exercising them. Because the lack of opportunities associated with illiteracy generates and feeds the cycle of poverty.
“At Manos Unidas, we are aware of the power that literacy has in developing societies and countries. For this reason, in addition to condemning, raising awareness and working to make Spanish society aware of this reality that defines the lives of millions of people in the countries where it is present, every year we launch more than a hundred education initiatives to guarantee this right in the communities we work in,” informed Hernando. “Many of these initiatives are mainly aimed at girls’ schooling and women’s literacy,” he says.
Primary education and literacy in Paraku, Benin
In 2021, Manos Unidas approved 108 educational projects worth more than 6.5 million euros to directly support 154,000 people.
One of them is located in Benin, where Manos Unidas collaborates with the Salesian Fathers in a project to support education and promote literacy. The initiative, located in By the way, they have Its goal is to build a school complex where children can have access to quality education. The creation of this new center means adequately equipping the school’s classrooms and management-administrative block, which were previously located in different parish halls, following the diocese’s “one parish-one school” policy.
This intervention is designed to directly support 706 people: 330 girls, 270 boys, 100 women, 5 teachers and 1 teacher. Indirectly, the project will benefit the families of these participants, representing a total of over 3,500 people.
throughout the morning primary education will be provided to the 600 students enrolled and literacy activities will be conducted in the afternoon for 100 adult women between the ages of 20 and 22 in two groups. The aim of the training, which will take place three times a week, is for these women to be able to carry out their work and other activities to generate income with higher self-esteem and leadership capacity.
The project was born as a result of the growing demand for education in the primary sector and the inadequate educational infrastructure offered by the parish halls of the María Auxiliadora School. The new school will ensure that all children between the ages of 5 and 13 who until now have not had the opportunity to study at the center can now do so thanks to the implementation of the project.