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(April 2013) The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) recently held a photo and video competition to raise awareness of the life-changing impact of literacy. SIL was among the many organizations that joined in supporting the effort as co-sponsors of the “Reading Changed My Life” contest. GPE has just announced the release of an e-album which showcases the winning entries and a number of other excellent photos submitted for the contest.
Nearly one thousand photos and videos were submitted by participants from ninety-three countries. Entries provide a glimpse of the value of reading across a wide breadth of experience—many age levels, cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds are represented. Tying these diverse entries together is the theme that reading has profoundly impacted each participant’s life. One aspect mentioned by many participants is the fact that reading is not only a source of enjoyment, but a key component for accessing many life opportunities.
SIL recognizes the important role that literacy plays in the ability of communities to reach their development goals. Increased global literacy is complementary to many of the eight Millennium Development Goals adopted by UN member states. In the case of ethnolinguistic minority communities around the world, mother tongue-based multilingual education provides a starting point for a lifetime of fluent reading and the many benefits this skill brings.