Reading has always been one of the easiest ways to learn for any child, or adult for that matter. Books have always been an integral part of our lives and reading has seen renewed popularity in recent years with the emergence of e-reading devices such as the Amazon Kindle among others. These devices put a whole world of books and literature, new and old, into one solitary device. It is something that we in developed countries have started to take for granted, for us it is simply an easier and more efficient way to have a collection of books in one device smaller than one single book. Much like a lot of technology produced for the developed world it is intended to simplify and compress.
So, with this is mind, let’s spare a thought for how this new technology could impact developing countries like Africa, a place where most children don’t own a book and the only books available to them are few in numbers, outdated and irrelevant. Imagine these children having access to e-readers and the consequences this would make to their education and literacy skills, well it is already happening thanks to Worldreader.org.
World Reader is a not-for-profit social enterprise that started off as an idea born in Barcelona and has now grown to employ 64 people in the city with bases in San Francisco, Africa and plans for expansion into London and Paris. Their mission is simple, to eradicate illiteracy among the worlds poorest people by putting as many e-readers into schools as possible.
The first trails took place in Ghana where they presented 20 Amazon Kindles to a classroom, the results were astounding. Studies since the initial trail has shown significant advancements in literacy skills, knowledge and learning and show no sign of stopping as more and more e-readers have reached the hands of under privileged children. To date 721,129 have been sent to Africa with the backing of major brands such as Amazon, FC Barcelona and the U.S. Department of State.
The books available through World Reader range from local books from over 20 African publishers to well known works from international publishers, made available at no cost, to give the families in Africa a greater understanding of their home and the world around them.
It really is amazing to think of the impact one single e-reader can have on a families life, well being and happiness. They say knowledge is power, and with the amount of knowledge and education available through an e-reader, comes the power to make real changes and help give poor families the future they want.
To support World Reader and to find out more, visit www.worldreader.org.