Why Literacy Matters

Diplomat and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Kofi Annan, recognised literacy as, “the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realise his or her full potential.”

Our basic quality of life depends on our ability to read, write, and comprehend the world around us. These literacy skills are the foundation of lifelong learning and the gateway through which we access all education. People who cannot read or write experience difficulties with simple everyday tasks such as reading the label of a medicine bottle, filling in a job application, applying for benefits, or understanding traffic signs. When we help individuals to acquire literacy skills, we are empowering them to access better opportunities in life and to break the poverty cycle.

Low literacy is a driver of inequality which can pose serious socio-economic consequences. Intergenerational illiteracy or low literacy can be a viscous cycle with parents unable to support their child’s education at home. Studies show the direct correlation between literacy levels and employment rates, economic status, health, and criminality.

There is much work to be done to ensure that every child in Cayman has equitable access to quality education. Join us on our Mission!

"Those with low literacy are more likely to be in routine work, receive working age benefits, live in disadvantaged housing conditions and more deprived areas, and experience homelessness."

2014 UK Literacy Report
Money tree growing out of open book

How We Tackle the Issue

Increasing literacy training and providing more equal-access educational opportunities within the community is a start.

Since 2012, LIFE Cayman has assisted in identifying long-term solutions to existing community problems on Island. Through utilising effective teaching techniques in schools, and implementing strategic programmes that tackle the problem on a school, community and home level, LIFE Cayman has been able to chip away at the socioeconomic barriers currently presenting in Cayman.

However, the road to human progress is long. To date LIFE Cayman has donated over 88,600 books across the community, facilitated the distribution of donations to where they are most needed on Island, volunteered a collective 8,000+ hours and empowered over 500 parents to get more involved with their child's education… and we are still going!

It is important to continue to be proactive in how we as a community respond to the issue of literacy in Cayman. With continued private and public sector participation and support there is potential for transformational change within the system.