I stumbled over the topic of literacy and the lack of it by accident. In spring I decided that I wanted to create an alternative way of creating some income for my family and me. As I love a good cup of tea and like to be creative I started a line of writer’s mugs. They are meant to encourage our inner procrastinator to get out of the way and get on with writing with the slogan: On your keyboard! Get Tea (Coffee is the other version)! Write!
Description for visually impaired readers: A green mug with a yellow megaphone at the top left. Black stars are coming out connecting it with the slogan: On your keyboard! Get coffee! Write!
I want to do something for literacy for all with these mugs
However, I also wanted to do something good with them. I wasn’t in a good state mentally and very soon financially too but I felt that I could only thrive if I keep the wellbeing of others in mind. Years before I had signed up to Teespring on whose platform you can create your own t-shirts, mugs and other products. They have the great option of supporting a charity with the products created and the charity I found interesting was The World Literacy Foundation.
I chose them just because I love to read and write. It just felt it was the right choice even though I did not know much about the importance of literacy then. I also did not know that there is still so much lack of literacy worldwide and not just in developing countries.
Some facts about Literacy in today’s World
According to UNICEF World literacy of children has continuously been rising between 1986 (83%) and 2016 (91%). This is a good sign, however, there seems to be a taboo about illiteracy in developed countries. According to the World Education Blog, 75 Million people in Europe do not have basic necessary literacy skills. As Europe and other developed countries often have mass schooling since decades those individuals do not receive the attention they need as they feel embarrassed to speak out about their problems. I can remember a TV ad campaign when I came to the UK in 2007 where the problem was indicated. It showed that there are ways to help individuals who can’t read or write. I also remember how strange I found it that we still have the problem.I’ve always been aware how important reading and books are to me but I never realised how much an impact it has on society in general and our economies.
Description for visually impaired readers: A blue mug with a black slogan: On your keyboard! Get Coffee! Write! Underneath a white stylised mug with steam coming up.
Lacking vital literacy skills disadvantages a person at every stage of their life:
As children, they lack behind in school and probably will be bullied. As young adults, they can not get into the job market because they can’t write a proper covering letter for an application and can’t fill in job forms. Let alone being able to comprehend or learn the more complicated procedures at workplaces today. As adults, they can’t support their children’s learning and stay in poorly paid jobs. They also can’t support their families health because they do not understand health information for example. I think a lot of health improvement happens via self-help. There are lots of books and internet pages that can help you but if you can’t read you can’t access either. In general, literacy allows a person to understand the world around him or her and effectively communicate with others.It costs countries a lot of money if their workforce is highly illiterate because they have to give out more benefits, employers have to add programs to ensure their staff are literate and they just have fewer employees who are productive.
Without being able to read or write I would be in a bad place
When I realised how important literacy is for an individual and society I started thinking how it helped me: I have always read many self-help books to deal with my mental health and reading was also an escape for me when I was young. I learned to broaden my horizon and taught me that you can live in many, many different ways not only the way I lived it.
Without literacy, no blogging community would be possible. What would you do without your blog, the blogs you read and the bloggers and readers you are connecting with? My life certainly would be a lot less enjoyable without blogs. And I believe everybody deserves to be able to access a blogging community, self-help books and a job that can support you. That is why I think it is so important to support literacy organisations.
I keep shouting about my mug series until I’ve managed to raise funds for the World Literacy Foundation
And that is why I keep shouting about my mug series: Because 50% of the profit goes to the World Literacy Foundation and its work. I even have created a summer promotion which means you can get 20% off mugs if you add code SUMMER18. Please, don’t miss your chance because it stops on August 31st, 2018. And there is another summer special: There are shirts and hoodies available too until August 25th. So, please, don’t miss out on a quirky mug or shirt and support literacy for everybody!
Description for visually impaired readers: a yellow mug with the slogan in black: On your keyboard! Get Tea! Write! A white stylised mug sits between the words “Get”, “Tea” and “Write”.
On Your Keyboard! Get Tea! Write! and other mugs to buy to support Literacy for all ~ US/Canada
On Your Keyboard! Get Tea! Write! and other mugs to buy to support Literacy for all ~ Europe
You can find out more about the World Literacy Foundation and what they do in my older post: Please support The Bee & the World Literacy Foundation.
Literacy at UNICEF
World Education Blog: Illiteracy is a Taboo in developed countries
Literacy Trust: What is literacy?
4P Learning: Literacy is important
ProjectLiteracyKelowna: The importance of literacy
Opinion in the Guardian on literacy
Nal’ibali: Why literacy is important for children