World Literacy Foundation

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World Literacy Foundation
The logo of the World Literacy Foundation.png
Founded 2003
Founder Andrew Kay
Type Educational Charity
Focus Education, Literacy rates, Children's rights
Services Charitable services
Method Literacy-based projects
Key people
Andrew Kay, CEO
Dr Anthony Cree OAM, Chairman
Slogan A world where every single child has the opportunity to receive a quality education

The World Literacy Foundation (WLF) is an independent nonprofit charitable body, founded in Australia in 2003 with the aim of conquering global poverty and improving the living standards of the world's poorest through providing quality and free education. It regularly monitors a range of indicators in the education area and prepares reports on economic and social cost of illiteracy.[1][2] Its research states that illiteracy affects state budgets, private firms and individuals that lose money through foregone economic output, lower wages or missed business earnings both in developed and developing countries.[3][4][5][6][7]


The projects of the World Literacy Foundation are aimed at raising global literacy and teaching standards, promoting the benefits of literacy and making free, basic education more available for all the world’s children. The WLF volunteers and partner communities are working in Azerbaijan, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Colombia, Mozambique, Uganda and other developing countries to provide the same education opportunities, books and learning tools to marginalised children.[8]

The WLF has compiled a research focusing on the economic and social cost of illiteracy in the UK. The research was devoted to economic and social cost of illiteracy in the country.[3] It stated that one in five of the UK population is functionally illiterate and this rate costs the national economy 81 billion pounds a year in lost earnings and high welfare spending.[9][10][11]

The WLF convened the World Literacy Summit at Oxford University (UK) in April 2012 to stimulate co-operation in the global literacy sector in order to support 796 million illiterate people in developed and developing worlds. The list of invited delegates included about 300 leaders in the fields of government, development, literacy and academic sectors.[12] The Oxford Declaration became the resulting document of this event; it was designed to combine efforts of government, business, non-governmental organizations and educational institutions to promote literacy worldwide.[13]


  1. ^ Cree, Anthony; Kay, Andrew; Steward, June (April 2012). "The Economic and social cost of illiteracy: a snapshot of illiteracy in a global context". WLF. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Burns, Judith (7 September 2012). "Children's reading 'pushed out' by other activities". BBC News. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Davis, Anna (25 January 2012). "Cost of illiteracy to UK 'tops £81bn each year'". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Illiteracy a yearly $3b cost - report". New Zeeland Herald. APN News & Media. 29 March 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "Illiteracy costs Japan's economy $87.78 billion: World Literacy Foundation". Japan Today. 29 March 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  6. ^ "New report shows illiteracy costing the world $1.19 trillion". National Literacy Trust. 29 March 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "Illiteracy costs India more than $ 53 billion a year: report". IBN India. Press Trust of India. 11 April 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "Annual Report 2011-12". World Literacy Foundation. 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  9. ^ Watson, Leon (29 March 2012). "Illiterate Britain: One in five adults struggling to read and write and some can't even use a chequebook". the Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  10. ^ Buckler, Scott (25 January 2012). "Illiteracy costs the UK economy £81 billion annually". Govtoday. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  11. ^ Schofield, Kevin (29 March 2012). "Illiterate Britain: Scandal of one in 5 adults battling to read and write". The Sun. News Group Newspapers. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  12. ^ Lukic, David (9 February 2012). "Oxford to host World Literacy Summit". Cherwell. Retrieved 28 July 2013. 
  13. ^ Claire Provost (3 April 2012). "You can't put a price-tag on literacy". Retrieved 28 July 2013. 

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