The beginning of a child’s education is literacy. Girls and boys the world over need access to quality books, which foster a love of reading and a taste of what reading and learning can offer them. Too many children in the poorest regions of the world have never owned a book, let alone learned to read one.
For over a decade we have partnered with local NGOs to bring books directly into the hands of children. In Pakistan the Alif Laila Book Bus Society uses ingenious ways to work around economic constraints to reach children. They use bicycles, buses, and even camels to carry books to children.
“Currently, Pakistan has the world’s second-highest number of out-of-school children (OOSC) with an estimated 22.8 million children aged 5-16 not attending school, representing 44 per cent of the total population in this age group.”
While literacy rates in cities like Lahore, Islamabad, and Karachi are close to 75 percent, for instance, these rates can be as low as 9 percent in the “tribal regions” of Baluchistan, Pakistan’s largest and poorest province. Whereas 65 percent of fifth graders in Punjab province were able to read English sentences in 2018, only 34 percent of fifth graders in Baluchistan were able to do the same.”