Litworld: Power to Write Your Own Story



Kat, via Flickr

Literacy creates opportunity. But for many children, literacy remains a distant goal. Bruce Gulland and Liz Waid look at an organization helping young people to tell their own stories.

Transcript


Voice 1 

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Bruce Gulland.

Voice 2 

And I’m Liz Waid. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1 

In Ahmedabad, India, a group of children are very busy. They draw and write on a large piece of paper. They talk and laugh as they work together. Each child wears a blue shirt that says “Be the Story.” They are learning to read and write at a LitCamp. This camp brings children together to learn and practice reading. The children will then form LitClubs. They will continue to meet every week with a leader. They will encourage each other to read and write. This is important in India. India has the highest population of illiterate people of any country. This group does not know how to read and write. But literacy levels are an issue in every part of the world.

Voice 2 

Across the world almost 800,000,000 people are illiterate. They cannot read or write. Two out of every three of these people are women. More than 700 million adults cannot read. Programs like LitCamps and LitClubs are trying to help spread literacy. These programs are run by an international organization called LitWorld. Today’s Spotlight is on LitWorld and their work to help people everywhere gain power through literacy.

Voice 1 

Pam Allyn began the organization LitWorld in 2007. She believes that literacy is a basic human right. Litworld wants every child in the world to be able to learn to read and write. Many children learn to read and write in school. But millions of children, especially girls, are not in school. This means that they cannot easily get the important information they need. This makes it more difficult to make healthy choices. Illiteracy has big affects on the whole community. Pam Allyn says this is why people need support to learn to read. She told Al Jazeera:

Voice 3

“Literacy is really such a tool to open doors to help children. It helps them become independent economically as they get older. And it also helps with social, emotional and communication independence as they grow. Literacy really is the key to closing the economic distance between the rich and the poor. I think children in every country deserve the right to be involved in literacy, right from the start.”

Voice 2 

One way LitWorld does this is through partnerships with other organizations like One Moore Book. One Moore Book writes and publishes books for children. They use traditional stories from all over the world. This connects readers to stories from their own culture. Then they provide these books to people in places that have low literacy rates. These kind of books are important for people who teach literacy.

Voice 1 

Books also give children a good example. Children enjoy reading stories about other people. LitWorld then encourages children to write their own stories. These may be stories of real life. Or they may be fiction - made up stories. This helps the children improve their literacy skills. But writing their own words also makes children feel special and powerful. That empowerment is possible for individuals all around the world. Pam Allyn told the website goodreads:

Voice 3 

“In all story there is a sense of the real. It is combined with a sense of the imagination. Fiction is the reality of your life combined with the wish that you have - or the fear that you have. You can use what you have. You do not have to make something else. You always have something to say - the way you say it makes it yours. Nobody else can think of it quite like that.”

Voice 2 

The largest LitWorld program is called the Litclub program. Like in Ahmedabad, Litclubs bring people together. In this program, a community leader guides a group in learning and practicing reading and writing. Litworld often trains the club leaders on the internet. The LitClubs provide support for people as they learn to read.

Voice 1 

Through LitClubs, LitWorld teaches more than just reading and writing. It also teaches the value of learning and sharing together. Other LitWorld programs use these same values. One of these programs is World Read Aloud day. On this day, people around the world get together in groups. They read books out loud to each other. This is a way of building connections between people. It is also one of the best ways for learning to read. Pam Allyn tells ABC News:

Voice 3 

“Both research and the children’s own lives show that reading aloud helps all children to read. It is one of the simplest but best ways to learn. You get to see a reading model. You get to hear a reading model.”

Voice 2 

One place where LitClubs celebrated World Read Aloud Day was in Kisumu, Kenya. All of the area LitClubs met together at the National Library. They prepared and performed their own poems and stories. They sang and danced together. They even had a spelling competition. They encouraged each other to learn new and difficult words. And they were surprised by the result of the reading contest. The very youngest reader was the winner!

Voice 1

In Kisumu, the Litclubs concentrate on girls aged 10 to 14. Litworld says that they give special attention to girls because more girls are illiterate. Girls also face many other difficulties. They may become pregnant or get married at a young age. Girls are also more affected by HIV and AIDS. LitWorld hopes that education can give girls more resources and more power.

Voice 2 

Litworld believes that girls, and all people, can become more powerful through learning to read. And they can then have a way to share their own stories with others. Pam Allyn wrote in the Huffington Post:

Voice 3 

“My life's work stands on this belief: humankind's greatest invention is the power of story. We are the product of our stories. Our greatest tool, our most powerful force for change, is the strength to tell them. I want children everywhere to know their power in telling their own true stories. This way they can have lives of independence, hope and joy.”

Voice 1 

The writer of this program was Rena Dam. The producer was Nick Mangeolles. The voices you heard were from the United Kingdom and the United States. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This program is called, ‘Litworld: Power to Write Your Own Story’.

Voice 2 

Tell us what you think about today’s program. You can leave a comment on our website. Or email us at radio@radioenglish.net. And find us on Facebook - just search for Spotlight Radio. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.

Question:

Do you like to write stories? If yes, what are your stories about? If no, why not?

Comments


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a1
said on September 08, 2014

x

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thuydzung
said on September 08, 2014

to day, my new word is illiteracy,  literacy and literate. Thank spotligh

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NominalMan
said on September 09, 2014

New spotlight program is very useful, thanks to SL :D

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georgino
said on September 09, 2014

LITWORLD good system to read and write I want to learn more about it.

Thanks/

natasoul's avatar
natasoul
said on September 10, 2014

Today program is really cool. Litworld is a great system to read and spread literacy and this help people to gain more power in world. I think it is great that Litworld wants every chilld to be able to write and read. and it is really the key to closing the economic distance between the rich and the poor . it seems to me that every children have to be involved in literacy from the start. so You always have something to say - the way you say it makes it yours. Nobody else can think of it quite like that.” in my opinion reading is a power that can open door in new world))) Thanks a lot for this nice articel

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fatemeh
said on September 21, 2014

tnx it was usefull 4 me ^___^

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nguyenthuy
said on December 17, 2014

Our world is open world so if we are illiterate English we cant involve with human knowledge .  most of knowledge were written by English so we have to read English to take human knowledge and make us richer . So The spotlight is like a organization to help remove illiterate English . Thank to people who established this program . Thanks

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Dela
said on February 12, 2016

There is a really sad fact many young people around the world remain still illiterate nowadays. Women and girls represent the most of these persons without literacy and that is why is so important to found organizations similar to the organization LitWorld or One Moore Book. Through reading and writing people can get essential information helping them in their life. In particular writing, sharing own stories can develop imagination notably giving people ability to express their ideas, dreams and wishes too. At all events, literacy brings people together, it gives them more power and courage to fight all difficulties they may meet later in the life.
Thanks for excellent program!

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blackx
said on February 12, 2016

Voices are PERFECT and Music is fantastic. 10/10
Thanks a lot.

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TROIANDINH
said on May 10, 2016

hello every body, I am new member

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KatyBlake
said on May 15, 2016

Hello TROIANDINH - good to meet you.

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TROIANDINH
said on May 16, 2016

hello! KatyBlake nice meet you! where are you come from?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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KatyBlake
said on May 21, 2016

Hello again TROIANDINH. I am from the United Kingdom. I am part of the Spotlight team. I write some of the Spotlight programmes. You can hear my voice on some programmes too. The Spotlight team likes to hear from listeners. You can tell us about yourself by writing to Spotlight at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)