The Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation has created The Literacy Fund, a small grants programme now open for application. Concentrated geographically in sub-Saharan Africa, the Fund is open to organisations aiming to increase literacy levels in young people. 

UNESCO records Sub-Saharan African as a region with one of the lowest literacy rates in the world: only 71% of young people are able to read and write, compared to the global rate of 91%.

Literacy has the power to change lives; it can improve health and diminish poverty, and is fundamental to economic and social progress. We are inviting proposals from organisations based or working in the region.

The fund aims to:

  • Support projects improving literacy levels in young people (21 years and under)
  • See stories and novels recognised as a valuable learning resource
  • Provide opportunities for young people who may not otherwise be able to access them

We believe development opportunities are more successful when they encourage learning through enjoyment, and consequently place the value of a storybook as equal to that of a textbook. Priority for The Literacy Fund will be given to those making a creative case for their work and those using adventure writing to achieve their aims.

You can see the full eligibility criteria and download an application form on our promoting literacy page.

Deadline for applications: 21st September 2017