Why donate to ANLF’s Wall of Hands?

Please donate to my Australian Numeracy and Literacy Foundation’s wall here.

I know it’s hard to donate money when you already have a stretched budget, I also know that there are many good charities out there deserving of your money. But, here’s why you should support ANLF’s Wall of Hands literacy appeal:

Literacy is so incredibly important; I cannot emphasise enough how important it is.*

To fully participate in broader society literacy is a basic requirement.** As an illiterate person, even if you could read a little, it would probably be a stretch to read formal documents. When you think about it, there are a lot of reasons you need to be able to read such documents, for example if you want to to take out a bank account, get insurance, apply to the government for anything, if you receive letters in the mail: the list is really endless. Not to mention school: doing well at school absolutely requires literacy. If you are struggling with literacy, then you will likely fall behind which makes it hard to catch up. Literacy needs to be addressed from a young age.

Apart from the boring every day requirements of being an adult, if you were illiterate you would have trouble using a computer and taking advantage of the great things on the internet. You would also miss out on the joy of reading  books. As someone who absolutely loves reading, I find this very thought horrible. Not only is reading a source of great pleasure, but it’s also strengthened my intellect, expanded my vocabulary, improved my general knowledge and developed my empathy.

Being illiterate is hard, as I’ve witnessed with some of my maternal aunties and uncles. It means relying on other people to read letters, do tax returns, and handle any official matters. Friends, family (especially my mother), and neighbours have had to help them with all of this. While you can certainly get by without literacy, it certainly makes life harder.

Sadly, it’s mostly indigenous children who are missing out. The literacy gap is just one of the many disparities between our mob and wider (and let’s face it, white) Australia. If we don’t address literacy, then it will contribute to entrenched poverty and inequality. Mind you, simply education isn’t enough – there are plenty of educated Aboriginal Australians who still face hardship and unemployment. But if you aren’t literate, then it is much worse.

It’s 2014 – we should not have children in our country and our communities who are cannot read. It is absolutely unacceptable. Help ensure that we don’t have children who grow up illiterate by donating to ANLF and other literacy organisations, such as the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

So please, give generously if you are able.

*The ANLF also seek to improve numeracy, which is important too, but I am personally concerned with literacy.

**I did have the thought that you could potentially utilise resources intended for those with vision impairments … but probably easier just to be literate.