Our world has made great strides in expanding literacy over the last 30 years. In Peru, adult literacy has increased from 82% in 1981 to 94% in 2018. For women, the literacy rate has grown from 74% to 92% over the same period.

Heart-Links’ donors have contributed to this growth. Every year, your dollars fund projects that build literacy and math skills in children, youth and adults and offer quality educational supports that draw on and respect local knowledge.

María Elena, of Latidos, reads with grade 3 and 4 students.

More than one quarter of our project financing this year supports programs in Peru that strengthen literacy. These 2020 programs are

Education is a major component of many other Heart-Links’ projects as well.

The events of the last year have underscored the importance of universal literacy. People’s health and safety depended on being able to access life-saving information.

However, as the United Nations observes, “During COVID-19, in many countries, adult literacy programs were absent in the initial education response plans, so most adult literacy programs that did exist were suspended, with just a few courses continuing virtually, through TV and radio, or in open air spaces.”

Man sitting in front of mural of campesinos with joined hands
When Javier left school, he couldn’t read or write very well. Since joining the Rural Libraries Network, he’s become an avid reader. “Reading is like food for the mind,” he says.

To bridge these gaps, Heart-Links’ partners were quick to add door-to-door delivery of educational materials, virtual workshops and support groups, psychological counselling and check-ins by telephone to their programs to ensure their work to improve literacy and education continued.

“On this International Day, I thus invite all those involved in education to redouble their investments and mobilize all their resources to unleash the potential of each individual in the service of a shared world.

— Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director General

Heart-Links invites you to celebrate this day and to continue to invest in literacy in Peru. With your help, we are building a more just world.