Hands up if you'd like to eradicate illiteracy?
Who's saying what
Illiteracy goes beyond not being able to read a book or write a letter. It can mean daily struggles to perform simple tasks and avoid social shame. And for the one in five Indigenous kids in remote communities who can’t read or write, this is the future they have to look forward to.
This November all Australians have the chance to raise their hands in support of Indigenous literacy. The Wall of Hands Appeal is an annual initiative by The Australian Literacy & Numeracy Foundation (ALNF) to raise funds for the provision of language and literacy programs that aim to break the cycle of illiteracy amongst Indigenous people in remote communities. But it is also a campaign of awareness and advocacy for change. In the words of ALNF Co-Funder Kim Kelly: “If only one in five children in any capital city in Australia could read a book, most Australians would want something done about it immediately. We believe all Australians have the right to literacy, because being able to read and write is a basic human right”.
This year many well-known Australians have put their hands up for the Wall of Hands campaign, including Bob Hawke, The Chaser, the team at Triple J, The Wiggles, Kerry O’Brien, Cathy Freeman & CFF, Mario Fenech & NRL One Community, Blazey Best, Fuzzy, Peter Overton, Mia Freedman, Pip Edwards, Bridie Carter, Deborah Thomas, Sarah Wilson, Matt Shirvington, Marieke Hardy and Benjamin Law. And ALNF ambassador, Urthboy, who has said that, “As Australians we pride ourselves on giving people a fair go. Literacy is a crucial part of that 'fair go’, it's a step towards empowering people to do positive things with their lives and within their communities.“
Joining the movement is simple. Go to www.wallofhands.com.au, make a donation and upload a photo of support to the national Wall of Hands. By donating as little as $5 you can help the ALNF reach their target of $300,000 to continue running literacy programs in the Tennant Creek and Mungkarta communities, and to establish programs in two new remote communities. Together we will work towards achieving 100% literacy rates among Indigenous children in Australia.
As both a writer and book nerd I cannot imagine living without literacy. Without words I would have no voice, without books no pleasure. I urge you to support the Wall of Hands campaign so that all Australians may one day know the joy of reading and the fun of filling out forms.
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