World Literacy Foundation Ambassador Program 2020 - Sabeena Z Ahmed, UAE

Sabeena Ahmed and The LilFT
Posted October 16, 2020 from United Arab Emirates
I'm a World Literacy Foundation Ambassador 2020
I'm a World Literacy Foundation Ambassador 2020 (1/8)

WORLD LITERACY FOUNDATION AMBASSADOR PROGRAM 2020

'When I was a boy, we had no books in the house. I bought my first book with my own money when I was 18. Reading saved my life, literally. It gave me a family and friends after I became homeless. Books taught me that another world was possible .'

Marc Hamer - Writer

 

This June during the Covid 19 pandemic I applied to participate as a World Literacy Foundation Ambassador with the World Literacy Foundation. My application was successful. 

 

Happy International Literacy Day 2020 to all Ambassadors and supporters.

This year it International Literacy Day was held Tuesday 8th September 2020.

Sadly, due to travel commitments I missed International Literacy Day 2020 I hope to participate next year.

WATCH: https://youtu.be/H3q5wGXd82o

WATCH: https://youtu.be/43HOOC2ddKQ

 

Module 1

As part of the World Literacy Ambassador Program all ambassadors were asked to complete 5 modules and support the Aprende Leyendo Literacy Initiative in Colombia via advocacy and fundraising activities.

 

Welcome video message from the CEO Mr Andrew Kay

WATCH: https://youtu.be/iIjJunvshl0

 

ABOUT THE WORLD LITERACY FOUNDATION 

In 2003 Mr Kay established the World Literacy Foundation with the goal to bring books, tutoring and literacy resources to children without any support.

Since its inception it has supported over 315,000 children around the world.

 

What does the World Literacy Foundation do?

The World Literacy Foundation provides educational resources, books, literacy tutoring to disadvantaged children who are struggling to read and write.

It gathers literacy leaders and organizations around the world to share ideas and collaborate with the sector.  

It creates e-books and digital learning activities for children in rural and remote classrooms in Arica, Africa, Northern Territory and Colombia using innovative technology and software.

We empower people to advocate for literacy in their local community.

Source: The World Literacy Foundation

 

Facts and Figures

I had no idea that there are 250 million children who struggle to learn basic reading and writing skills.

This is shocking, 750 million people are illiterate, nearly two thirds of them are women.

In the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, functional literacy affects 25-35% of the population.

More than 2 billion people struggle to read a sentence.

ILLITERACY = POVERTY 

 

The Aprende Leyendo Initiative - Colombia

Translated means Learn by Reading

WATCH: https://youtu.be/zzFd13TVRYA

 

This year all efforts and funds raised by the World Literacy Fund Ambassadors will go towards the literacy project, APRENDE LEYENDO.

Aprende Leyendo provides the following services,

Reading and classes and literacy tutoring every week

Dingo App - A digital learning tool to enhance literacy skills English and Spanish

Holiday English lessons with English volunteers

Books and school supplies distribution

 

What do Aprende Leyendo do?

Aprende Leyendo work to ensure children from a disadvantaged background in Colombia have the opportunity to acquire literacy skills to reach their full potential, succeed at school and beyond.

It strongly believes that education is a basic human right that can break the poverty cycle by allowing people to access better opportunities in life.

Source: Aprende Leyendo

 

Dingo App - Merging Technology & Education

WATCH: https://youtu.be/RyS4DDY8oWQ

WATCH: https://youtu.be/QT3NBMj2C9g

 

Aprende Leyendo on Social Media

Email: aprendeleyendo.com

Facebook: aprendeleyendocol

Instagram: aprendeleyendo

 

The World Literacy Foundation on Social Media 

Twitter: @WorldLiteracy

Facebook: @worldliteracyfoundation

Instagram: @worldliteracy_foundation

 

MODULE 2

The second module was very highly informative and focussed on Literacy around the world and the impact Covid-19 has had on women and girls.

 

What is Literacy?

Literacy is the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed, written and visual materials associated with varying contexts.

 

The Importance of Literacy

People with low literacy skills may not be able to:

- read a book or newspaper

- understand road signs or labels,

- make sense of a bus or train timetable

- fill out a form

- read instructions on medicines

- use the internet

Lacking vital literacy skills holds a person back at every stage of their life.

As a child, they will not be able to succeed at school, as a young adult, they will be locked out of the job market, and as a parent, they will not be able to support their own child’s learning. This intergenerational cycle makes social mobility and a fairer society more difficult.

On 26 October 1966 at the 14th session of UNESCO’s General Conference, the UNESCO declared 8th September ‘International Literacy Day’.

 

PODCAST 

Turning The Page On Illiteracy, Adults Go Back To Class

https://www.npr.org/2013/10/31/241862699/turning-the-page-on-illiteracy-...

Credit: NPR

 

The Impact of Covid-19 

As of April 2020 1.5 billion children and youth were affected by school closures in 195 countries from pre-primary to higher education.

Suzanne Grant Lewis - International Institute For Education Planning Director

 

Domestic Burdens

In many societies women and girls take on the majority of unpaid domestic and childcare tasks which will increase when schools and workplaces close.

 

Healthcare demands

Women and girls form the majority of the healthcare workforce, whether paid or unpaid. Data shows that in Spain and Italy respectively, 72% and 66% of infected healthcare workers are women.

 

Domestic Violence

Without School - a place of safety as well of education - as a lifeline. Home confinement means there is a heightened risk of domestic violence and sexual abuse

 

Sexual and Reproductive Health

Following the Ebola crisis, Sierra Leone saw an increase in adolescent pregnancy. In some communities, pregnancy will be a permanent barrier to a girl returning to education even once the Covid-19 crisis ends.

Source: World Literacy Foundation

 

International Literacy Day 2020

WATCH: https://youtu.be/LZaqM69M7RM

 

TEDx - The Illiteracy to Prison Pipeline - Brandon Griggs

WATCH: https://youtu.be/jtX9iYqPW38

 

A Literate Life - Bridget Shingleton

WATCH: https://youtu.be/FINsh6nRLGk

 

Activities 

This is where you can participate and ask questions about literacy.

1, Do you know someone close to you who does not know how to read or write?

2. How would your life be if you didn’t have basic reading or writing skills?

3. What is the percentage of illiteracy in your country?

4. Do you have ideas on how to help reduce the illiteracy rate in your country or in your local community?

 

My responses

1. Do you know someone close to you who does not know how to read or write?

No!

 

2. How would your life be if you didn’t have basic reading or writing skills?

I would be a burden on my partner and feel incredibly frustrated.

 

3. What is the percentage of illiteracy in your country?

Adult literacy rate is the percentage of people ages 15 and above who can both read and write with understanding a short simple statement about their everyday life.

UAE literacy rate for 2015 was 93.23%, a 3.19% increase from 2005.

UAE literacy rate for 2005 was 90.03%, a 18.8% increase from 1985.

UAE literacy rate for 1985 was 71.24%, a 17.72% increase from 1975.

UAE literacy rate for 1975 was 53.51%, a 53.51% increase from .

Source https://www.macrotrends.net/

 

4. Do you have ideas on how to help reduce the illiteracy rate in your country or in your local community?

Invest and establish little libraries in apartment buildings and shopping malls.

 

Oxfam India's video about 10 year old Umra going to school

WATCH:https://youtu.be/PwaAonSM2c0

 

What percentage of illiteracy in my parents country of birth India/Pakistan

India

Facts on education and literacy in India

1. India is home to the largest population of 287 million illiterate adults in the world. This amounts to 37% of the global total.

2. 47.78% out of school children in India are girls. They will be calculated as illiterate women in the next census and this will have an impact on the education of their children.

3. Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh are amongst the bottom five states in terms of literacy of Dalits in India.

4. India’s literacy rate has increased six times since Independence. Though the literacy rate has increased from 12% in 2001 to 74% in 2011 yet India has the world’s largest population of illiterate adults.

5. The literacy rate of female Dalits in Bihar was 38.5% in 2011. It is far behind India’s progress trend. It is still 30 years behind India’s national literacy Rate which was 43.7 in 1981.

6. 60 lakh children in India are still out-of-school.

7. 92% of government schools are yet to fully implement the RTE Act.

8. India is ranked at 123 out of 135 countries in female literacy rate.

9. India ranks fourth in the South Asian region behind Sri Lanka with a female-male ratio of 0.97 and Bangladesh with a female-male ratio of 0.85.

10. The percentage of women to the total number of school teachers has gone up from 29.3% in 1991 to 47.16% in 2013-14.

Credit and Source Oxfam India

 

Why are literacy rates in Pakistan are so poor?

WATCH: https://youtu.be/Xeu2n4y-vjU

Credit TRT

 

What percentage of illiteracy in my parents country of birth India/Pakistan

Pakistan

Adult literacy rate is the percentage of people ages 15 and above who can both read and write with understanding a short simple statement about their everyday life.

Pakistan literacy rate for 2017 was 59.13%, a 2.15% increase from 2014.

Pakistan literacy rate for 2014 was 56.98%, a 1.38% increase from 2013.

Pakistan literacy rate for 2013 was 55.60%, a 1.17% decline from 2012.

Pakistan literacy rate for 2012 was 56.76%, a 2.03% increase from 2011.

Source and Credit: Macro Trends

 

Module 3

I must admit the second half of this module was one of the most interesting and enjoyable.

I particularly enjoyed learning how to tell a story that inspires.

Presenting your story to an audience.

Reading the Sources section.

 

Leadership

What is Leadership?

My definition

Leading by example, inspiring, innovating, motivating and nurturing others to influence change and achieve a vision for the good of society.

What's your definition of leadership?

 

Leadership Capital - What's your definition of leadership?

WATCH: https://youtu.be/pba_hW8XM_g

Credit Chicago Booth Review

 

How great leaders inspire - Simon Sinek

WATCH: TBA

Credit TED

 

4 Workplace Communication Styles - Jamie Turner

WATCH https://youtu.be/jEL8XFVbZyg

Credit Jamie Turner

 

Activities

This is where you can participate 

Each WLF Ambassador was asked to complete the questionnaire and discover their personality style and leadership skills.

I discovered my personality style

What personality style is yours and why?

I am a natural born optimist and have a resilient nature.

SPIRITED

HIGH EXPRESSIVENESS AND HIGH SPIRITED

The spirited individuals are the 'dreamers' in the group.

They generate enthusiasm and excitement about an idea or project.

They are persuasive visionary types who are passionate about whatever they are working on and will throw themselves into their work whole heartedly.

They prefer to multi task in order to get bored or stymied. They aren't afraid to take risks and can often convince others to do the same.

 

We are also asked to conduct a SWOT ANALYSIS of ourselves

SWOT ANALYSIS

Strengths

My strengths, a good listener, motivated, honest, dedicated and hardworking.

 

Weaknesses

Weaknesses, over think/analyse situations, a perfectionist. 

 

Opportunities

Can overcome hardship or stressful situations by expressing myself through writing and recording vlogs

 

Threats 

Health restricts mobility.

 

This is where you can participate and answer the quiz about your leadership skills

How are your leadership skills?

ACTIVITY

QUIZ

1 = NOT TRUE

2 = SELDOM TRUE

3 = OCCASIONALLY TRUE

4 = SOMEWHAT TRUE

5 = VERY TRUE

 

1. I enjoy getting into the details of how things work? 1

2. As a rule, adapting ideas to peoples needs is easy for me? 3

3. I enjoy working with abstract ideas? 1

4. Technical things fascinate me? 2

5. Being able to understand others is an important aspect of my work? 5

6. Seeing the big picture comes easy for me? 5

7. One of my skills is being good at making things work? 3

8. My main concern is to have a supportive communication climate? 5

9. I am intrigued by complex organisational problems? 1

10. Following directions and filling out forms comes easily for me? 3

11. Understanding the social fabric of the organisation is important to me? 5

12. I would enjoy working out strategies for my organisations growth? 4

13. I am good at completing the things I am assigned to do? 5

14. Getting all parties to work together is a challenge I enjoy? 1

15. Creating a mission statement is rewarding work? 3

16. I understand how to do the basic things required of me? 5

17. I am concerned how my decisions affect the lives of others? 5

18. Thinking about organizational values and philosophy appeals to me? 5

 

Sum of 1. 4, 7 10, 13 and 16

TECHNICAL SKILLS - 23

Sum of 2, 5, 8, 11, 14 and 17

HUMAN SKILLS - 19

Sum of 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18

CONCEPTUAL SKILLS - 22

 

How to find the inspiration to lead

Inspiration can be difficult to maintain and thrive. I've often found reading about others can be refreshing and motivating.

Personal failure is often a learning curve to improve ones weaknesses, develop skills and start again with the knowledge of not repeating ones mistakes.

 

The Future of Story telling - Paul Zak

WATCH: https://youtu.be/DHeqQAKHh3M

Credit The Future of Storytelling

 

How to tell a story to inspire

Nothing is more powerful than sharing your own story.

Brilliant beginnings, magnificent middles and amazing endings.

Plan the structure of your story by asking yourself questions.

Style it

Know your 'WHY?'

 

Presenting your story to an audience

- Speak clearly

- Look Up

- Prepare your script

- Rehearse 

 

Module 4

Module 4 explained advocacy and how anyone can improve their advocacy skills.

 

What is advocacy?

Advocacy means to actively promote a cause or principle in order to bring about change and help others. Advocacy involves awareness raising, communications, and media work. For advocacy to be effective, it is important to build a solid plan practice advocacy skills.

 

ACTIVITY 1

SPECIFIC

To raise awareness about literacy and the Aprende Leyendo Initiative.

ACHIEVABLE

Yes! 

MEASURABLE

Difficult, due to strict UAE internet law and restrictions

RELEVANT

Yes! Literacy is a human right

TIMED

Yes! I'd like to campaign all year

DECISION MAKERS

The Government

 

Due to the UAE's strict  internet laws I will not be able to publish donation links about the World Literacy Foundation Ambassador Program and its literacy program in Colombia,

It is prohibited to appeal to private donors or funding agencies, private sector employers, national/local businesses, businesses and multi nationals as all these actions are punishable with heavy fines and imprisonment online.

I will write to the WLF to explain my position and will suggest they write to the Ministry of Education for support and consent.

 

INFLUENCERS

Civil Society

Opinion Leaders

Entertainment Personalities

Teachers, Professors and Researchers

Education and Literacy Professionals

 

Activity 2 - List your target audience

Decision Makers and Key Influencers

 

Activity 3 - Write Your Speech 1 minute

WATCH: https://youtu.be/3hucmPfl7yo

 

Hello and Assalaam Alaikum, peace and blessings,

My name is Sabeena. I'm a social entrepreneur, fair trade campaigner and educator.

This year I happy to announce that I have been chosen as a World Literacy Foundation Ambassador.

Literacy is a basic human right.

I had no idea that there are 250 million children who struggle to learn basic reading and writing skills.

Aprende Leyendo which means learning to read, work to ensure children from a disadvantaged background in Colombia have the opportunity to acquire literacy skills to reach their full potential to succeed at school and beyond.

You can give children at Aprende Leyendo and adults struggling to read and write a brighter and prosperous future by clicking on the links below.

Thank you for watching.

Take care and Walaikum Assalaam

 

Urdu - A very rough translation

WATCH: https://youtu.be/_kzgq_SPXdg

 

ہیلو اور اسالام علیکم ، میرا نام سبینہ ہے۔

۔ اس سال مجھے یہ اعلان کرتے ہوئے خوشی ہے کہ مجھے ورلڈ لٹریسی فاؤنڈیشن کا سفیر منتخب کیا گیا ہے۔

خواندگی ایک بنیادی انسانی حق ہے۔

مجھے کوئی اندازہ نہیں تھا کہ ڈھائی سو ملین بچے ایسے ہیں جو بنیادی پڑھنے لکھنے کی مہارت سیکھنے میں جدوجہد کرتے ہیں۔

اپرینڈے لیینڈو کا مطلب ہے پڑھنا سیکھنا ، کولمبیا میں پسماندہ پس منظر کے بچوں کو یہ یقینی بنانے کے لئے کام کرنا کہ وہ اسکول میں اور اس سے آگے کامیابی حاصل کرنے کی اپنی پوری صلاحیت کو حاصل کرنے کے لئے خواندگی کی مہارت حاصل کرسکیں۔

اس کا پختہ یقین ہے کہ تعلیم ایک بنیادی انسانی حق ہے جو لوگوں کو زندگی میں بہتر مواقع تک رسائی کی اجازت دے کر غربت کے چکر کو توڑ سکتا ہے۔

آپ نیچے دیئے گئے لنکس پر کلیکشن کر بچوں کو ایپرینڈے لیینڈو اور ان بالغوں کو دے سکتے ہیں جو پڑھنے اور روشن خوشحال مستقبل لکھنے کے لئے جدوجہد کر رہے ہیں۔

دیکھنے کا شکریہ. ولیکم اسلم

 

Module 5

The last module in the program was a detailed in depth view of fundraising.

Due to the UAE's strict internet laws I am prohibited from publishing donation links about the World Literacy Foundation Ambassador Program online or any of my social media handles.

These actions are punishable with heavy fines and imprisonment online.

I explained my position to the WLF team.

For those interested I've posted a link to the Khaleej Times on this topic for you tor read at your leisure.

It is illegal to raise money from the public in the UAE either for donations or charity without seeking prior approval from the competent authorities viz. General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (GAIAE) at the federal level or Islamic Affairs & Charitable Activities Department (IACAD) in the emirate of Dubai.

In UAE, seeking public donations without relevant permission from the authorities concerned via information technology devices is a criminal offence in accordance with Article No. 27 of Federal Law No. 5 of 2012 on combating cybercrimes, which states: ".(such act) shall be punished by imprisonment and a fine not less than Dh200,000 and not in excess of Dh500,000 or either of these two penalties whoever establishes, manages or runs a website or publishes information on the computer network or any information technology means to call or promote for the collection of donations without a licence accredited by the competent authority."

Further, if you are a resident in Dubai then you are also regulated by Decree No. 9 of 2015 regulating the raising of funds for donations in the emirate of Dubai (the 'Donation Law of Dubai'). The law regulates the work of social service providers and prohibits collection of donations or advertising of fund-raising campaigns through all forms of media without obtaining prior written approval from the IACAD. Individuals or group of individuals who wish to volunteer themselves in any charitable initiative should ensure obtaining prior approvals and consent from IACAD in Dubai.

Source Khaleej Times

 

Fundraising

Disclaimer: I've decided to add these posters and videos as a reference for those interested in fundraising abroad not for UAE residents.

 

How to be a better fundraiser - Kara Logan Berlin

WATCH: https://youtu.be/SUvoBzjZv7E

Credit TEDx

 

Easy Fundraising Ideas for your Non Profit

WATCH: https://youtu.be/nvf148uutq8

Credit Aplos

 

Thank you for reading and supporting literacy wherever you live.

Love Peace and Blessings 

Sabeena

 

If you would like to support Aprende Leyendo Colombia.

Please follow them on social media

Aprende Leyendo on Social Media

Email: aprendeleyendo.com

Facebook: aprendeleyendocol

Instagram: aprendeleyendo

 

If you'd like to support the World Literacy Foundation follow them on social media.

The World Literacy Foundation on Social Media 

Twitter: @WorldLiteracy

Facebook: @worldliteracyfoundation

Instagram: @worldliteracy_foundation

 

Further Reading and Links

World Literacy Foundation

Marc Hamer

Aprende Leyendo

Macro Trends

Oxfam India

Pakistani Literacy Rate

NPR Education Podcast

TEDx (tba)

TED (tba)

Khaleej Times Illegal Fundraising in the UAE

Blog Chatter Blogging With A Purpose

Hashtags: #WLFAmbassador2020 | #WLF | #WLFAmbassador​​​​​​​

#CauseAChatter

Comments 8

Log in or register to post comments
Nini Mappo
Oct 17
Oct 17

Hello Sabeena,
What a worthy and life-giving commitment to volunteer as a literacy ambassador! I can attest to the negative effects of poor literacy having grown up without books. But also your article touches on different aspects or levels of literacy, which we take for granted, and it's lovely that you can facilitate that in your role. Good on you, and all the best!

SIMON MUREU
Oct 19
Oct 19

NINI,it is a good commenting on this

Thank you Nini! :)

I truly appreciate the time you have taken to comment
and support literacy.

Thank you for sharing your experience of living without books.
You are a true inspiration!!!

This Ambassador Program was a definite eye opener.
I hope to apply again next year.

Here is the link if you are interested to apply during 2021.

https://worldliteracyfoundation.org/ambassador/

Stay safe!
Love, peace and blessings
Sabeena

SIMON MUREU
Oct 19
Oct 19

THANK YOU for this account although very long one
You would wish to read my article--Almost there but no yet--- in world pulse.
i AM SELF EDUCATED and HAS become a writer after long time sruggle
thank you

Thank you Simon!

I truly appreciate the time you have taken to comment
and support literacy.

Yes of course I'll read your post.
Could you kindly paste the link?

Thank you for sharing your personal experience.
You are very brave.

This Ambassador Program was highly informative.

Here is the link if you are interested to apply during 2021.

https://worldliteracyfoundation.org/ambassador/

Stay safe!
Peace and blessings
Sabeena

Beth Lacey
Oct 21
Oct 21

great, informative article

Thank you Beth! :)

I truly appreciate the time you have taken to comment
and support literacy.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Ambassador Program
I hope to apply again next year.

Here is the link if you are interested to apply during 2021.

https://worldliteracyfoundation.org/ambassador/

Stay safe!
Love, peace and blessings
Sabeena

Beth Lacey
Oct 21
Oct 21

Great informative article