September 8, 2014

First graders, ranging in age, practice their writing in class at Sacred Heart Love School, which is run by Our Lady of the Mission Nuns outside of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. The sisters’ school specifically caters to children of migrant workers, whose education is interrupted by moving frequently. Their work flies under the official eye of the government, which prohibits religious groups from running schools and health care centers. (Mary Nguyen)

 “Literacy is a key lever of change and a practical tool of empowerment on each of the three main pillars of sustainable development: economic development, social development and environmental protection.”

- Former U.N. Secretary-General, Kofi Annan

Today is International Literacy Day; the theme for 2014 is “Literacy and Sustainable Development.” Click on that link to watch videos, read and learn more about how literacy affects economic growth, social development and environmental protection. A main celebration today is in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where the government and UNESCO are hosting a conference on girls’ and women’s literacy and education.

Today’s photo is from a recent story by Joachim Pham: Nuns struggle to alleviate illiteracy among disadvantaged children