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Literacy has the power to break the poverty cycle
Nathalie Cupido

Worcester – World Literacy Day was celebrated on Tuesday (8 September), which aims to focus attention on the ability to read and write. These are crucial skills for a young person for them to reach their full potential within the world. A local literacy pioneer, Nathalie Cupido, was selected as the ambassador for the World Literacy Foundation earlier this year. Standard visited her to hear more about her passion for literacy and the work of the foundation.

“There are 140 countries where the foundation is currently active. Due to the restraints of the Covid-19 pandemic, I have recently started with campaigns on e-platforms to create awareness,” says Cupido.

The foundation aims to lift the literacy skills of those who are illiterate and provide limitless opportunities to disadvantaged youth through the power of education. In turn, it aims to break the cycle of poverty in the communities where it is most needed.

“This month is the first month of contact and I have placed my focus on donations of literacy kits to schools and the community. The main focus areas are those centres which lack educational resources.”

Literacy in the early years is the single most important factor to determine the future direction of young people.

“In our community, those most likely to be illiterate or with low level reading skills are young people from disadvantaged and marginalized backgrounds. Literacy in the early years is the single most important factor to determine the future direction of young people. Since I’ve had the opportunity to teach in the Foundation Phase, I experienced the challenges young children are faced with, with regards to literacy. It is paramount that we not only raise the importance of being able to read and write with adults and in our communities but also those currently in the schooling system.”

Cupido adds that it is important to create awareness around this problem and understanding the impact of low literacy levels are important to prevent lasting negative consequences.

“I hope that I can take ads with leaders in the community to have a more powerful impact. We have a constant need for the donation of books, educational toys, crayons, stationary and relevant items for all ages.”

Cupido visited local school, De Tuinen Primary and Sonnestraal Educare, in celebration of World Literacy Day to make donations.

“I would like to thank my existing partnerships in the community especially Boland College Worcester, for their ongoing support.”

Anyone wanting to donate to the literacy cause can contact Nathalie Cupido at 071 1608 408 or via email at cupidonathalie@gmail.com.

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