If anything, 2021 has been a more challenging year than 2020 for early literacy in the global South. But as with 2020, this year – with all its pandemic-related setbacks – has also seen a lot of innovation and the sharing of ideas.
Sometimes innovation is not about the shiny new things, but rather about grasping existing opportunities to make them work for you and your community, especially when confronted with a crisis.
It’s been an eventful year. In spite of the Pandemic, we have much to celebrate in the promotion of early literacy and a culture of reading in the global South. The awards and milestones achieved by the institutions and people listed below should be applauded, given the many challenges they faced in 2020.
So, we’ve put together a list of all the excellent happenings that we’ve noted; if anything is missing, please let us know in the comments section below.
Ubongo co-founder, Nisha Ligon, describes this non-profit social enterprise as the world’s biggest classroom, and with a reach to 17 million learners across sub-Saharan Africa, she’s not wrong. Although Ubongo content is aimed at African children, it is equally relevant to anyone interested in high-quality, multicultural, and entertaining educational resources for children.
For this blog series, the Early Learning Resource Network is reaching out to authors, editors, illustrators, translators, educators, publishers and other stakeholders who, through their creative endeavours, are working to grow and improve the early learning environment, specifically on the African continent.
These non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which have innovatively adopted open licensing publishing and distribution models and that specialize in solving early literacy challenges in developing nations, were selected along with a list of other initiatives, ‘for their exemplary work in ensuring that children continue to build critical literacy skills.’
Craig Esbeck, Director, Mango Tree Literacy Lab