Improving literacy for sustainable development

Soad, Egypt

We can only write our names – “Like the rest of my brothers and sisters I have never been to school. We can only write our names but we can’t read. When we were born, our parents were afraid we wouldn’t survive. We were very sick babies. My parents couldn’t feed us well and didn’t manage to vaccinate us. So the little money that my father had, he wanted to spend on medicine. I’m very sad. I regret not knowing how to read or write. There is no one who can help me to become educated because I have no money. I wish I could be educated and free to move around. It makes me very upset. Sometimes my sister’s and I talk about it and we feel very ashamed because our cousins are all educated, but not us. Egyptian society reminds me that I’m not only a house cleaner but also someone without qualifications. A few days ago, someone that I know came to propose to me. Every woman dreams to get married! But the mother of this man refused because he is educated and I am not. We had to stop our relationship. I’m very sad.” Soad, Egypt. Photo: Magali Corouge/UNESCO

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