This month’s newsletter is issued on an important occasion: UNESCO’s International Literacy Day, which turns our attention to both the challenges and the successes of increasing literacy rates worldwide. The Talloires Network is proud to promote literacy through our Global Project. Our members are engaged in innovative literacy programs that address not only reading, but also numeracy and technology as well as health, the theme of this year’s International Literacy Day.
Below you will find a few examples of literacy initiatives that are resulting in positive change in local communities. I would especially like to draw your attention to the projects organized by students whose participation in the Clinton Global Initiative-University was supported by the Talloires Network. Their work around literacy is powerful, and our investment in their efforts was very worthwhile.
Finally, I would like to welcome our newest members, representing five different countries. As we have come to see since we first gathered at Talloires in 2005, higher education plays an increasingly vital role in shaping local and global communities.
For the 38th successive year, UNESCO is organizing International Literacy Day to remind the international community of the status of literacy and adult learning globally. Today, one in five adults is not literate and two-thirds of them are women. This year, the event’s theme is “Literacy is the best remedy,” focusing on the relationship between literacy and health.
Health Resource Book Project at Charles Darwin University, Australia
Maria Kambouris, a Clinton Global Initiative-University (CGI-U) student at Charles Darwin, is developing an innovative project to increase the health literacy of Indigenous and ethnic groups in the Northern Territory of Australia.She will travel to remote locations to meet with carers, young people who care for family members or friends with serious illnesses.Health professionals will deliver information sessions to program participants, who will develop a health resource book to help them make informed decisions about health care.
Arts Festival Increases HIV/AIDS Awareness in Ukraine
Organizers of a week-long festival in Mykolayiv, Ukraine used art media to draw attention to the problem of HIV/AIDS. Andrew Lopakov, a CGI-U student at Petro-Mohyla University, developed the idea for the festival, entitled “A Future without AIDS.” In preparation for the event, he helped to train fellow students in theatre, arts, health education, and teambuilding. The final festival, which included theatre productions, live music, and an art auction, promoted awareness of HIV/AIDS and raised money for a local orphanage.
The mobile clinics run by Aga Khan students, faculty, and staff host a variety of literacy-based development projects in addition to medical care.Members of poor communities can access adult literacy programs, female empowerment projects, leadership training, and microfinance assistance.Aga Khan’s Department of Community Health Science used the mobile clinic to help increase girls’ enrollment in school by 40% through a community-based school lunch program.Learn more>>
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded $1 million to the Vasconcelos Program in Veracruz State, Mexico for its innovative efforts to connect people to information and knowledge through free access to computers, the Internet, and training. Students from the Universidad Veracruzana, a Talloires Network member, bring these tools and services to rural, indigenous communities using all-terrain vehicles equipped with technology classrooms. Read more>>
The joint conference is hosted by the Government of Mexico and organized in cooperation with the National Institute for Adult Education (INEA). The event’s overall objective is to consolidate a regional perspective on the key issues, challenges and proposed forward-looking strategies to renew policies and action in literacy, adult learning and education. Learn more>>
Tadamon: Towards Civic Engagement in Arab Education: Conference in Cairo, Egypt, October 13-14 2008
The first regional conference on the role of Arab universities in civic engagement and social responsibility will be held this fall in Cairo.This event is co-hosted by the John D. Gerhart Center for Philanthropy and Civic Engagement at the American University in Cairo and the Talloires Network.
The Association of Commonwealth Universities will hold a conference of Executive Heads in Hyderabad, India. The theme of the conference is "Dazzling Technologies: Seismic shifts in higher education in a fast-changing and unequal world." Brenda Gourley, Chair of the Talloires Network Global Project, also serves as Chair of the ACU Council.The Talloires Network will organize a plenary lunch, workshop and gathering for Indian university leaders. Learn more>>
What is literacy? Who is studying it? And how is it being studied? Addressing the need for an expanded conversation about literacy that exceeds disciplinary boundaries, this conference is a space for graduate and professional students from all fields to ask questions and share investigations of literacy, broadly defined. This conference aims to expand the dialogue and explore the landscape and intersections of literacy studies as a framework of critical investigation. Submission deadline for proposals is October 15, 2008. Learn more and submit>>
The Association of American Colleges and Universities published this special issue on student political engagement.The articles examine how the academy engages students in their learning today to help them grow as engaged citizens for tomorrow.Our own Robert Hollister of the Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University co-authored an article for this issue. Read more>>
Introducing the New Talloires Network Service Fellow
Hannah Ayers is a recent graduate of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where she majored in History and French.Her coursework and research focused on the contemporary history of sub-Saharan Africa.Hannah’s primary interests include international education and the nonprofit sector.In the summer of 2006, she participated in the Phoenix Project’s Nonprofit Leadership Program, where she was first introduced to university-community partnerships.She is looking forward to working with the Talloires Network to promote similar partnerships and civic engagement worldwide.