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The Lives Unseen


The following stories have all been inspired by real people who were kind enough to share a glimpse into their responsibilities, fears, hopes and coping strategies as an illiterate person.

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VR Stories

VR Stories


We’re sharing stories via virtual reality in the hopes of inspiring you to join Project Literacy and advocate for improved literacy on a global scale. So put on a mask and experience a frozen moment in the life of someone living with illiteracy.

B is for Bloodshed

Mark's Story

G is for Gender Inequality

Sandhya’s Story

M is for Malnutrition

Terri's story
Inspired by True Stories

Inspired by True Stories


To help form an authentic moment we have had conversations with non-readers and those affected by other literacy challenges as well as experts in the field.

Brendan on...

...signals for change

Now I’m getting older, I have to think about independence. I need to be able to write to the local authority, structure a letter, use paragraphs and punctuation…

Brendan, 62, is a self-motivated adult student with a reading age of 11. He is learning to write.

The Unsigned Petition The Unsigned Petition

The Unsigned Petition

We've left 757 million spaces on this petition to represent every illiterate person on the planet. Illiteracy fuels poverty, hunger, radicalisation, the spread of HIV, child brides, infant mortality and gender inequality. And it has to stop. Sign for those who can't.

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Get Involved Get Involved

Get Involved

Illiteracy fuels poverty, hunger, radicalisation, the spread of HIV, child brides, infant mortality and gender inequality. And it has to stop. We want the UN to put literacy at the heart of every action to advance the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Read our open letter. Sign for those who can't.

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