Education is one of the best tools we have to eliminate poverty, but there are still millions around the world who haven’t even learnt the basics, including how to read or write. This global issue can have long-term effects, meaning they can’t attend school, their work choices are severely limited, and they can’t participate in political activities. This problem exists almost everywhere meaning one solutions isn’t enough, but together we can all help improve the global state of education to secure a more promising future for everyone.

Access to an education should be a universal entitlement as it provides the foundation for a stable, healthy and growth-oriented life. In celebration of World Book Day, we’d like to present some of the best 2015 INDEX: Award nominations that bring educational opportunities to a number of neglected groups in society.

According to UNESCO, there are 781 million illiterate adults in the world and 64 percent of them are women. Headed by Pearson, Project Literacy aims to change this growing problem through bringing together a diverse and global cross-section of people and organisations. Together with 14 partners, they have been implementing and developing literacy initiatives to make significant and sustainable advances in education. By 2030, the organisation aims to eliminate poor literacy in children all over the globe. Want to know how you can help? Click here.

Also tackling the literacy challenge is the Fundza Literacy Trust – a South African non-profit organisation dedicated to improving literacy among teens and young adults. Run by highly-skilled individuals with experience in business, marketing, publishing, writing and teaching, Fudza provides a broad range of fantastic programmes. Ranging from initiatives to get books to remote locations to young writer workshops, the Trust is able to tap into the potential of youth and give them a strengthened education.

In contemporary society the Internet is one of our most powerful educational resources, but currently only one in 10 children can access it. Taking remote education solutions one step further, Rumie is a movement working to bring 21st century knowledge to all children worldwide. Helping resource-constrained and offline communities to grasp what the world has to offer, the Rumie Tablet provides an entire library of learning materials for the price of just one book. The Tablet includes pre-approved materials including books and lectures to exercises and even games – giving underprivileged children and young adults access to a real wealth of knowledge.

There are an estimated 232 million migrant workers around the world, according to the International Labour Orgnisation (ILO), and children of migrant workers are among the most educationally affected in a number of nations. Often staying at home or going to work with their parents, a child’s playground is frequently the construction site – surrounded with concrete, gravel and bricks. One Little Red Brick created by Mahendra Chauhan, provides a basic introduction to literacy through using bricks as educational tools. The red bricks are precast with letters, words and images for children to learn while working with their parents. These bricks are locally available, cheap to produce and can be developed with the existing methods of brick casting.

We can all help to democratise education – check out more of our 2015 INDEX: Award nominations to see how designers are doing their part!

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