Illiteracy is a key issue that hampers an individual’s ability to function in society. It limits employment opportunities and perpetuates the cycle of poverty. In the Philippines, pockets of illiteracy remain despite having a basic literacy rate of more than 95%.
Recognizing the crucial role literacy plays in uplifting lives, Globe has partnered with NABU, a reading app and mother tongue publishing platform that makes literacy accessible to children globally. Based in New York, NABU is a nonprofit organization focused on eradicating poverty through increased literacy.
The partnership is in line with Globe’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including UN SDG No. 4 on the provision of quality education, and UN SDG No. 17, which highlights the value of partnerships in achieving sustainable development goals.
“Globe is always looking for ways to empower Filipinos. We believe that literacy is a fundamental right that should be accessible to everyone. This partnership with NABU will help us make reading more accessible to Filipinos, so they can learn, appreciate local culture, and reach their full potential,” said Yoly Crisanto, Chief Sustainability and Corporate Communications Officer of the Globe Group.
“We are excited to be partnering with Globe on this project. This is the first time that we are venturing into the Philippine market. We are confident that this partnership will help us solve the imbalance in children’s book creation and distribution,” said Tanyella Evans, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Creator of NABU.
According to a joint report released by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the World Bank titled “Where are we on Education Recovery?,” the Philippines is currently experiencing a “learning poverty” where an estimated 70% of 10-year olds in low- and middle-income countries are unable to read or comprehend a simple story.
Their findings also showed how learning has become further exacerbated by the global pandemic, driven by the disruption to in-person schooling.
Through this partnership, Globe will serve as a distribution unit for NABU’s e-books throughout the Philippines to complement students’ learning. Anyone can access the Nabu.org mobile app for free.
Together, the two organizations are bringing more than a hundred Filipino books, with some translated into regional languages such as Hiligaynon, Bicolano, Ilokano, Cebuano, and Maranao. NABU believes that helping children read in their local language first allows their confidence to grow. Having culturally represented, original, and relatable stories in the bilingual text increase the child’s motivation to read.
Over the next two years, Globe and NABU will seek to expand the platform’s reach by partnering with schools and learning facilities. NABU is also excited to hone the skills of Filipino creatives such as writers and illustrators to continue telling and creating more stories that reach a wider audience.