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                                       Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO
                                                                                                           A cco r d i n g t o U N E S CO ’s E FA G l o b a l
                                                                                                           Monitoring Report (2009), there are 776
                                                                                                           million adult illiterates in the world today,
                                                                                                           of which 500 million are women. In the
                                                                                                           Asia-Pacific region, 524 million adults are
                                                                                                           illiterate and more than 60% of them are
                                                                                                           These illiterate women are deprived of
                                                                                                           access to basic education and many of
                                                                                                           them do not have access to basic health
                                                                                                           services, either. It is widely recognised that
                                                                                                           if the female literacy rate is low, infant and
                                                                                                           maternal mortality rate tends to be high .
                                                                                                           Parents, especially mothers, have great
                                                                                                           influence on the educational and health
                                                                                                           conditions of their children, and it is
                                                                                                           expected that the improvement of women’s
                                                                                                           literacy will lead to the improvement of the
                                                                                                           education and health of their children and
                                                                                                           family members as well as that of the future
                                                                                                           O n e of t h e p re vailing chall e ng e s of
                                                                                                           any literacy programme /project is the
                                                                                                           sustainment of learners' literacy skills,
                                                                                                           par ticularly of neo - literates. If they
                                                                                                           are not encouraged to use their newly
                                                                                                           acquired skills, they easily relapse into
                                                                                                           illiteracy. It is essential to build literate
                                                                                                           environments which facilitate reading
                                                                                                           activities and the use of literacy skills at
                                                                                                           home and in communities, in order to
    Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU)                                                         ensure the sustainment of literacy skills.
    Japan Publishers Building, 6 Fukuromachi                                                               Such environments will also be the basis for
    Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 162-8484 Japan                                                                     creating the learning society.
    Phone: +81-3-3269-4559 Fax: +81-3-3269-4510

    Printed by TRY Co., Ltd, Japan [Dec.2009/1000]
    Photo credits: LRCs in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Nepal, Pakistan and Philippines, and ACCU

2                                                                                                              Philippines                                      3
                                                                                                                                     Where is it going on?
                                                                                                                                                    Project Site(s)

                                                                                                                  Pakistan                           Nepal                          Lao PDR

                                                                                                         Pakistan Girl Guides Association   National Resource Center for       Non-Formal Education
                                                                                                         Punjab Branch (PGGA)                  Non-Formal Education        Development Centre (NFEDC),
                                                                                                                                                     (NRC-NFE)               Department of Non-Formal
                                                                                                                                                                           Education, Ministry of Education

    What is        SMILE Project?                                                                                 Lahore
                                                                                                               Nankana Sahib
                                                                                                                                                    Bagmati                          Vientiane
                               “SMILE”(Supporting Maternal and Child
                               Health Improvement and Building Literate
                               E n v i r o n m e n t ) p r o j e c t i s fo r m u l a t e d
                               as a model literacy project which
                               integrates literacy and maternal and child
                               health education. This project aims to
                               comprehensively improve the educational
                               environment of home and community
                               by focusing on women’s literac y and
                               improvement of mothers’ and children’s
                               The projec t was star ted in 20 07
                               implemented by two Literacy Resource
                               Centres for Girls and Women (LRCs) and
                               has now expanded to six LRCs in Asian
                               countries. The six LRCs are implementing
                               the SMILE project following a framework                                           Nepal

                               including exemplar project activities, such
                               as development of SMILE curriculum and
                               materials, organisation of literacy classes,
                               distribution of literacy promotion “gift
                               packages”, cooperation with health sectors
                               and implementation of monitoring and
                               evaluation. At the same time, each LRC is
                               developing unique activities of its own, as                                      Bangladesh                        Cambodia                        Philippines
                               Target groups of the SMILE project are                                     Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM)          Cambodian Women’s              Notre Dame Foundation for
                                                                                                                                            Development Agency (CWDA)      Charitable Activities, Inc., Women
                               1) illiterate and neo-literate mothers,                                                                                                      in Education and Development
                               2) mothers especially with small children, and                                                                                                      (NDFCAI-WED)
                               3) mothers-to-be.
                    Cambodia   By integrating literacy and maternal and
                               child health education, and building                                                 Dhaka                        Phnom Penh                    Shariff Kabunsuan
                                                                                                                   Jessore                        Prey Veng                      Maguindanao
                               a li te rate e nv iro nm e nt in h o m e and
                               community, the SMILE project try to reach
                               unreached population to contribute to
                               achieve the goals of Education for All
                                                                                              Cambodia                       Nepal                       Philippines                 Philippines
                               ( EFA), United Nations Literacy Decade
                               ( U N L D : 2 0 0 3 -2 012 ) a n d M i l l e n n i u m
                       Nepal   Development Goals (MDGs).

4    Philippines                                                                                                                                                                                                5
                                                                         Material Development
                                                                         It is indispensable to have appropriate
                                                                         literacy materials for promoting women’s
                                                                         literac y and learning about maternal
                                                                         and child health care. There are various
                                                                         teaching/learning materials that already
                                                                         exist. To use the maximum of existing
                                                                         resources, each LRC collects materials
                                                                         from various organisations. The collected
                                                                         materials are selected carefully to be used
                                                                         in the SMILE curriculum which has been
                                                                         developed by each LRC. When necessary,
                                                                         LRCs develop their own original materials
                                                                         to meet mothers’ needs.

                                                                        Facilitators’ Training
                                                                        Communit y Learning Centres (CLCs) /
                                                                        Communit y Resource Centres ( CRCs)
                                                                        m a n a g e r s , l i t e r a c y fa c i l i t a t o r s a n d
                                                                        community health workers are trained
                                                                        to deepen understanding of the SMILE
                                                                        project and to provide integrated literacy
                                                                        and maternal and child health education.

    Literacy Education                                      Lao PDR
                                                                                                                                                        Literacy Classes
                                                                                                                                                        Literacy/post-literacy classes integrating
                                                                                                                                                        maternal and child health education are
                                                                                                                                                        conducted at Community Learning Centres
              What is Literacy?                                                                                                                         (CLCs) / Community Resource Centres
                                                                                                                                                        (CRCs). Facilitators circulate around the
              "Literacy" is one of the biggest and
                                                                                                                                                        village and visit learners’ houses from time
              the most difficult issues that people
                                                                                                                                                        to time so that none of the learners will be
              in developing countries are facing.
                                                                                                                                                        left behind in class.
              UNESCO defines a "literate" as a person
              "who can, with understanding, both
              read and write a short, simple statement
              on his /her everyday life." There are
              many people who have the will to learn;                                                                                    Bangladesh
              nevertheless, they have little opportunity
              to access basic education due to various
              reasons such as poverty, discrimination,
              conflict, etc. As a result, they are unable
                                                                                                      I would like to use information to continue to educate and disseminate
                                                                                                      the information to family members, tell children about hygiene in food
              to have skills for reading, writing and                 the field                       and eating and tell mothers that have small children how to breast-
              calculating.                                                                            feed, how to provide food for children aged 0 to 5 years, take children
                                                                                                      to get vaccinated, and tell pregnant women about how to take care of
                                                                                                      their health during pregnancy.
                                                                                                                                          Ms. Sounung Sokin, a CLC facilitator, Cambodia

6                                                                                                                                                                                                      7
                                                                      Reading Corner
                                                                      One of the biggest problems that causes
                                                                      neo-literates to relapse into illiteracy is lack
                                                                      of interesting books and reading materials
                                                                      around them. To tackle this problem,
                                                                      LRCs are encouraged to establish library
                                                                      facilities or reading corners in CLCs/CRCs
                                                                      or LRCs. In some countries, learners are
                                                                      setting up their own reading corners at
                                                                      home. Reading and storytelling sessions
                                                                      for children are also encouraged to be
                                                                      conducted at CLCs /CRCs, LRCs and at

                                                                      Gift Package
                                                                      A literacy promotion “gift package” is
                                                                      developed and delivered to learners so that
                                                                      they can continue to utilise knowledge and
                                                                      skills that they acquired in literacy classes.
                                                                      It contains, for example, an alphabet poster,
                                                                      a laminated card with the learner’s hand-
                                                                      written message to her child and a photo

    Literate Environment
                                                                                                                                       of the child, textbooks, children’s books,
                                                                                                                                       etc. In addition, in some countries, hygiene
                                                                                                                                       items such as soap and toothbrush and
                                                                                                                                       first-aid kit are included.
               Basis of a Learning Society
               It is impor tant to create a literate
               environment in the family and community
               so that people can continue learning
               and utilising acquired knowledge in
               their ever yday life. A good literate
               environment will be the basis of a
               learning society.
                                                                                                                       gift package in Pakistan

                                                                                             The book is very interesting to read because it has many topics and activities
                                                                                             like health information, writing practice, calculation, everyday life, etc. It
                                                                    the field                provides us with information on how to take care of my children and also
                                                                                             myself. I learnt about the stages of pregnancy, and what is a mother’s duty
                                                                                             before, during and after pregnancy by reading the SMILE book. We can
                                                                                             read more books from the reading corner. I am utilising my learning in my
                                                                                             personal life, taking care of my child and also sharing this with my friends.
                                                                                             Ms. Parvin Khatun, learner of SMILE project, Prodip Ganokendra, Bangladesh

8                                                                                                                                                                                     9
                                                                       Connection with the
                                                                       Health Sector
                                                                       In addition to literacy and maternal and
                                                                       child health education for mothers, it is
                                                                       also important to connect mothers with
                                                                       people in the health sector. For example,
                                                                       collaborative ties between health sections
                                                                       of the local governments, regional health
                                                                       organisations, health centres, doctors               Nepal
                                                                       and nurses should be strengthened.
                                                                       Primary health care services may include
                                                                       health checkup for mothers and children,
                                                                       provision of immunisations for children,
                                                                       provision of guidance on nutrition, basic
                                                                       hygiene and maternity and infant care,
                                                                       provision of medicine and nutritious food
                                                                       for sick and malnourished children, etc.

                                                                       Mothers’ Groups
                                                                       Mothers who studied in literacy classes are
                                                                       making mothers’ groups. In the groups,
                                                                       mothers can share their experiences and
                                                                       exchange information. It is reported that
                                                                       for many mothers, it was the first time

     Collaboration                                     Philippines
                                                                       in their lives to share their anxiety about            Other Stakeholders
                                                                       their pregnancy and child rearing. The                 Meetings are held with local stakeholders
                                                                       mothers’ groups are expected to become                 such as agencies /workers in education
                                                                       an information hub of the community.                   and health sectors and local authorities in
             Cooperation of Local Communities                                                                                 target communities to establish linkages
                                                                                                                              and co o rdinate w i t h t h e ir s e r v i ce s /
             Neither literacy education nor maternal
             and child health education can be
             implemented without cooperation of
             local communities and organisations.
             Collaboration is vital in the SMILE
             project for its sustainability.


                                                                                           The project really helped our community, especially the young mothers.
                                                                                           They are active in attending their classes. I hope this project will
                                                                     the field             continue for years to come.
                                                                                                       Ms. Ben Patano, Barangay Kagawad, Chairman,
                                                                                                       Committee on Education, Barangay Magsaysay, Philippines

10                                                                                                                                                                                 11

     What is                     LRC
     Literacy Resource Centres for Girls and
     Women (LRC) programme was launched
     in 1994 by ACCU in cooperation with                                                                                                                                                                                                                         JAPAN
     UNESCO and its member states in Asia-                                      LRC                                                                                                                                                                               ACCU
                                                                      Islamic Republic of Iran                                                                                                 China
     Pacific region, in order to meet the needs
                                                                                                                            LRC                                                                 LRC
     for literacy education, especially for girls
     and women. The LRCs were managed by                                                                                  Pakistan
     a partner literacy/Non-Formal Education                                                                                                                 Bhutan
     ( N FE) organis ations. At present, 18                                                                                                                   LRC
     organisations in 17 countries are members                                                                                                          Bangladesh
     of the ACCU-LRC network.
                                                                                                                          INDIA-Jaipur                     LRC
     The common functions of the LRC are                                                                                                                                                  Viet Nam
     pro m ot ing litera c y and no n -fo r mal                                                                                                                                              LRC
     education (NFE) through various activities                                                                                                                       Thailand LRC
     such as materials and curriculum                                                                                               LRC                               LRC LRC Lao PDR
     development, training, net working,                                                                                    India-Indore                            Myanmar
     info r mat i o n shar ing and a d vo c a c y.
     Each LRC conducts different activities                                                                                                               UNESCO Bangkok
     responding to the local needs.                                                                                                                                                       LRC
     The SMILE project is implemented by                                                                                                                                                Cambodia
     the member organisations of the ACCU-                                                                                                                                                                                         Philippines
     LRC network who expressed interest in                                                                                                 LRC                                                                                         LRC
     implementation of the project and whose                                                                                                Sri Lanka
     proposals were approved.

      Bangladesh                                                    India-Indore
      Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM)                                   State Resource Centre for Adult Education, M.P., Bhartiya                                                                      Indonesia
      (e-mail)                            Grameen Mahila Sangh (SRC Indore)                                                                                                 LRC
      (web)     (e-mail)                                                                                                                                                                Papua New Guinea
                                                                    (web)                                                                                                                                                                             LRC
      Non Formal and Continuing Education Division (NFCED),         Indonesia
      Department of Adult and Higher Education,                     Studio Driya Media (SDM)                                                             Nepal                                                           Sri Lanka
      Ministry of Education                                         (e-mail)                                                         National Resource Center for Non-formal Education (NRC-NFE)     Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement of Sri Lanka (SSM)
      (e-mail)                                (web)                            (e-mail)                           (e-mail)
      (web)                                                                                                    (web)                                (web)
                                                                    Islamic Republic of Iran
      Cambodia                                                      Literacy Movement Organization (LMO)                                                 Pakistan                                                        Thailand
      Cambodian Women’s Development Agency (CWDA)                   (web)                            Pakistan Girl Guides Association Punjab Branch (PGGA)           Hill Area and Community Development Foundation (HADF)
      (e-mail)                                                                                                                        (e-mail)                                   (e-mail)
      (web)                    Lao PDR                                                                              (web)  
                                                                    Non-Formal Education Development Centre (NFEDC)                                                                                                      (web)
      China                                                         (e-mail)                                                          Papua New Guinea                                                         learning.htm
      Research and Training Centre for Literacy Education (RTCLE)   (web)                            Papua New Guinea Integral Human Development Trust (PNG Trust)
      (web)                                                                                                                 (web)    Viet Nam
                                  Mongolia                                                                                                                                             National Organization for Community Education, Continuing
                                                                    National Centre for Non Formal and Distance Education (NFDE)                         Philippines                                                     Education and Development (NOCEAD)
      India-Jaipur                                                  (web)                                                            Notre Dame Foundation for Charitable Activities, Inc., Women    (e-mail)
      Rajasthan Adult Education Association (RAEA)                                                                                                       in Education and Development (NDFCAI-WED)                      
      (e-mail)                            Myanmar                                                                              (e-mail)                                  (web)
      (web)           Myanmar Literacy Resource Centre (MLRC)                                                                                        toppage.htm
               namaskar.htm                                         (e-mail)                                                     (web)
                                                                    (web)                                     wedlrc_1.htm

12                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   13
                                                                                                              Facts & Figures                                                                                                                                                                               About ACCU
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU) is a
                     1                        Distribution of Global Adult Illiterate Population
                                              (15 and over) by Gender, 2005-2007                                                                            2                              Female Adult Literacy Rate and
                                                                                                                                                                                           Under-5 Mortality Rate                                                                             non-profit organisation established in 1971 for Asia and
                                              (Total Number of Adult Illiterate Population: 775 millions)                                                                                                                                                                                     the Pacific regional activities in line with the principles
                                              Two-thirds of illiterate population are women.                                                                                               As mothers learn to read, more children survive.                                                   of UNESCO, working for the promotion of mutual
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              understanding and cultural cooperation among peoples in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              the region.

                                                                                                36%                                                                                                  AFG                                                                                      ACCU has since been implementing various regional

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              cooperative programmes in the fields of culture, education
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              and personnel exchange in close collaboration with

                                                                                                                                                     under-5 mortality rate, 2006
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              UNESCO and its member states in Asia and the Pacific.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              ACCU carried out the programmes on the “think together,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              work together” principle and reflect local needs and
                                                                                                                                                                                    100                              PAK
                                                                            Female            Male                                                                                                                              IND
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             BGD                LAO
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      BTN         PNG
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                CHN MNG
                                                                       Adult Illiterate Population 2005-2007                                                                          50                                   NPL
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              IDN PHL
                                                               Total                      Male                      Female                                                                                                                            IRN             MDV
                     World Total                               775                        278                        497                                                                                                                                    MYS    THA

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Peaceful and
                                                                                                                                                                                           0    10       20     30     40        50      60     70          80         90   100
                                                                                                                                                                                                           female adult literacy rate, 2000-2006 (%)

                     3                        Female Adult Literacy Rate and
                                              Total Fertility Rate                                                                                          4                              Female Adult Literacy Rate and Percentage of
                                                                                                                                                                                           Female Enrollment in Primary Education                                                               Sustainable Society
                                              As female literacy rates climb, total fertility rate drops.                                                                                  As female literacy rate increases, more girls are enrolled
                                                                                                                                                                                           in primary education.                                                                               with Cultural Diversity
                                        8.0                                                                                                                                           60

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     IRN     MYS PHL
                                        7.0                                                                                                                                                                                                                 MMR    MNG
                                                                                                                                         Percentage of female enrollment in primary

                                                                                                                                                                                      50                                   BTN    BGD
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      NPL        IND                        VNM            MDV
     (no. of children per woman) 2006

                                        6.0                                                                                                                                                                                          PNG      LAO
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 IDN     THA
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     PAK                                               CHN
                                                                                                                                                   education, 2006 (%)

              Total fertility rate


                                        4.0                                                                                                                                           30
                                                                            PAK                                       MYS PHL
                                                                                   NPL            LAO
                                                                                                        KHM          IDN
                                                                                   BGD IND                      VNM             MDV
                                                                                   BTN                        IRN                  MNG

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Sharing                   Working
                                                                                                               MMR                                                                    10


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Visions                   together
                                         0                                                                                                                                             0
                                              0     10      20         30     40         50      60     70      80         90      100                                                     0    10       20     30     40        50      60     70          80         90   100
                                                     Female adult literacy rate (15 and over) 2000-2006 (%)                                                                                       Female adult literacy rate (15 and over) 2000-2006 (%)

                                                                                                                                                                                           Country Code
                                                                                                                                                                                           Afghanistan        AFG                     Maldives                   MDV
                                                                                                                                                                                           Bangladesh         BGD                     Mongolia                   MNG
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 NPL                                                                                      Education
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Papua New Guinea
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Personnel             Cultural                 Education             for Sustainable
                                                                                                                                                                                           Indonesia          IDN                     Philippines                PHL              Exchange              Heritage                for All(EFA)            Development
                                                                                                                                                                                           Iran               IRN                     Sri Lanka                  LKA
                                                                                                                                                                                           Lao PDR
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Viet Nam

                                                                                                                                                                                           Source: Asia-Pacific Literacy Data Base
                                                         Philippines                                                  Cambodia                                                                     (

14                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       15
Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO

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