Building peace in the minds of men and women

International Literacy Day 2017 celebrations around the world

Every year on 8 September, International Literacy Day is celebrated around the world in honour of literacy and to bring awareness to the importance of closing the literacy gap.

This page will feature a selection of events and celebrations that will be taking place around the world on 8 September around the theme of literacy in a digital world.

If you are preparing an event and wish to appear on this list, please contact and provide us with a very short description of the event; information about where it takes place; name of the organization; title of the event and a link to a website with more information as well as a contact person.


Events organized by UNESCO Field Offices


  • Country: Afghanistan
  • Organization: UNESCO Office in Afghanistan
  • Title of event: International Literacy Day celebrations
  • Venue and date: 6 September 2017
  • More information

‘The Deputy Ministry of Education for Literacy (DMoEL) in close partnership with UNESCO and other partners (NGOs, Civil Society, Government agencies) have organized ILD celebrations to be held on 6th September at Amani High School in Kabul. This event will be presided over by the First lady of Afghanistan, who is also the Good will Ambassador for Literacy in Afghanistan.  Also in attendance will be the Second Vice President, Minister of Education, Deputy Minister of Education for Literacy, donor representatives and other stakeholders. This occasion will also be used to launch  a national literacy contest to recognize the outstanding work of government, non-governmental organizations that come up with innovative approaches for the enhancement of youths and adult literacy in Afghanistan.’


  • Country: Iran
  • Organization: UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office in cooperation with the Literacy Movement Organization (under the Iranian Ministry of Education)
  • Nature of event: International Literacy Day event in Tehran on 10 September 2017 (date to be confirmed). The event will bring together representatives from government, UN agencies, civil society organizations, development partners, and the private sector.
  • Date: 10 September 2017

A mobile application targeting low-literate and semi-literate learners, which also promotes health, nutrition, and water saving, will be launched at the ILD event. The mobile application was jointly developed by UNESCO, LMO, and the Bel Rouzaneh Dairy Company. The application is based on the booklet The Healthy Family, which was co-developed and published in 2016 by the same partners. The booklet was widely disseminated to learners enrolled in literacy classes at CLCs across the Islamic Republic of Iran.’

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan

  • Country: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan
  • Organization: UNESCO Almaty DVV International (Institute for International Cooperation of the German Adult Education Association), UNESCO Bangkok, UNESCO Tashkent and UIL
  • Title of event: Central Asian Adult Education Forum on “Community Learning Centres: international Trends and best Practices” 
  • Venue and date: Kyrgyzstan, 7-9 September 2017

‘UNESCO Almaty and DVV International with support from UNESCO Bangkok, UNESCO Tashkent and UIL will organize a Central Asian Adult education forum “Community Learning Centres (CLCs): international trends and best practices” on 7-9 September in Issyk-kul, Kyrgyz Republic.
This event aims to support Central Asian actors and local agents in building the capacities of Community Learning Centres to deliver learning opportunities in urban and remote areas of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
The local communities in Central Asia strongly depend on CLCs, which teach literacy skills and provide learning opportunities to remote areas throughout the sub region. Hence, this Forum seeks to openly discuss the status of CLCs and non-formal education in Central Asia and build cooperation with CLCs and concerned agents in order to revitalize and improve the quality of non-formal education these countries.’


  • Country: Kenya
  • Organization: UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa
  • Title of event: Digital Literacy for Lifelong Learning
  • Date: 8 September 2017

‘The main objective of this activity is to create awareness and advocate for Adult and Continuing Education (ACE)  programmes in order to enhance access, lay emphasis on the central role of literacy in human development and to re-evaluate our achievements in the last year`s performance and lay strategies for the better performance in future.
While the global theme is: Literacy in a digital world, Kenya has adopted a national for this year as ‘Digital Literacy for Lifelong Learning’. The Education Sector is currently focusing on Education curriculum reforms of digitalizing the curriculum content. The theme therefore, fits well with the trends of 21st Century.
The Ministry of Education-Directorate of Adult and Continuing Education is in the process of planning for the National celebrations that shall be held in Kajiado County, while other Counties and Sub-counties will hold their celebrations in their respective venues. Kajiado County was chosen to host the event because the Kenya National Adult Literacy Survey (KNALS 2007) established that the adult literacy rate is low at 50.2%. This state of affairs requires a lot of awareness creation in order to increase enrolment levels of youth and adult learners.
The planned activities include; Literacy Walk, visiting Model Adult Learning Centres, a Reading Tent and Exhibitions of ACE materials.  Adult learners shall also provide entertainments. The Adult Learners Week’s activities shall be held in Isinya Multi-Development training institute.
The highlight of the ILD event will be a Speech delivered by the Cabinet Secretary, MoE and the message from UNESCO Director General in Paris. The CS shall award certificates and trophies to the outstanding graduating learners and other excelling performers.’


  • Country: Mozambique
  • Organization: UNESCO Maputo Office
  • Nature of event: The celebration of International Literacy Day will be focused on the relevance that digital literacy approach plays in the implementation of the literacy programmes in Mozambique. Also, it will be an opportunity to sensitize the main stakeholders and the communities to increase their participation on the Literacy Programme.
  • Date: 1, 6, 8 September 2017
  • More information

1/09/2017 – Launching of the video documentary “Quatro décadas de Alfabetização em Moçambique- Sucessos e perspectivas (1975-2016)” (Four decades of Literacy in Mozambique: Success and perspectives (1975-2016).
06/09/17 -- Seminar “Literacy and Adult Education in Mozambique within the context of the Digital World” in coordination with Ministry of Education and Human Development and Eduardo Mondlane University (Faculty of Education)
The event will consist on presentations of students on this year´s theme at the Faculty of Education. It will include also a short debate on the situation of Adult Literacy and Education in Mozambique and its role in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
08/09/2017 – Central ceremonies of ILD in Tete Province  with the participation by the Minister of Education and Human Development, MASMA (Movement for the Advocacy Sensitization and Mobilization of Resources for Literacy), members of the central government, UNESCO Representative in Mozambique, UNESCO Staff, literacy teachers, learners and community leaders.


  • Country: Pakistan
  • Organization: UNESCO Islamabad
  • Title of event: Symposium on Literacy in Pakistan: Challenges in Digital World
  • Venue and date: 8 September 2017
  • More information - Contact:

‘Symposium on Literacy in Pakistan: Challenges in Digital World: On the occasion of International Literacy Day 2017, National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) and Japan International Cooperation Organization (JICA), in collaboration with UNESCO, will organize a one day symposium on Literacy in Pakistan: Challenges in Digital World on 08th September, 2017 from 0930 to 1600 hours at Margala Hotel, Islamabad.
Engr. Muhammad Baligh ur Rehman, Minister, Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training (MOFE&PT0 will be the Chief guest. Ms. Vibeke Jensen, Representative/Director UNESCO Islamabad will convey the message of UNESCO DG on this important event. Speeches and presentations will be made by development partners. There will be a panel discussion on “Challenges of Literacy in the Digital World”.  Various relevant stakeholders from Government, NGOs, INGOs, CSOs and academia will be participating in the symposium.
A radio talk in connection with International Literacy Day will be aired on 8 September 2017. The following speakers will be interviewed during the radio talk show:

  • Ms. Vibeke Jensen, Representative/Director UNESCO Islamabad
  • Mr. Arshad Saeed Khan, Advisor, National Commission for Human Development (NCHD)
  • Mr. Abid Gill, Deputy Chief Advisor, Japan International Cooperation Organization (JICA)’


  • Country: Senegal
  • Organization: UNESCO Office in Dakar
  • Title of event: 42nd session of the National Literacy Week – Literacy in a digital world
  • Venue and date: 8 – 14 September 2017
  • More information


Other events


  • Country: Australia
  • Organization: Melbourne UNESCO City of Literature Office in partnership with Reykjavik City of Literature Office
  • Title of event: Sleipnir Travels 
  • Venue and date: Online and ongoing
  • More information: /

‘Between the month of July and October, the UNESCO Cities of Literature Melbourne and Reykjavík are sharing the children's readings and short fictional stories on Sleipnir’s journey, an imaginary horse from Norse mythology. Through the Sleipnir Travels Website, designed by Melbourne City of literature Office, children are invited to create digital postcards about Sleipnir’s adventures in the cities it visits.
Sleipnir Travels is a Children’s literacy web tool that shows the journey of the mythical horse Sleipnir between two Cities (with stops in between!) and enables children to write short flash fiction about its journey. On Sleipnirs journey between the Cities children are encouraged to write postcards from Sleipnir, describing Sleipnirs adventures in the Cites he is visiting, which are publishable (and email-able) directly from the website.
Sleipnir is well-known in Norse mythology as the eight-legged horse of the god, Odin. Sleipnir carried Odin throughout the Nine Worlds, and is said to be the best of all horses. Since 2012, Reykjavík City of Literature has associated the figure of Sleipnir with initiatives aimed to get more children and young adults to read.
Since 2012, Reykjavík has associated the figure of Sleipnir with initiatives aimed to get more children and young adults to read. The eight-legged horse of Odin in Norse mythology, can travel freely from one world to another, and is thus symbolic for the mind-travel that we experience through reading. It is safe to say that Sleipnir is no ordinary horse, as he stands for the power of imagination and poetry.’


  • Country: Australia
  • Organization: Australian Council for Adult Literacy
  • Title of event: Traders, Neighbours and Intruders: Points of Contact
  • Venue and date: 12 – 15 September 2017
  • More information


  • Country: Cyprus 
  • Organization: Cyprus Pedagogical Institute, Ministry of Education and Culture, Cyprus, in collaboration with the University of Cyprus
  • Title of event: 2nd International Scientific Conference on Literacy and Contemporary Society: Spaces, Discourses,  Practices 
  • Venue and date: 28-29 November 2017, at the “Filoxenia” Conference Center in Nicosia. 
  • Link to website with more information: or Facebook:

‘The Conference aspires to constitute a dynamic forum for the exchange of theoretical perspectives, research findings and knowledge on good practices related to how Literacy as a broad term, a practice and subject of education can be (re)defined in contemporary institutional/non-institutional and broader socio-political and historical contexts. Therefore, the aim of the Conference is to contribute to the study of different aspects and forms of Literacy and to facilitate the discussion of related issues. 
The Conference addresses teachers, undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral students, academics, researchers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as other stakeholder interested in the promotion of language and literacy, as well as literacy education. Participation in the Conference is free of charge. Information for the registration process will be announced at a later stage on the Conference website.’



  • Country: Ghana
  • Organization: Read Ghana Foundation
  • Title of event: International Literacy Day Celebration.
  • Venue and date: 8 September 2017
  • More information: Website is under construction and will be ready by end of September. Twitter: readghanafound1 or Facebook: Read Ghana Foundation.

‘The activities we plan to undertake on the Day are as follows: We will issue a Press Statement on the "Theme" on behalf of Read Ghana Foundation, Radio Discussions, Time with kids, visit to the Library and Documentary Show. As a literacy foundation, we will be marking the Day with several activities with our facilitators throughout Ghana. The establishment of Read Ghana Foundation as a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) is a wake-up call to the literacy crisis that affects Basic School Pupils in our country Ghana.We need to realise that reading and writing are much more than a technique or a skill.Literacy is about people’s self-esteem and ability to function and flourish in society as private individuals,active citizens, employees, or parents.’


  • Country: India
  • Organization: DAV College
  • Title / nature of event: Sankalp se siddhi (IT Literacy for All)
  • Date: 8 September 2017
  • More information

‘We at DAV College, Amritsar has planned to organize International Literacy day at our College.  DAV College, Amritsar  was established in 1955 by Late Mehar Chand Mahajan, the Former Chief Justice of India. A gateway to Academic and professional excellence, this multi-faculty, Multi-facility Post graduate ( Co-ed ) college is famous for providing to academic and co-academic skills through its commitment of innovative and student-friendly initiative. We are planning to Webcast Live ILD Event on September 8, 2017 on Facebook page. In line with the UNESCO vision we at DAV College, Amritsar will organize following activities: Multimedia Presentation, Digital Story Telling, Poster Design, Ideate and Debate on Internet Blackouts, Essay Writing Competition, Live Demo on App Section (Google Play Store).’


  • Country: India
  • Organization: R.V.Institute of Management - RVIM Centre for Social Responsibility
  • Title of event: Digital Literacy: Smart Phone & Laptop Usage for Visually Challenged and Cancer Patients
  • Venue and date: RVIM, SRMAB & KMIO on 8 September 2017
  • More information  - Contact:

‘Digital Literacy: Smart Phone & Laptop Usage for Visually Challenged and Cancer Patients: The batch of four student volunteers shall visit Blind School (Ramana Maharishi Academy for the Blind, J.P.Nagar) at 9.30 am. Initially they shall support the visually challenged children  to read and enhance the capability to use computer and smart phones. The CSR Student volunteers team from III Semester MBA (Ms.Rachana Saraswat,Ms.Shraddha Gugale, Ms.Priyam Chirania, Ms.Nikitha.G).
At 12.30 pm student volunteers shall visit a nearby cancer hospital and help children’s and other patients to use mobile phone   and laptops.
At KMIO the students shall present 50 books titled ‘Amma Ninna Tholinalli Kanda Nanu’ authored by CA Dr.A.S.Vishnu Bharath, Trustee, Rashtreeya Sikshana Samithi Trust & Chairman, Governing Council RVIM, Bangalore. The books shall be presented to patients and their escort / attenders.The book reading and computer usage for differently abled and terminally ill children shall make this programme to meet the objectives of Sustainable Development Goal 4- Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.
In the campus extensive usage of   lifelong learning shall be promoted and motivated to use the  MOOCs platform and newly launched  learning platform  by Government of India named 'SWAYAM' (’


National Literacy Agency will be organizing an event on Monday, 4th September 2017 to celebrate International Literacy Day and the official closure of the ‘Aqra fis-Sajf’ Summer Reading campaign. During this event, pupils from different schools will be participating in a Reading Ambassadors activity in a local public square, where the Reading Ambassadors (prominent local people) will be delivering an animated reading session for the pupils present. The children present will also be given a book and bookmark as a token of their participation.’


  • Country: Sudan
  • Organization: The National Council for Literacy and Adult Education (NCLAE) with support from UNESCO Khartoum Office
  • Nature of event: Several activities for International Literacy Day
  • Date: 23 September 2017

‘The National Council for Literacy and Adult Education (NCLAE) is organizing a big event on the 23rd September at the National Friendship Place Hall, with presidential political support and addressing. UNESCO Khartoum is part of the National Team, specially formed for the organizing the celebration and responsible about an expo which is going to accompany the event showing UNESCO and other international and national NGOs activities in literacy. The event will have several TV and Radio coverage.
Special messages have been developed related to the theme, and a promotion film is under development to be shown on national TV stations. Several TV and radio stations will be hosting programs about ILD, UNESCO Khartoum is expected to participate in 3 of them.
A special speech has been developed for the minister of education to be broadcasted in national media apparatus and read through the morning assembly of students in primary education. Guidelines for Friday prayers by Imams has also been shared through the relevant ministry to use on the day of the 8th of September, as it is a Friday.’

United Kingdom

  • Country: United Kingdom (UK based but accessible online)
  • Organization: The Global Women of Power Foundation
  • Title of event:  Literacy in a digital world: Female perspectives
  • Date: August 28 and culminates on September 8
  • More information - Contact: Rica Kelly

‘The Global Women of Power Foundation would like to introduce a Literacy Intervention Programme, which will be a trainer of trainers online programme. This programme will offer masterclasses for female literacy specialists from across the globe. It will provide a space for the discussion of literacy trends in various regions. This programme culminates on International Literacy Day, where the focus will be to reflect on how digital technologies have shaped the implementation of best practices in literacy development.’