The Reading & Writing Foundation

The Reading & Writing Foundation raises awareness of the significant levels of illiteracy, among children and adults, in The Netherlands and abroad. In addition, the Foundation is a strategic partner of the Ministry of Education in planning and execution the government’s basic skills action programme.

Role in the project:

The Stichting Lezen & Schrijven (Reading and Writing Foundation) executes the field trials in The Netherlands. The Foundation has developed a number of tools, including a basic skills quick scan, which the proposed project will seek to implement in the daily operations of key strategic partners in two pilot regions. The Foundation is highly experienced with project management and partnership building in the field of low literacy and basic skills.

Stichting Lezen & Schrijven is an initiative of H.R.H. Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands. The foundation was launched on 27 May 2004. Its objective is to devote attention to the 1.5 million Dutch citizens who, due to literacy related problems, are unable to participate fully within society.

The foundation aims to stimulate discussion about this problem and to contribute to its alleviation. The approach is directed both to preventing and reducing low literacy.

The foundation is convinced that everyone shares the responsibility in solving low literacy. It is only when everybody feels truly and structurally responsible and acts accordingly, that the low literacy theme will become a priority and will continue to be a hot issue on the social, political and social economic agendas.

Departing from this conviction, the strategy of the foundation is aimed at involving as many traditional and new parties as possible in the wide and structural approach to low literacy. Parties which every individual will encounter during his life and which can therefore contribute to a durable solution and a literate society. This objective becomes evident in projects started and supported by Stichting Lezen & Schrijven and in the ambition of the organisation to connect everyone who can and should play a role in solving low literacy by means of the creation of a marketplace.

In the Netherlands, Stichting Lezen & Schrijven functions on the basis of a broad network of 14 founders, 28 donors and 40 partners, mainly from the private sector. Stichting Lezen & Schrijven aims to communicate widely on the issue of illiteracy, both to specific organizstions in touch with low literate people (municipalities, companies, child care centers, medics, etcetera) and to the public in general.

In an international context, Stichting Lezen & Schrijven both shares its vision and learns from others both within and outside Europe. The head of the organization, H.R.H. Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, is UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy for Development. She also functioned as chair of the European High Level Group of Experts on Literacy, which published its report in September 2012.