At all stages of life, basic literacy – reading, writing and basic mathematics – is a foundation for prosperity. For older persons in the least developed nations, illiteracy must be reduced as new, complex challenges require basic skills to survive and thrive. For example, to remain full participants in society, older persons must adapt to technological advancements, vocational challenges, changing family structure, climate change, interactions with all levels of government and migration. To do so, they need to be able to read, write and perform basic arithmetic. The age where illiteracy is not an impediment to a stable life is over.
To achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on education, and to support SDG target “4.6 . . . achieve literacy and numeracy,” older persons in every circumstance need to be literate to participate fully in society. In many developing and least developed countries, literacy opportunities for older persons are scarce. In some instances, older persons themselves might be reluctant to take on such educational opportunities.
Older persons are resources, not burdens. They deserve the opportunity to gain essential skills. With the guidance of the community of educators of lifelong learning, older persons can be enabled to help themselves, their families and their communities.
Funds Available for Modest Catalytic Literacy Project
The NGO Committee on Ageing, New York, is able to provide $3000 US Dollars for a project focused on literacy for older persons.  This should be a catalytic opportunity, not just limited to a small number of students. It should be one that cannot be accomplished without outside support. The objective is to demonstrate the effectiveness of providing basic literacy education – reading, writing and arithmetic – so that older persons become greater contributors to their independence and to their community in an increasingly complex world.
Selection will be based on submission of a short proposal in English (2 pages preferred) sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org . Submission required by December 31, 2015. NGO’s, schools, lifelong learning entities, academic institutions, faith-based institutions with experience in literacy are eligible to apply. Selection will be made by members of the NGO Committee on Ageing, New York.
Elements of the proposal:
 NOTE: The challenge grant is a small one and comes from a legacy left to the Committee by one of its members who was passionate about older persons’ courage, creativity and needs. ……