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Roddy Doyle takes on The Big Read

Can you imagine not being able to read this? Well, 774 million adults in the world can’t. Each day 75 million children do not get the chance to go to school, denying them the chance to learn to read and write.

Today, author Roddy Doyle launched the Global Campaign for Education’s (GCE) Big Read Campaign in the Irish Aid Volunteer Centre  in Dublin’s O’Connell Street.

Roddy read a Michael Morpurgo story from the GCE’s Big Read Book. Major world figures such as Nelson Mandela, Paulo Coelho and Queen Rania of Jordan have written stories about the right to education and the importance of being able to read and write.

Cycle of poverty

The ability to read and write can lift people out of impoverishment. Without it families and communities are trapped in a cycle of poverty. Because of illiteracy many women, girls and child labourers are particularly vulnerable.

Signing the Big Book

The event included performances and readings from primary and secondary school children, as well as mature students. All those attending were asked to sign the Irish Big Book, on behalf of the millions that cannot worldwide. This is only one event of many taking place. Hundreds of schools and youth clubs throughout the country have been preparing their own Big Books as part of Global Action Week for Education.

Demanding education

All of the names from around the world will be collected and delivered to governments during the week of 20 April 2009. This is to demand that they take action, making sure everyone has an education. 

As Nelson Mandela wrote, “Together, you can be the generation that sees every child get the education that is their right.”