Our Mission

World Literacy Canada (WLC) is a small, secular, registered charitable organization that uses literacy to fight poverty and advance the cause of social justice. We support and deliver a range of community-based education projects in Canada and India.

We are focused on literacy.

With 60 years experience successfully delivering literacy education, we believe that illiteracy is both a cause and consequence of poverty. We see literacy as an essential element in the struggle for equality. Literacy is about much more than just reading and writing – it is about access to jobs, the market, and how we participate in an increasingly interconnected world.

Literacy enables a person to exercise his or her right to participate in governance, to affect decision-making, and to make one’s voice heard. Literacy gives a person confidence that his or her opinions and contribution matter. This is the essence of democracy, and literacy is a central vehicle for achieving this goal.

We are focused on women.

The common thread in all our work is empowerment; fostering literacy skills among women enhances their standard of living, enabling them to live with greater independence and dignity.  A concern for gender equality and women’s rights is at the core of all we do, and is woven through our policies and practices.  We advocate for gender equality and women’s rights, seeking to draw media attention and public awareness to the cause, generate discussion, and achieve a reach far beyond the scope of our direct programming.

We are community-based.

We are very focused in our approach to tackling poverty, and that focus comes from direct consultations with the communities where we work. Our first action is to encourage the formation of a Mahila Mandal (women’s group) that acts as an advisory council and decision-making body on our projects. These groups often take on a life of their own, becoming centres of community leadership and empowerment. As well, we are focused on providing quality education through our locally-based partner agencies in India.

We are committed to lean administration.

As a modest non-profit organization, our small staff in Toronto and our team in Varanasi have learned how to effectively deliver first-rate programs that make life better for the thousands of individuals and families we reach. Those visiting our South Asian programs from overseas invariably comment on the efficiency with which we use funds raised from our individual and corporate donors, as well as grants received from public-sector funding agencies.