750 million people worldwide can neither write nor read. The majority of them live in sub-saharan Africa.

According to the UNCESO 38% of Africa’s population is illiterare, 2/3 of them are women.

UNESCO statistics show, that Africa is the only continent who failed the Millenium Development Goals, instead of tackling illiteracy by 50%, it is still on the rise and increased by 30% due to Africa’s population explosion.

African countries with the highest illiteracy rates are also the ones with the highest birth rate, the highest prevalence of FGM and poverty.

Waris Dirie and the Desert Flower Foundation decided set their focus on education in Africa for the next 10 years in order to fight FGM sustainably.

One of the main reasons for Africa’s high illteracy rate is the lack of school materials, especially school books. In some countries up to 30 pupils have to share one single textbook, which leads to a population of  young adults, who can neither write nor read after attending school for four years.

This is why Waris Dirie and her team decided to write „My Africa – The Journey“ and to dedicate it to ending Africa’s high literacy rat. The Desert Flower Foundation will distribute „Desert Flower Education Boxes“ including basic school materials and „My Africa – The Journey“ to African school free of charge. 

„My Africa – The Journey“ tells the story of the Little Desert Flower Waris and her younger brother Mo going on an adventure to discover Africa’s   beautiful people and nature. 

Next to a wonderful story about the continent’s natural treasures, the book is filled with numerous writing and reading exercises.

Goals  of the Desert Flower Education Initiative:

  • Decreasing the illiteracy rate
  • Barrier-free access to reading books
  • Awaken reading and learning enjoyment
  • Boosting self-confidence by the means of education
  • To fulfill the goals of the Desert Flower Foundation, promoting education, emancipation, self-determination and women's independence.
  • Target FGM in schools trough education

The book can be used for following :

  • Wordbuilding
  • Support teacher during their lesson preparation
  • Subjects: English, Geography , Social Studies
  • Promote creativity and imagination
  • Improve English skills, especially in communities with Krio or Hausa as the mother tongue

Further projects of the Desert Flower Education campaign will be announced soon.