Board Option Award – $400
Victor Owuor – “Pathway to Alternative Learning Education (PALE)”
Victor Owuor, after-school program coordinator, the Sunflower Trust, Nairobi, Kenya for his project, “Pathway to Alternative Learning Education (PALE).” As World Literacy Ambassador since 2022 representing Kenya, Victor understands what it means when one lacks resources to attend school: He was born and bred in the informal settlement of Kibera slum, Nairobi. Sunflower Trust works in partnership with community schools to identify girls, in the fifth grade, who are at risk of ending their education early and transitions them to the after-school, part-time PALE program. At PALE, literacy groups help the girls develop critical thinking, communication and reasoning skills. Sunflower is also committed to involving parents and caregivers through focus groups and one-on-one meetings. The girls are challenged to write their own books which has encouraged them to read a variety of books to borrow ideas for their own stories. “Literacy as leadership and a form of justice is at the core of our programming,” said Owuor. He added, “while there are many literate youths in the world, there are few who are truly freely literate — whose voices are heard, whose opinions and beliefs are listened to and honored, and who have the ability to fully express themselves and be who they want to be.” For his dedication to changing lives one at a time, Judith’s Reading Room awards Victor with a USD$400 Board Option Prize.
“Free literacy is not simply the ability to read and write fluently but the ability to freely express oneself.”
– Victor Owuor