Niamh Allen, Director Of British Council

I am so honoured to have been asked to be involved in this amazing initiative – improving youth literacy of the underprivileged in Mauritius. I look forward to watching this grow across the island and giving all children the opportunity to fall in love with reading.

It is estimated that around 14 per cent of the global population is illiterate. Within that statistic, there is some good news and some bad news. On a positive note, the levels of illiteracy have fallen a lot in recent decades (in just 1980, world illiteracy was at 43 per cent!). However, there are still enormous differences between regions. In sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia, illiteracy remains around 30 per cent.

Having been a teacher for many years and now with my own children, I know how important it is for children to develop a passion for reading. And what better way to encourage children in Mauritius to read more, than the launch of the SugarCane Boy Book Clubs!