Posts Tagged ‘UNESCO’

UN Video Game to Teach About HIV/AIDS

The United Nations has gotten into the gaming industry. UNESCO has launched Fast Car: Travelling Safely Around the World, a race game that teaches HIV education and prevention while simultaneously letting players explore the Acropolis, Rapa Nui, Angkor Wat, and many others of the World’s Heritage sites.

Players race on circuits on five continents, on a preliminary level or championship race, explore digital landmarks with photos and information, and at track check-in points, take multiple choice mini quizzes about HIV/AIDS to earn time bonuses. Choose your car, customize it’s color and details, pick a travel destination, and get ready to hit the accelerator. The game is targeted to young people around the age of 16, and is translated into English, Russian, and French. Worldwide, about 3,500 people are freshly infected with the AIDS virus every day. 2 out of 5 of those new cases are young people between the ages of 15 and 24. With the cultural uneasiness about discussing sex, drug use, and issues involving transmission, opening new channels to factual information can have a big impact on awareness and prevention. Anything to get young people talking, especially among themselves and armed with knowledge, is a step forward.

International Literacy Day

Today, September 8, is International Literacy Day. In most districts I know of in the US, kids are back in school this week, and while test scores and statistics might be bleak most years, especially as school budgets are consistently cut year after year, those kids are at least in school. Illiteracy is, of course, a huge issue for young people and adults around the world. UNESCO tells us that 796 million adults lack minimum literacy skills. 1-in-5 adults is not literate, and of them, 2/3 are women. 67.4 million children are out of school, and more will voluntarily drop out or be removed this year. The 10-year period from 2003-2013 was declared by the United Nations as the “Literacy Decade,” and almost any society in the world understands that one of the largest building blocks toward success for their communities is education. It fuels every other endeavor.

There are volunteer programs around the world dedicated to education and teaching. You don’t need a degree or certificate to add support and knowledge for an individual or group.

Literacy Connections

Literacy Assistance Center, NY


Literacy AmeriCorps

Service Nation Literacy Volunteers

FirstBook Literacy Volunteers

…and that’s just a jumping off place…