lily cole wants us to confront illiteracy

If you’re reading this, it’s not too late to help.

by Matthew Whitehouse
24 February 2016, 4:35pm

During the week when London's Feminist Library is facing closure, model and actress Lily Cole has spoken out in support of a new campaign that calls on MPs to confront the problem of illiteracy.

Speaking in the Houses of Parliament, Cole joined Big Issue founder John Bird, as they launched the Alphabet of Illiteracy - a new campaign that argues illiteracy is behind major global issues such as aids, drug abuse, female genital mutilation and gender inequality. 

Cole told MPs yesterday: "It would seem that with almost every major social issue we face today, illiterate people are significantly more likely to be affected by that problem. Which, understood the other way around, allows us to interpret illiteracy as a cause, rather than a symptom, of many of the world's challenges."

An ambassador for a whole load of charities, i-D cover star Cole, is no stranger to throwing her name behind social issues, setting up environmentally friendly knitwear company The North Circular in 2009 and being awarded an honorary Doctorate by Glasgow Caledonian University for her outstanding contribution to humanitarian and environmental causes in 2013.

Project Literacy have launched a petition to be presented to the UN and you can check it out here.


Photography Tim Walker

lily cole