Approximately 1 billion people in the world today are illiterate. That's 26 percent of the world's adult population! And 98 percent of non-literates live in developing nations.
To combat this issue, WAFF partnered with buildOn (formerly Building with Books) in 2003 to build the first We Are Family School in Mali, Africa. Now with help from our generous donors, WAFF has funded 17 schools in largely illiterate communities - in Mali, Malawi, Nicaragua and Nepal - that have already impacted more than 3,500 girls and boys. Many of these communities have never had a school, or are in desperate need for a new school, making the impact of each one enormous.
But these schools affect more than just the people from the villages. WAFF also sponsors small groups of diverse U.S. high school students to make the overseas trek to help build a new school, explore another culture, and contribute to the global community.
Steven Van Zandt
Bruce Springsteen and the E. Street Band
Steven Van Zandt funded the We Are Family Little Steven Van Zandt School in Siriba-Tiema, Mali, Africa, which was completed in June 2004. Since then, it has served more than 340 boys and girls, and has given these students a much deserved education.