Winners of the “2023 UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize” Emerge from Finland, Pakistan, and South Africa

Date Sep 11, 2023

Awards presented to three organizations at the UNESCO HQ in France on Sept 8, in commemoration of “International Literacy Day”

Celebrating the spirit of King Sejong’s invention of Hangeul and joining global efforts to eradicate illiteracy


The “2023 UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize” was awarded to Finland’s literacy enhancement learning platform “GraphoGame,” Pakistan’s educational project “Himalayan Literacy Network” designed for nomadic tribal children, and South Africa’s e-library project by educational technology (edtech) company “Snapplify.”


Since 1965, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has designated September 8 as “International Literacy Day” to raise awareness about the importance of eradicating illiteracy. Each year on this date, awards are presented to individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to global literacy efforts. In line with this, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (Minister PARK Bo Gyoon, MCST) has been providing support for the “UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize,” established in 1989. This prize honors King Sejong’s legacy of creating Hangeul and making reading and writing accessible to all. Each winning organization will receive USD 20,000 and a certificate.


 Finland’s “GraphoGame,” a Game-based Learning Platform Enhancing Children’s Reading and Speaking Abilities


“GraphoGame,” based in Helsinki, Finland, was initially developed as a tool to assist children with dyslexia. Over time, it has transformed into a learning game app designed to enhance children’s literacy skills. Utilizing an adaptive learning algorithm, the app offers customized learning services within an engaging game format, facilitating essential literacy improvement. The user base has grown from 3 million in 2021 to 5 million in 2022.


 Pakistan’s “Himalayan Literacy Network,” an Educational Support Project for Himalayan Nomadic Tribal Children


The “Himalayan Literacy Network” is a nongovernmental organization dedicated to providing kindergarten and elementary education to the children of the Bakarwals, a nomadic tribe in the southern Himalayas. Established in 2004, it initiated its literacy movement to promote social integration and assist vulnerable populations. Through teacher training and regular external evaluations, the organization offers quality educational programs and operates tent schools to support out-of-school nomadic children. To date, this initiative has benefited over 2,400 individuals.


 South Africa’s “Snapplify,” an E-library Project Enhancing Literacy in the Region


“Snapplify” is an edtech company founded in 2011, specializing in digital e-library solutions. Through its African e-library project, it offers access to thousands of free e-books and educational content on its website and app, enhancing regional literacy. Moreover, it supports remote learning initiatives and encourages reading activities, enriching the literacy environment within Africa. Currently, the program boasts over 1.53 million learners utilizing its resources.


 Inviting Award Winners to South Korea for the 577th Hangeul Day Celebration, Offering K-culture Experiences


The “2023 UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize” award ceremony was held at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France, on September 8 (Thur) as part of the commemoration of “International Literacy Day.” Furthermore, to celebrate the 577th “Hangeul Day,” the MCST plans to invite representatives from this year’s winning organizations to Korea, providing them with the opportunity to explore the significance of King Sejong’s creation of Hangeul and immerse themselves in K-culture.