About StoryWeaver's 'Freedom to Read' campaign

Welcome to the 4th edition of StoryWeaver's 'Freedom to Read' campaign! Every year, StoryWeaver marks International Mother Language Day by helping children discover the joy of reading in their mother tongue.

In many parts of the world, children speak and understand languages that are severely underserved. Millions of them have never even read a book in their mother tongue - like Bhoti, Cebuano-Cebu, Gondi, Igbo, Kurdish, Pashto, Triqui and many more.

For the past four years, StoryWeaver has been tapping the expertise and commitment of other like-minded organisations and individuals through the 'Freedom to Read' campaign. Focused on the co-creation of digital books in multiple languages, 'Freedom to Read' helps children across the world read in their mother tongue. With your expertise and our experience, we believe we can go even further than last year, where we were able to co-create and publish 1500 books in 30 languages.

Watch last year's story:

Why books in local languages matter

The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal for Education promises inclusive, quality education for all children by 2030. However, 617 million children and adolescents around the world lack basic math and reading skills.1 UNESCO's report on mother tongue literacy states that 'children should be taught in a language they understand, yet as much as 40% of the global population does not have access to education in a language they speak or understand'.2 This inequity in access creates a yawning gap between the language children speak at home, and the medium in which they receive instruction in school.

In order to achieve universal literacy by 2030, the world faces a fundamental challenge: how to bring books in multiple languages to millions of children in an accelerated and sustainable manner.

By creating storybooks in languages with few or no existing books, we can address this gap and enable children to read in a language they use and understand. A free-to-use digital library of at least 50 storybooks in their mother tongue, gives children the access and the opportunity to read a new book every week for the whole year!

StoryWeaver's goal for International Mother Language Day - February 21, 2020

To build on last year's momentum, this year, 'Freedom to Read' will tap a global network of organisations and Language Champions to create and share high-quality digital libraries in languages with few or no books. Each of these free-to-use digital libraries will contain at least 50 quality-assured books - creating more storybooks, in more languages, that serve more children all over the world.

Who should participate

Literacy organisations, education advocacy organisations, organisations working at the grassroots with native communities, university / college language departments or tribal departments, organisations working in language revitalization, language organisations, translation organisations, Bhasha Mandals, individuals who are educators and translators, and everyone else working with children to promote reading in local languages with few or no books available.

Do take a look at the next section for further details on the language selection criteria for 'Freedom to Read 2020' campaign.

Language focus for the 'Freedom to Read 2020' campaign

Our aim for 'Freedom to Read 2020' is to build quality-assured digital libraries in local languages that have few or no books. We are looking for organisations/individuals who can help us strengthen and share these resources.

For this year's campaign, we shall not be focussing on languages that already have libraries of more than 100 books on StoryWeaver. Click here to check the list of languages that will not be part of this project.

Partner selection

Participants will be selected based on the following criteria:

  1. Need for books in the particular language
  2. Language expertise and capacity for translation
  3. Digital infrastructure
  4. Potential to share the published books with children

Support for Partners

StoryWeaver will be with you every step of the way on the 'Freedom To Read 2020' journey! We shall support participants with the following:

  • Resources: curated lists of storybooks, StoryWeaver translation sprint playbook, tutorial videos
  • Guidelines: level appropriate translation guidelines, publishing guidelines, conducting translation sprints and workshops
  • Mentorship during the book development phase
  • Promotional support via our 'Freedom To Read' online activities


Click on the button below which best describes you/your team to fill in the application form:

I represent a literacy organisation | education advocacy organisation |library organisation | organisation working at the grassroots with native communities | child welfare organisation | impact publisher I represent a university / college language department or tribal department | language revitalisation organisation | language organisation | translation organisation | Bhasha Mandal | translation federation | CC publisher I am an individual

Application timelines and guidelines

  • Applications for Freedom to Read 2020 are closed.
  • Pratham Books reserves the final rights to select partners.
  • Selected partners will sign a letter of understanding with Pratham Books.
  • Only selected partners will be eligible for translation support and mentoring.
  • Applications for building digital libraries in languages with few or no books will be given preference over those in mainstream languages or languages that already have a digital library of 100 storybooks on StoryWeaver.
  • Applicants with basic digital infrastructure and language resources to create a local digital library will also be given preference.
  • All content created and published by you / your organisation on StoryWeaver as part of the 'Freedom to Read 2020' campaign will by default be licensed under CC BY 4.0.


If you have any further queries, you can access FAQs here or write to us at [email protected].

About StoryWeaver

StoryWeaver is an open source, digital platform of multilingual children's books from Pratham Books, a not-for-profit publisher of good quality, affordable storybooks in multiple Indian languages. On StoryWeaver, users can read, create, translate, download and share books for free! By creating a collaborative framework where creators and consumers of children's content can interact with one another, StoryWeaver attempts to address the scarcity of books for children. StoryWeaver was launched in 2015 with 800 books in 24 languages. Today, the platform offers over 16,000 books in 200+ languages.


1. https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/education/

2. https://en.unesco.org/news/40-don-t-access-education-language-they-understand