Project Details

Two young boys looking at a mobile phone

1001 Stories

Cultivating storytelling, building literacy

By Seeds of Empowerment

Project URL:
Project Twitter: @seedsofempower

Organisation URL:

  • Education
  • Social Exclusion
  • Audiovisual
  • Social Software

1001 Stories is a global literacy and storytelling movement, to help children in the world’s hardest-to-reach communities and with highest rates of illiteracy all over the world to read, write, create, and publish.

The project grew out of a pilot in Rwanda in 2009, and quickly expanded to Uganda and India. It has now spread to 22 countries, worked with 26,000 children and collected 8,000 stories. 

The group works through local partners to reach the children who are most likely to be out of school: migrants and refugees, street-children, child labourers, the victims of trafficking or abuse, those with special needs or from indigenous populations, those who are in poverty, or in rural or remote areas.

1001 Stories helps students to do much more than just read and write.  By asking them to create their own stories they learn digital skills, and develop a respect for their own and other 1001 storytellers’ cultural traditions, as well as building up an archive of local language folk tales.

Students are introduced to the project and its technologies: mobiles, audiobooks, videos and photos, through short workshops run by 1001 Stories.  The children then read stories other children around the world have told and recorded, before beginning to tell their own, with mobile phones as a teaching aid.

1001 Stories publishes the best stories, in English and their local language, in hard copy and e-book format to raise revenues for the project, which is free for students. Founder Paul Kim, chief technology officer and assistant dean at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, says: ‘In many countries, children’s creative voices are never heard or cultivated. We conduct workshops to build on children’s natural storytelling potential, empowering them while their literacy skills grow.’

Image 'Liulin/screen generation' courtesy of Tauno Tohk

Last updated: 18th of July, 2014

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