About us

Over 55 million European citizens cannot fully participate

One in five European adults have difficulties reading and writing. They face obstacles in their attempts to participate in modern society and often feel excluded. This is unacceptable, morally and economically: literacy issues cost Europe billions of euros in unnecessary health expenditures, preventable workplace accidents, missed tax revenue, and other costs. 

Her Royal Highness Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands founded the Reading & Writing Foundation (RWF) in 2004. Its mission is to prevent and reduce literacy difficulties in the Netherlands and in Europe. RWF believes that everyone should be able to read, write and count as well as be able to work with a computer. Improving these basic skills increases the chances of living a healthy and happy life.

The head office of the foundation is located in The Hague. There are several regional offices in the Netherlands and one office in Brussels (Belgium). 

Awareness raising and prevention

The Reading & Writing Foundation brings literacy problems to the attention of both the general public and politicians, as well as offering nationwide support to hundreds of municipalities, institutions, companies, teachers and volunteers in the education sector. The result: happiness, health and new opportunities for more than 15,000 people every year.

RWF often functions as a driving force, aiming to create a societal movement in which everyone is involved in tackling low literacy. In 2014, over 80 per cent of the approximately 500 Dutch partners indicated that their approach to reduce low literacy levels had improved because of the efforts of RWF. Thanks to the work of these partners and thousands of volunteers organising activities and courses, together we are making a real difference.