Low literacy

Reading, writing, speaking, counting and digital skills: these are all tools that are vital to participating in modern society. People who are not in full command of these sets of skills are considered low literate. In Helmond this applies to approximately 12- to 13.000 people, or 17% of the population. Research shows that people with low literacy fell less healthy, rely more on care and have an earlier mortality rate. How do we reach the people who need it most? Time for a breakthrough!

To come to a solution that fits the needs of the most complex cases, we approached the community itself. Our guiding motto was “everyone can take a step”. Together we developed a creative process using various research methods, were we gained valuable new insights. With the help of the local network, we have developed a Basic City Plan to help tackle low literacy. We concentrated on establishing easy to encounter locations where the target group can come into contact with the project, a positive approach and equality. Such as the local hairdresser rather than a doctor’s office. This plan was unanimously approved by the city council. The parties involved will start working with this new mindset on the issue towards a society in which everyone can participate.


Under the leadership of Yellowchess, we were able to achieve a breakthrough in the approach to illiteracy in the city. The thorough approach has revealed the strengths and points for development in the city. From there, Yellowchess provided the foundation for a sustainable approach in the city with a positive and energetic attitude. As a client, we were continuously kept informed in a clear, visually concise manner. A very pleasant collaboration!

Geertje de Kort

Program Manager Sustainable and Healthy City, City of Helmond