The programs came from Iran, Nigeria and Spain, according to Robert Parua, Program Specialist for Education, UNESCO Beijing Office.
The program by Literacy Movement Organization in Iran promotes literacy and continuing education for children and adults, particularly women and girls in rural areas. The program by Nigerian Prisons Service equips prisoners with skills and professions that can make them employable or self-employed upon release, encouraging them to become crime-free citizens.
The third program by Foundation Elche Acoge in Spain started in 1994. Its goal of "Spanish as a second language for adult immigrants" is to implement an educational program which allows immigrants to integrate into society and the labor market.
The Confucius Prize for Literacy was established in 2005 to recognize the efforts of individuals, governments and NGOs in raising the literacy rate.
Confucius, who lived between 551 BC and 479 BC, was an educator and philosopher. He founded the school of Confucianism that has deeply influenced later Chinese generations.