Plain Ink is currently operating in Italy, India, and Afghanistan, striving to improve literacy and educational attainment levels. Their Asian operations consist of activities related to distribution and creation of reading materials. They deliver books, comics, and other reading aids to school and institutions in disadvantaged communities. To compliment this work they also partner with local storytellers, writers, and illustrators to produce the very material they are distributing. The reading material covers issues such as food security, health, and cultural issues directly related to the community.
By creating educational materials, Plain Ink’s impact is doubled. They distribute reading materials that are both fun and educational; a vital element to encouraging readership. By collaborating with local writers and illustrators they are producing educational materials that are relevant to their audience. This localization helps encourage and sustain local arts employment in ways that sustain their community.
While this is a wonderful model, the prices involved in producing reading materials pertinent to each community must drive costs higher than printing for a broader public. Another drawback is if the stories are seen to be too specific to one culture they may not be read in other communities around the globe.
Plain Ink’s operations in Italy are geared towards recent immigrant communities and serve to aid in their education and acclimatization to their new home. Plain Ink’s founder, Selene Biffi, has won the Rolex Award for Enterprise for her work with the organization.