When women are taught to read and write, families and communities reap the benefits. In the villages of this South Asian country, few adult women are literate. One team has begun a multilingual education project for young children as well as adult literacy classes in both the local and national languages in several villages. Most of the adult participants are women. Here are the stories of two women whose lives have been transformed by literacy.
C, 42, never had a chance to go to school as she had to help with the housework. By 19, she was married with a family of her own. She wanted to borrow some money from the village mothers’ group’s loan scheme to build a house but was unable to write her name on the required forms and so gave up her dream. When a literacy class was begun in her village, she made time to attend. Now, she can not only read and write, but also do simple calculations. She says, “My eyes have been opened! I have realised the importance of education and I will encourage my children to also study hard and not suffer like me.”
Village house. Photo: Ari Vitikainen, Wycliffe Global Alliance
K, 40, is now the chairman of the village mothers’ group of another village. She learned to read and write in the literacy classes and firmly believes in the importance of education. Despite a busy schedule, she makes it a point to be on time for classes and also encourages other women to attend. She monitors the classes, taking attendance, visiting those who are absent, and reporting to the field coordinator during his visits. Her aim is that every woman in the village should be able to at least write her name and guide her children, and in this way improve the lives of the whole community.
Beyond these benefits, these literacy skills will equip the people to read the mother tongue Scriptures which are currently being translated, so that they can experience even greater life transformation through encountering the Word of God in their own language.