Thursday, April 8, 2010

Attending Literacy classes

For most followers of this blog reading and writing is a given in life; however in Malawi, official estimates point to over 4.6 Million people out of 13 M that do not have the ability to read and write. From those, the vast majority reside in the rural areas and way over half are women.

In a recent visit to one of our projects in the district of Mulanje, I was able to participate in one of the Functional Adult Literacy classes that ADRA promotes. It was a special moment to see women that had spent their life asking someone else to read or write for them stand and proudly write their name, read a text, or demonstrate their numeracy skills. From the several conversations with the persons attending the Literacy class, it was clear that knowing how to read had increased these women’s self esteem and exposed them to new opportunities to engage in small business partnerships. To support this new interest and development initiative ADRA has trained these groups on how to establish a Village Savings and Loans Fund, functioning entirely with the group contributions and management. These funds are set up to allow these women to access a loan or to have the money they invest earn interest.

ADRA Malawi is providing access to literacy classes to 1000 people per year in Mulanje, specially targeting women, and has similar literacy programs in two other districts (Neno and Salima).

ADRA Malawi has reached with development and relief activities over 160.000 people in 2009 and is an active member of the ADRA worldwide network present in over 120 countries.

Author: Emanuel da Costa

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