Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Functional Adult Literacy Education brings joy

..... Woman promoted after attending adult education

Author: Andiyesa Mhango
Women Empowerment Project Phase 2 (WEP2), ADRA Sweden, Sida

One of the most memorable moments in life for 27 year old Elena Benala, was when she was promoted at her work place, NASFAM, (an association for small holder farmers, Mulanje Branch) from a Warehouse Grader to Instructor. Elena is one of the many girls here in Mulanje, who did not have a chance to attend school due to poverty. However, once she started attending the functional adult literacy program in her village, initiated by Women Empowerment Project in 2008, her competencies were easily noticed. Her employer in particular could see Elena’s growing interest learning how to read and write. This brought on her promotion from paprika grader to instructor.
The changes in her life became so radical when her reading and writing skills combined well with her job and thus she was recommended to the company management by her supervisor, Alex Tembani for a promotion. Mr Tembani said he was surprised one day when instead of using her thumb to sign on the payment voucher, Elena could now sign her name with a pen. He also said that the grading job does not require any formal qualifications while being an instructor requires some basics such reading, counting and writing.
Her new position means that instead of grading crops, she is now responsible for instructing others and verifying the packaging of seeds. Though her salary is confidential, Elena said she is now earning enough to help feed her twin children and send them to school.
The promotion of Elena has ignited hopes among young women to enrol with adult literacy program. Elena is now proud to mention that Women Empowerment Project has contributed to the quality of her life through the adult literacy program in her village of Sitolo.

Above Left: Elena displaying writing skill in front of her kitchen and opposite is the NASFAM Warehouse where she works.

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