Mother tongue-based literacy improves women’s confidence and status
The Massalit literacy project in the Sudanese refugee camps of eastern Chad provides young Sudanese refugee women with opportunities to use their intelligence and energy to serve their communities. SIL supports this mother tongue literacy program that opens doors for them to become teachers in their community. Women grow in confidence and leadership during the teacher training workshops and as they teach literacy classes. While the community literacy programs began with predominantly male teachers, the percentage of female teachers has rapidly increased to equal or exceed that of male teachers.
Mariyam* attended an Arabic-only school but was not a confident reader of Arabic. She was intrigued by the Massalit literacy materials and bought some books with her own money. She attended literacy classes and was later selected to participate in teacher training. Mariyam is now a community literacy teacher.
Nura*, a graduate of the Massalit literacy project, became a community literacy teacher at age 17. When she completed secondary school, she was recruited as a primary school teacher. Today Nura teaches primary school, trains literacy teachers, serves as the first female assistant supervisor in the community literacy program, and is interim secretary of the refugee camp literacy committee.