Stories

9 Unexpected Benefits of Literacy

International Literacy Day is around the corner (September 8)!

You might be surprised to know that literacy is more than knowing your A-B-Cs.

Literacy touches every part of daily life. You already know that our Adult Literacy Class graduates achieve a 5th grade education in reading, writing, and math in one year. But you might not know that our literacy curriculum teaches and encourages them in other ways, too.

For example, in our literacy classes, students learn about …

1. God’s love – The Bible-based lessons introduce students to God’s love and Jesus. Beginning with the story of creation, students are led into an increasingly greater understanding of the Gospel message.

2. Personal Hygiene – Students gain knowledge about germs and the importance of cleanliness for good health. For some students, this is the first time they learn about hand-washing and other sanitation basics.

3. Valuing girls – In India, daughters are often seen as burdens–they’re victims of abortion, infanticide, neglect, dowry abuse, and other evils. But in our literacy curriculum, students are taught to value girls.

4. Properly storing food & water – Adult Literacy Class students learn how to safely store food and water. And this information benefits whole families, bringing improved health to many households.

5. Basic first aid – Men and women study health issues–including the dangers of alcoholism. They also learn about AIDS prevention and how to apply first aid for cuts, snake bites, burns, etc.

6. Saving instead of borrowing – Many of our students live in poverty and sink deep into debt by borrowing money. In their classes, men and women are taught to start saving small amounts of money instead of borrowing.

7. Income generation skills – Using locally available materials, many students learn to make products like detergent, candles, leaf plates, paper bags, and canned vegetables–and launch their own home-based businesses!

8. Education for children – Young boys and girls are often trapped in a life of labor. In Adult Literacy Classes, parents discover the importance of sending children to school rather than work.

9. Rights as citizens – Students learn about their rights as citizens of India, including voting rights. They learn that caste discrimination is illegal and that freedom of religion is guaranteed in India’s constitution.*

*India’s constitution gives each citizen the right to freedom of religion. But in practice, choosing to follow Christ can have severe consequences in India. Anti-Christian extremists falsely accuse Christians of luring and forcing people to convert. Extremists also mislead ignorant citizens into believing that conversion itself is illegal.

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