Stories & News
Adult Literacy Classes: Empowering Adults in India Daily
What comes to mind when you hear “Adult Literacy Classes”? It might sound like a foreign concept! If you’re reading this, you’re clearly literate. So, why do we run this program?
In India, millions of adults have never received an education. But it isn’t just academics that they missed out on. It’s much deeper than that. Because they never went to school, they never learned things like how to wash their hands or the importance of doing so. This makes them – and their families – much more susceptible to illness.
They may also find themselves physically lost because they cannot read street signs. Many illiterate adults choose not to ride the bus – which is their only form of transportation – simply because they won’t know where to get off.
Others arrive at the doctor’s office and are told to take a number, which will be called when it’s their turn to be seen. Our team once met an Adult Literacy student who shared that she waited all afternoon at the doctor’s office, unsure how to read the number on her ticket and too embarrassed to ask if it matched the numbers being called.
Adults who are illiterate often find themselves bound by poverty because of the limits a lack of education creates. It’s harder to find a job or make sure they aren’t cheated out of wages. In their desperate state, some parents in India go so far as to marry off a young daughter because it means one less mouth to feed.
Illiteracy poses endless challenges, far beyond the ability to read a book. Whatever the instance is, Adult Literacy Classes empower adults all over India, as their newfound literacy skills open the door to a freedom they’ve never had.
For an entire year, adults commit two hours each day – usually in the evening after work – to learning new skills. Adult Literacy Classes are led by Christian teachers who not only desire to help their students learn, but also see the class as their mission field, sharing the Gospel with each student.
Literacy Class teachers have a unique opportunity because the curriculum they teach from is Bible-based, meaning some of the first words students learn to read and write are from Scripture! Above and beyond this, over the year-long course, students walk away being able to read at a 5th-grade level. They can sign their own name, enabling them to fill out paperwork needed to open a bank account, and even know simple math so they are no longer cheated out of their wages.
Students also have the opportunity to participate in a few special trainings. One is about health and hygiene, resulting in entire families living healthier lives. Another teaches about entrepreneurship, showing students how to make and sell products like soap, jam, and candles. Many students go on to open their own businesses.
Each year, adults all over India participate in Adult Literacy Classes and graduate having learned more than just reading and writing – they’ve experienced holistic life change and often come to the saving knowledge of Christ!
You can empower adults in India today by providing them with an education! Click here to learn more about how you can give a gift.