Why Is Teaching Adult Literacy so Important?
Some people have labeled literacy the great miracle cure to poverty, which is why teaching adult literacy is essential in the developing world. In fact, illiteracy is most prevalent in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. These regions host the largest illiteracy rates at about 40-50 percent, with East Asia and Latin America next at 10-15 percent.1 These statistics often coincide with the region’s wealth.
Most illiteracy can be cured by simple instruction. For example, GFA missionaries are helping solve the literacy problem in Asia and hope to soon expand into Africa. In just one year, 61,880 women in Asia learned how to read and write through the patient instruction of GFA women missionaries.2
These free literacy classes are changing families, and that impacts entire communities. Benefits of literacy include:
- Higher-income jobs
– Adults who can read are qualified for more than just manual labor. They can read documents, make notes, use numbers and more. Better jobs help them meet the needs of their families. Literate people have a better chance of breaking the cycle of poverty.
- Safer families
– Literate adults can read warning labels, medicine bottles, contracts, important papers and street signs. Parents who read can keep their children safer and healthier.
- Education given higher priority
– Literate parents can read to their children and create a habit of literacy in them from early childhood. When adults know how to read, they are more committed to keeping their children in school. Child labor is less attractive to literate people since they see the value of schooling. They understand that education is crucial to lifelong success and aim to support their children’s educational efforts.
Will you join us in helping people become literate? Take time to contribute to the literacy of one person in your community. Check your local community center or ESL school for literacy programs. Volunteer your time. Be intentional about literacy training in your community. Also, consider helping GFA World contribute to the literacy goals of impoverished women.
Literacy is a life-saver. Will you join us in our mission to bring literacy to those who need it most?Learn more about adult literacy program
1 “Literacy.” Wikipedia. www.cs.mcgill.ca/~rwest/wikispeedia/wpcd/wp/l/Literacy.htm. Accessed 14 July 2019.
2 “Women’s Literacy Program.” GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/women/literacy/. Accessed February 1, 2022.