The government administrator of Igayaza estimates that only 10% of adults are literate.The F.A.L. programmeteaches adults to read and write at the same time as widening their knowledge in the areas of health, agriculture and the law.
The group started in March 2011 with 55 participants, of whom 35 were women. Over the years the group has grown and more groups have formed.
F.A.L. (Functional Adult Literacy)
The inclusion of so many women is important. Women in this area traditionally have an inferior social role (for example girls kneel when speaking to an older woman or a man. An adult woman kneels when speaking to a man in authority). Many women in the village are however very active in trying to improve their lives and that of their community. Women hold positions of authority in the local councils and there is an Igayaza’s Women’s Group. Their aims are to:
- Unite as women of Igayaza, to work together and to get to know each other.
- Start projects which will generate an income for our families and for our villages.
- Get advice from one another on how to raise school fees for our children.
- Acquire skills and techniques which will develop our families.Many of the women from this group are also in the F.A.L.
The project is run in collaboration with the District Community Development Office, which provides the books. Adelante África pays the salaries of the teachers and the members of the F.A.L. groups themselves pay for everyday items such as chalk.
The F.A.L. groups are proving to be a motor for change in the area and are looking outwards for inspiration and ideas. They have netball and football teams that play against F.A.L. groups in other areas and meet up with other groups in District wide celebrations.
They have also set up a microcredit system, which is recognised by the District authorities and is used by the members of the group to hire a space in the market to sell excess produce or to buy chickens, pigs or better quality seeds. Adelante Africa contributes in a minor way to this fund.
The F.A.L. groups are an important support for the Omwaana Tugende Children’s Home and turn up together to dig and plant the farm or to bring gifts of food for the children.
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