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Mar 13, 2019

Literacy growth fueled by five-way partnership

Written by SIL Tanzania Communications

Two communities, three organisations, one school


Mirambo, Tanzania, March 2018 — School children in the Burunge and Rangi communities enjoyed literacy classes in their own language at simultaneous workshops. Instructors from SIL taught the lessons at a church-based after school program operated by Compassion International.

"Compassion invited us to come and work with the school-aged children," said Michelle (SIL Scripture Engagement team). "To help us manage class size, they selected students who already knew how to read and write Swahili, Tanzania's national language."

magdalena and burunge students Burunge children and Magdalena (SIL Literacy team) watch
another student write on the board. (photo: Al Olsen)

Launch of the Burunge-language New Testament the previous year had greatly raised interest among that community to teach their children to read the language. Since the Compassion project in Mirambo also includes children who speak Rangi, and the SIL team in Dodoma has worked with the Rangi community for years, everyone agreed to coordinate workshops for both groups.

"It was fun to watch them follow in their new reading primers," said one observer. Several guests from funding partner Wycliffe USA were able to attend and observe the workshops. “Both classrooms were standing room only.” he added, “and more kids watched in from the windows."

Following the literacy classes each student was given their own copy of the Gospel of Mark, translated in either Burunge or Rangi. Instructors encouraged the children to read it to their parents and grandparents, family and friends.

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