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Sep 26, 2019

Encore workshops for youth literacy

Written by SIL Tanzania Communications

"While they learned to read, they also heard that God loves children..." 


Dodoma Region, Tanzania, May 2019 Hundreds of Burunge and Rangi children, and perhaps some of their parents, are learning to read their own language. Less than a year since SIL Tanzania's Dodoma Project held a series of literacy workshops in those communities, the Compassion International programmes which hosted the events invited them back to repeat the success of their recent partnership.

"One of the programme directors was pleased with the earlier workshops," said Michelle Haupt, a member of the Dodoma Project team. "So pleased that he asked our instructors to come again-this time during a school break, to teach children who had not been present during the first workshops."

rangichn_workshop Children read their personal copies of Mark’s gospel in Rangi
language, during a SIL transitional literacy workshop hosted by
Compassion International’s after-school program at a church
in Kondoa town. Photo: Michelle Haupt

Compassion operates a youth programme with a local church in the small village of Mirambo, in the Burunge language community. In all, 32 Burunge and 14 Rangi students came to the new workshops there. Thanks to the success of the workshops in Mirambo, other workshops took place at three churches in nearby Kondoa town, with 149 Rangi children.

When teaching "transitional literacy", the SIL team uses a minimum of two days of instruction. Some of the workshops had a full classroom for both days. Others saw only a few students return for the second session...

"Some children told us, on the first day," said Haupt, "their families follow another major world religion. Yet they each happily received a literacy booklet plus a copy of Mark's gospel in their own language."

Students in each of the workshops were asked to bring their books back for the second class. One student returned without them. "The instructor asked him why," said Haupt. "When he explained, we understood that his mother had them because she wanted to read them herself.

"As these kids were learning to read," Haupt continued, "they heard the truth of Mark 10 that God loves children. May God's Word ‘not return void' as it reaches people beyond these classrooms. May God accomplish his purposes in their lives."


SIL's previous article, on the earlier series of workshops in Mirambo:

Literacy Growth Fueled by Five-Way Partnership


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