This project will equip the Lahu tribes of northern Thailand to read and write the Lahu language. In the process of learning their own language, they will see the many connections between the written Lahu and the rich Lahu cultural heritage they have inherited. The skills of reading and writing Lahu will allow many to advance in their field of work, being able to communicate through the written word. These skills will also help them to learn other languages providing additional opportunities.
Lahu is a minority language group who live in Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, China, and Vietnam. The majority of Lahu people live in remote villages and the literacy rate is very low. They are isolated from the world geographically and informationally. They lack the confidence and the ability to communicate outside their village world. This affects their lifestyle and perspective on education, health, natural resources, culture, business, and identity regarding how to be a good citizen.
This project builds a bridge between the Lahu community and the surrounding community through relevant language usage. These skills help to build confidence and promote communication to the rest of the Lahu people who are living across Southeast Asia. Information sharing and learning from each other will take place, and will result in the poverty rate going down and the literacy rate going up. Practically, they need a bridge to connect them with the broader Thai culture - Lahu literacy.
Most would agree that literacy is one of the main tools that help people get out of poverty and social challenges. Literacy sounds very simple because it means being able to read and write. But the benefits that come with being able to read and write are no limit and also lifelong. Here is a simple question to think about: How often do we use our literacy skills within a day and how much does it help us accomplish our goals?