Literacy and Numeracy Training Increases Women Participation in Governance and Development
Mrs. Bendu Amara is 40 years old , a resident of Kporkuloe community, Foya district, Lofa County. Bendu, is one of the beneficiaries of the Adult Literacy and Numeracy program that is been carried out by Rights and Rice Foundation. During one of the sessions, Mrs. Bendu Amara demostrated her writing skill as showcase of her achievenment. She told the RRF monitors that during the the 2005 general and presidential elections in Liberia she used her thumb print with ink to register and to vote. Upon her completion of the literacy numeracy training in 2010 however, and during the January 2011 voters’ registration awareness campaign the registrar held her hand to be placed in the ink-pad for making the same thumb print, but she told the registrar she could spell and write her own name. To the amazement of the regististrar, Ms. Amara wrote her name on the registration form, for which she was so proud.
Piror to her doing the literacy, numeracy training, Ms. Amara said that she usually complained when her children returned from school with demaged exercise books. But during her 11 months training she actually experienced how difficult it is to write, so she will double up her effort in providing more exercise books for her children and to be more tolerant when the children use so many notebooks. Ms. Amara is now an example to members of her community and encourages all women to take advantage of this program; she further appealed to the Liberian Government and donor(s) to continue the adult literacy program in Liberia not only in her district but in many other parts of Liberia, to give the women an opportunity to be able to read and write. Through this program she is now actively and proudly participating in electing her leaders and will do more to promote her children education.
The intervention of Rights and Rice Foundation in the area of Literacy and numeracy is not only giving skills to illiterate women to learn how to read and write, but also creating awareness on human and civil rights, good governance and democracy, rule of law and knowing their roles and responsibilities as good citizens.
Prepared by Porgram Unit, RIGHTS AND RICE FOUNDATION, LIBERIA - FEBRUARY 25, 2011