FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROJECT Why Is It So Important?
RIPPLE Africa supports adult literacy in Malawi through the running of two adult literacy classes, one each in the villages of Mwaya and Mazembe.
RIPPLE Africa’s adult literacy project support includes:
Paying the monthly salaries of a teacher and an assistant teacher at each adult literacy class.
Facilitating a weekly resource session for the four teachers to plan lessons.
Ongoing support of Mwaya Community Library.
All the students who attend the classes are members of the library and are able to borrow books to use each week to support their learning. There is a special section in the library dedicated to books for the adult literacy classes.
Phoebe, a RIPPLE Africa volunteer, teaching the Mwaya class
Adults learning how to write letters
Keeping up to date with the national news
Illiteracy is a problem throughout Africa, and Malawi is no exception where a lack of access to quality education, high student to teacher ratios, high primary school drop-out rates, and low secondary school enrolment all contribute to generally low literacy rates which mean many people struggle with basic day to day tasks.
According to UNESCO Institute for Statistics (March 2016), 65.75% of the adult population (aged 15 years and above) in Malawi are able to read and write. For adult men, the literacy rate is 73% and for women it is 59%.
Literacy is generally worse amongst older adults than amongst younger people. The youth literacy rate (literacy amongst people age 15-24) in Malawi is 75%. While primary education has been free in Malawi since 1994, many adults who were school age before this period may never have attended primary school at all, and those who did attend may only have attended intermittently as and when their families could afford to pay the necessary school fees.
Literacy is critically important because being able to read and write makes a huge difference to doing many simple day to day activities. This is reflected in some of the reasons community members have given for joining the classes, including wanting:
To be able to read the newspaper instead of just looking at the pictures.
To help their children with homework.
To understand forms.
To write letters.
To join the library.
To read a simple story to their children.
Alamson, who is in charge of the Mazembe Adult Literacy class
The Mwaya Adult Literacy class in the reading shelter at the Community Library
What We Have Achieved
RIPPLE Africa’s adult literacy project is overseen by Burton Chirwa, our Chief Librarian, who also runs the Mwaya class. Alamson runs the class in Mazembe village. Each class caters for varying levels of ability, and they run twice a week in each village.
The students in the classes are all delighted with the progress that they have made since the project started, and there is a waiting list for places.
How We Work
Students are taught to read and write and are encouraged to read newspapers and books at the Community Library. They are also taught to write letters and to fill in forms by the two coordinators, Alamson and Barton.
The Project’s Future
We hope soon to double the number of classes offered in the adult literacy project.
RIPPLE Africa 2003 - 2019, Company No. 04823686 England, UK Registered Charity Nos. 1103256 (England & Wales) and SC043082 (Scotland)
RIPPLE Africa, Inc. 2012 - 2019, US Registered 501(c)3 Nonprofit Organisation, EIN 26-2059213 Website by controla ltd