Adult Literacy Program Graduation
Magarini Parish held a graduation ceremony on April 20th, for 44 people who have completed Adult Literacy Classes. The KELC Women’s Department has been supporting literacy education in several parish and mission areas, including this group in Magarini Parish. The course is a two-year program, at the end of which the students take a government exam.
Nearly all of the graduates in Magarini Parish were women. As wives and mothers, the women have many daily tasks to maintain their household and support their husband and children. Yet they also craved education and wanted to improve their lives by learning to read and write. Although the course can be completed in 2 years, many women take several more years to complete their course, as they are pulled away from classes periodically to address other duties in their family life. They remained dedicated to their education, and although it may take 5 or more years, they have persevered and have now graduated.
The graduation ceremony was attended by local government officials, church leaders, and community members. Two students demonstrated their reading skills by reading from the bible and the church liturgy book. There were many songs and dancing, including a children’s choir who sang songs to celebrate their mothers on this special day.
Illiteracy continues to be a problem in Kenya and women are disproportionately affected. About 25% of women in Kenya are illiterate, according to the records of the Kenyan government. Many of the graduates lamented that before they undertook the literacy classes, they struggled to shop or conduct business in the market, they were nervous to travel alone, and they could not assist their children with simple homework from school. Now they feel empowered to improve their lives and the lives of their families. We thank God for the dedication and commitment of these students and we pray that all communities around Kenya will continue working toward literacy for all people.