Adult Literacy Program
Eradicating Poverty through educating Women in rural Nepal
With an average illiteracy rate of 44%, nearly half of the women in Karki Gaun and neighboring villages have not received the most basic education. Necessary skills like reading, writing, fundamental arithmetic and language had never been part of their daily lives.
The Adult Literacy Program (ALP), available to every woman in the village, starts with the fundamentals of reading and writing. Once the basic concepts are mastered, we advance to classes that deepen reading, writing and language skills in English and Nepali. The program has been successful with the entire village benefitting. A newly discovered curiosity and appreciation for learning is opening a world of possibilities. We see the women embracing their power with optimism and joy in an area that had always been closed off to them.
Namina, one of our students, is 50 years of age and highly motivated to learn. She is embracing all the Adult Literacy Program has to offer. She had never attended school and says:
“The Adult Literacy Program in my village means a lot to me. I am eagerly learning the alphabet both Nepali and English together. I myself always wanted to learn. It’s been 3 months and I have been continuously going to class.”
Urmila, another one of our students, is 30 of age and grew up in large family. They were economically challenged, and she had not received any form of education. She says:
“When I saw children going to school, I used to cry inside. I never enjoyed domestic work. The Adult Literacy Program became my soul. My husband supports me and I manage my time. I finish all my work and come to class. I am speechless! I am overwhelmed.”
The men of the village are noticing a positive change in the women as well. Laxman Tamang, the founder and leader of the program says:
“The men are positively impressed” and “surprised about how the women manage their daily workload and classes — the men’s views about education are changing for the better.”
In order to continue the women’s literacy program in Karki Gaun $450 is required each month. The funds go towards providing qualified teachers, classroom rental and learning materials for the women. The ALP currently supports over 40 women in two classrooms that meet six times per week, eleven months out of the year. As the ALP evolves, women will continue creating opportunities and developing a new sense of hope for themselves and a strong connection with their village.
Let us introduce you to some of our sisters.
My Name is Urmila Tamang. I am 33 years old. I grew up in a big family of 9 children. I am the second oldest. We have a very poor family background. I have never been to school in my life. Due to poverty, my parents sent me to Kathmandu to work at a wealthy family as a child laborer when I was 9. I stayed there for 5 years. My job was to clean the big house, wash dishes, wash clothes, wash toilets and care for the animals. When I’d see children of the wealthy family go to school I used to cry inside. I never enjoyed the domestic work and returned to Karki Gaun after 5 years. Since then I got married and now have 2 children.
The adult literacy program has become my soul. I have had no absences since this class has started. I am speechless and overwhelmed.
Thank you to everyone, providing us this beautiful program. Yours Sincerely, Urmila Tamang
I am 50 years old. I married in the age of 15, I have five children, four girls and one son. I was raised by single parent, where I had big responsibilities to look after my younger brother. I have never been to school in my life. Now all my kids are grown and they have finished their college and some are going to university.
Adult Literacy Program in my village means a lot to me. I am eagerly learning Alphabet both Nepali and English-Nepali together. It’s been 3 months I have been continuously going to class. Now, I have learned Alphabet and learning developing the words. Now I realized that every word comes from joining the Alphabet which I was unawares of before coming to class.
I myself always wanted to learn, my husband and children encouraging me to read and write.
I am a farmer and I have to work in the field, feed animals for my living. Where there is will, there is way.... I manage my time at home, at work and in school. I am so blessed to have this opportunity in the community. I thank everyone who directly and indirectly is involved in the project. Special thanks to Santosha and her sister Christine. I love you...
Yours Loving Sister
From KarkiGaun, Nepal.
Note of Interest: You’ll notice that Namina and Urmila share the same last name. This does not indicate that they are from the same family, it merely suggests the same region of origin.
Karki Gaun is in the Tamang region of Nepal.
Listen to one of our sisters as she describes her desire for education.