Help Us Fight Our Enemy

This literacy project partners with the soldiers of Southern Sudan.

In the last few years dozens of soldiers have been trained to be Literacy Teachers and they are teaching literacy classes on the army bases. These Literacy Teachers offer a Literacy Course for soldiers. Because the army highly encourages literacy, they underwrite the program and it is offered to the soldiers and sometimes to their families as well.

One Army General explained to us that he sees illiteracy as an enemy that is suppressing people and their nation’s development. He further explained that the army needs help to fight this enemy so that they may teach their people to read and write and liberate them from this enemy.

The literacy program is straightforward. The teachers begin by teaching the letters of the alphabet and the basic phonics of their mother tongue. Then they teach the soldiers to write these sounds in letter form. Next they teach them to combine the sounds together to forms words. Then they begin to build their vocabularies with small words and start connecting them to build sentences. Soon, the soldiers can connect sentences together to communicate whole concepts and before they know it, they are reading and writing.

This may sound simple, but for an illiterate adult it is quite a challenge. Even things like holding a writing instrument, such as a pencil, can be awkward at first. It requires much practice and determination.

Reading materials are scarce in Southern Sudan, so this program also provides each student with dozens of primers in the form of short books, 20-30 pages in length. These primers solidify what they have learned and prepare them for a future of reading.

To date, these literacy classes have spread across 3 different army divisions, and hundreds of soldiers have been taught to read and write.