Low levels of adult literacy and numeracy are a significant issue in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This prevents people from reaching their potential and also limits the country’s development. This is why a strong desire exists among many adults to learn to read, write and count.
In February 2017 a group of 30 adult students from Kilongo village gathered in a classroom at the Kinsevere Primary School. They were the first students in a new adult literacy program launched by the Chief of Bukanda Sector, Kinsevere mine’s Social Development Manager Michel Santos and the Executive Director of AlfaCongo, the not-for-profit organisation delivering the program.
During the class, participants were given reading exercises focused on observation, reflection and memory. The students were aged between 17 and 50, and more than 75% of the class were mothers. Some had brought their babies with them to class.
The long-term goal of the project is to teach 500 adults basic literacy within five years.
“We provide free literacy classes to people who live in the villages around us. We also give them the opportunity to know the basic rules of numeracy. For this we have taken care of all the costs of purchasing training manuals,” said Dimitry Ngoy, Community Development Coordinator at Kinsevere.
“Our goal is to help them understand that reading and writing will help them find solutions to their everyday problems. Instead of abdicating after years of shame, of secrecy, a click has occurred: a taboo broken, they decide to learn and it works.”
Pictured: Local students learning to read and write near Kinsevere.