BIBLE SOCIETY NEWS
Friday 9 December 2016
Imagine not being able to read this sentence. Perhaps you can’t get your head around that because you have been able to read and write since you can remember. But according to the latest UNESCO figures, 758 million adults (aged 15 years and older) across the world remain unable to do so. Imagine – nearly 760 million adults are not able to read and write in their heart language!
Let’s put it another way: 33 times the total population of Australia is illiterate. Two-thirds of that enormous group of adults are women. And the effects of illiteracy don’t stop at the individual, who struggles with underdeveloped life skills and job options. Families and communities are held back for generations by the lack of basic reading and writing abilities.
In the face of such staggering and sobering statistics are the inspiring stories of how literacy is changing lives. With your help, Bible Society Australia has been deeply involved across the world in improving people’s lives through its literacy projects. From Pakistan to Laos, South Africa and Papua New Guinea, Bible Society supports programmes teaching literacy skills through Bible-based materials.
Thank you so much for your support of Bible Society’s tax-deductible literacy projects. Already this year, these projects have had a big impact in countries such as Pakistan – where the literacy rate for women is just 40 per cent. But the Beacon of Light project is reaching thousands of poor women, their families and communities, particularly in slum areas and rural villages in southern Punjab.
“I am the eldest and my parents went out to work so I had to care for the younger brothers and sisters and they couldn’t afford the fees to send me to school,” says Parveen, who, along with her mother, graduated from a literacy class in a slum area of a city north of Lahore. “I decided to go to literacy class for my children’s sake. I felt I should be able to teach them in their early education.”
We aim to teach about 7000 students this year in Pakistan, with Urdu Bibles given to graduating students. But with so many people around the world without basic reading and writing skills, there is still so much work for us to support.
We are asking you to please continue to support projects such as this, along with the Learning Through Listening programme in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.