Literacy in Churches is a literacy project that LIBTRALO is implementing on a pilot basis with Liberian churches and local communities, but with funding from Lutheran Bible Translators (LBT) based in Concordia, USA. This one year project commenced in January, 2017 and is expected to conclude in December, 2017.
To date, there are 24 literacy classes, 35 teachers, 296 learners and seven language supervisors in the pilot project. At present all of these participants are managed by three LIBTRALO Headquarter Staff for general coordination and oversight.
We began the Literacy in Churches project with church and community assessments that allowed us to work together with church leaders and some community elders in order to get their members’ commitment to attend literacy classes, make arrangements for teaching/learning venues and agreeing of roles between LIBTRALO and participating churches or communities. Materials development and distribution made materials available for the conduct both of training and operation of literacy classes. We conducted teacher training so that individual language curricular be implemented with renewed energy and a clearer understanding of adult learners’ characteristics – a key component to classroom management and good retention rates. We are operating literacy classes in Montserrado, Grand Bassa and Lofa Counties in Liberia so that the target populations will realize their need of reading God’s Word as well as health and other materials for their spiritual and personal development.
In order to encourage mass attendance of literacy classes by members of his church – Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith (PCAF) – Rev. Russell Goffah personally paid registration fees for all members of his headquarter church in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, so that none of them is left with an excuse of not being able to pay registration fees for literacy classes. As a result, we met their two literacy classes active each time we visited there. Rev. Goffah’s ambition is that his church members who are not English literate should launch themselves into effective evangelism through Bassa literacy, as they read and understand God’s Word in the language of their heart.
Literacy in Churches is our way of retracing our steps back to the larger literacy program we ran which had greater impact on the nation as it touched every administrative subdivision of Liberia, before its decline due to a multiple of reasons. We are learning of our past challenges so that we use the opportunity provided by Literacy in Churches to make amends for a full bloomed adult literacy program that will remain replicable by generations to come.