Reduction of High Illiteracy Rate in Liberia

The illiteracy rate of Liberia is between 70%-75%. When people are not able to read and write any language at all, their opportunity to do meaningful and substantial development is limited. They cannot do accounts effectively or even read or write simple messages. They mainly rely on hearsay (rumor mongering) and objects count for accounts. The literacy and other interventions that we make are meant to help the Government of Liberia reduce the high illiteracy rate in the country with the intent of producing a highly informed citizenry.

Improved Life

Furthermore, the new literate population will have the opportunity to improve their lives by being able to read health materials, materials about good farming methods, civic education materials, medicine labels, birth control and general directions. Being able to read widely will also inspire the people to be confident in what they do because they have access to more information. This is why for formal and informal literacy we use materials produced in the indigenous languages by local writers or materials that have been translated into the local languages, mainly from English.

Preservation of Language, Culture and Faith

A people’s language, culture and faith are crucial to their survival, growth and development. Minority languages are dying out faster than ever before because native speakers are turning to majority languages in t heir environment for fear of being looked down upon as inferior people when they speak their own local languages. Language, culture and faith are three of the significant rights of indigenous peoples recognized by the United Nations for which 144 United Nations countries met in their 107th plenary meeting and on September 17, 2007 adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples). We at LIBTRALO strongly believe in these and other rights of indigenous and/or minority people and are endeavoring to ensure that these rights are preserved for future generations.

Population Participation in Decision Making

When people are literate in various languages it helps them to popularly participate in decision making that affects their life and comfort. Our work is also geared toward capacitating people to know the importance of participating in community, local or national decision making. Most times people who don’t see themselves as highly educated tend to shy away from having a say in decisions that they have to live with. They would usually say “it is the people’s thing.”

We try to help these kinds of people break from the culture of silence to make their voice heard about issues that impact their lives. These people then know that it is important to send their children to school and to the clinic or hospital. They have to attend town hall meetings, learn to vote by show of hands or by filling out ballot papers, understand and sign social contracts with concessions that operate in their local communities, and decide how to allocate and disburse county or district development funds for specific development projects.