Although the literacy rate among young women in Rwanda has improved over the last decade, a large percentage of women in certain communities are still illiterate. Many are in this situation because of limited ability of families to send their children to school due to poverty. For girls in struggling families, they are expected to care for siblings, earn money as domestic workers, or do chores around the home while their parents look for work. For these girls, going to school is a luxury the family simply cannot afford.
Subsequently, uneducated girls grow into illiterate women who often feel isolated, self-conscious and helpless to support the education of their own children. Their lack of literacy skills also affects their ability to be fully trained in economic initiatives, which are key to breaking the cycle of poverty between generations.
Since 2010, CBM has worked alongside our church partner in Rwanda to provide literacy classes for illiterate women. The majority of these women live on less than a dollar a day, mainly earned through subsistence agriculture. Many of them dream of learning a trade, getting a better job, even reading the Bible and teaching others to read as well. There is great potential for them to take leadership roles in their churches and communities. Upon the successful completion of their literacy classes, each student receives a Bible and a mentor helps them to realize the plans God has for them. This initiative enables women to get closer to achieving their dreams.