Women’s Literacy Classes in Sudan
Sudan suffers one of the highest illiteracy rates in the world, about 50% overall, rising to 84% among women. Illiteracy in the war-affected areas is even higher – 76% overall in South Darfur for example. With the recent arrival in Khartoum of newly displaced people from the war-affected areas of Abyei, South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur there is a real, increased demand for literacy classes.
The classes will be held 3-4 times a week and each class will last 2-3 hours and will be held in schools, community centres or churches. Students will be required to attend for 18 months and at the end of this period, they will take the Sudanese government literacy exam.
Sudan, Africa’s biggest country, has faced near constant conflict since independence from Britain in 1956. From 1983-2005, Sudan experienced Africa’s longest running civil war, causing devastating upheaval, with an estimated 4 million people displaced within Sudan and 600,000 refugees fleeing to neighbouring countries.
Together for Sudan provided literacy classes for 433 women through the last year, and additionally trained new teachers for future classes. Some of the women also brought their children, therefore increasing the number of beneficiaries of the project.
Not only the women themselves have benefitted from this project, but the host community also benefits as the women now can participate more freely in the everyday life and the community’s socio-economic situation.
“I feel extremely happy and started to encourage the women in my area who are blind of illiteracy to join the class. My dream is to join school and continue my education.”