Friday, August 1, 2014

Taking Reading for Granted No Longer - GFA Blog

As an educator and an author, I don't take reading for granted anymore. However, before I entered these professions, I did. It was something you just "did." Pick up the newspaper, a book, an application for a job, and you just simply read it. Slow or fast, well or not so much, you read it.

Yet, for many people around the world, probably millions, reading is something foreign. They think, "Reading is like lying to Jupiter. There may be people out there with huge intellects working on that, but I'm never going to go. It's too hard." So, they just flounder in a world of words and the printed page.

Then you have people who fall into this camp because of cultural mores. Like peasants in the Middle Ages, being led astray by manipulative people who can read and can tell them what everything supposedly says and means, these people are at the mercy of the educated.

Enter Dayita.

Dayita worked hard to keep her family afloat, but her efforts would come to nothing if her husband continued to waste the hard-earned money. Still, as one of the more than 30 percent of Asian women who are illiterate, Dayita found her options limited.

In Dayita’s village, few girls received an education, and she was no exception. Her husband Kaamil was a laborer, and the couple struggled to make ends meet. To ease the family’s financial situation, Dayita began sewing clothing. Kaamil deposited her earnings in the bank, but to Dayita’s horror, she discovered that he was withdrawing her earnings to buy alcohol.

Dayita didn’t know what to do. She found someone to help her open her own bank account, but managing it presented difficulties: She couldn’t read or write to fill out the forms for deposits and withdrawals. Instead, Dayita had to rely on others for help.

Fortunately, two women soon offered just the help she needed.

Ashna and Neha, believers from the local Women’s Fellowship, had started a literacy class in Dayita’s area. Determined to keep her money safe, Dayita began attending the sessions—and to her surprise, Kaamil supported her.

Ashna regularly teaches two-hour classes on reading and writing from a Bible-based curriculum. Within two months, Dayita could read and write enough to fill out her bank forms. She now deposits and withdraws money on her own. She can also read the names of buses and bus stations.
Thanks to the work of Ashna and Neha, Dayita is also learning about Jesus and is starting to believe in Him.

For more information on Gospel for Asia's work in this area of education, click here.

For information on GFA's movie, Veil of Tears, click on the picture below.