West Africa continues to have some of the lowest literacy rates in the world. While there is no universal measurement for literacy, we use the ability for people 15 years or older to read and write at a specified age. 40-50% of West Africans do not know how to read or write. This is a state of national emergency!
Literacy rates this low threatens economic security in the country, job opportunity, consistent health levels, and quality democracy. In Liberia, 60% of the population is 25 and under (2.4MM people) and the literacy rate is at 60%. Less females are literate than males. The low literacy rates are a product of 17 years war, but more foundational to the quality of education in the country and the lack of learning opportunity. In the 11 West African 14 million children are school age and the majority of those children are girls. The girls also index to be the poorest and in the most rural areas of the country.
Along with little to no access the quality of education that children receive in West Africa is subpar because of poor or lack of teacher training. This is a huge talent gap that will perpetuate illiteracy if not addressed.
What happens if literacy is not addressed in West Africa? Closed books turn into closed doors. Opportunities will not be unlocked to break the cycle of poverty. Education is the key to health and prosperity. The Bible teaches us in Hosea 4:6 the people will perish from a lack of knowledge.
L.I.T.E. strengthens core educational processes in Liberia. We focus on ensuring educators get the right training for sustainability, we also educate parents in rural areas about the importance of education and literacy as it relates to their legacy. When you give to our programs, you help a nation of people strive toward literacy each day!
Father God we ask for your Power, right now in the name of Jesus. Satan came to steal, kill, and destroy, but we stand confident that you hold the master plan. We ask that you touch the minds of each boy and girl in West Africa. Give them curiosity, give them courage, and give them a love for learning. Go before us as we encourage parents to build a legacy through education. We thank you in advance for the victory! In Jesus’ name we pray!
Source: African Economist, INEEsite.org, UNESCO, Oxfam.org, CIA World Fact Book