"Indego Africa's training programs provide women with the skills to rely on themselves in the future by knowing how to read and write but also having critical thinking that helps them to do what is right. It teaches them how to fish." – Innocent Bigiyobyenda, 28, Kigali Institute of Education
Indego Africa's literacy training programs are the first adult literacy program in Rwanda to focus on the functional applications of reading and writing instruction in both English and Kinyarwanda (Rwanda's native language).
Why? In 2009, the government of Rwanda changed the official language for its education system from French to English. English is also one of the most common languages in global commerce. And, finally, Indego Africa conducted focus groups with its artisan partners, and English Literacy was the most desired.
What? Indego Africa's English Literacy curriculum is sequenced according to three 6- to 8-month Modules. Each Module includes 25 to 30 individual lesson units, homework, and pre-training, midterm, and final assessments.
- Module 1 introduces students to conversational English. It focuses on the alphabet, phonetics, vocabulary, pronunciation, and numbers so that women are able to speak and understand basic English.
- Module 2 instructs students on how to build simple sentences. It focuses on business- and product-related vocabulary so that women can begin to conduct basic business transactions in English.
- Module 3 teaches students how to communicate in more complex, full sentences.
- Module 4 focuses on client-customer relations and business partner relations so that women can feel confident using English in their everyday lives as businesswomen and entrepreneurs.
Why? Studies have shown that even a minimum level of literacy education profoundly impacts women's income levels, reduces maternal and infant mortality rates, improves nutrition and general health, and promotes longer life expectancy. Improved ability to communicate in Rwanda's native language allows for deeper participation in local markets and Indego Africa's training programs.
What? Indego Africa's Kinyarwanda programs focus on reading and writing skills in the context of lessons on public health, parenting skills, human rights, and civil participation. Participating artisans match their literacy goals with their immediate concerns, including how to fill out a job application, open a bank account, or even write a letter to a family member.