Skip to main content

Happy World Literacy Day - HFK has something BIG to Celebrate! - Guestpost by Mark Brandsma


DId you know that 775 million adults (15 years and older) 
still cannot read or write - two thirds of them 
(497 million) are women? 
Taken from UNESCO (United Nations) Institute for Statistics

HFK's First Graduating Class - Level One Literacy Training

Today, September 8th is World Literacy Day and we have something BIG to celebrate!  Hope for Korah's very first graduating class of adult women from Level One Literacy Training in Amharic reading and writing!!  Last Thursday was Graduation Day and the air was filled with enthusiasm and hope. Our twenty-four Hope for Korah graduates walked around proudly with certificates in their hands and a sense of accomplishment written all over their faces. What a joy it is to see these women empowered in such a simple yet profound way!

Congratulations Hariguah, Tigist and Rahema 
for placing in the top three of your class!


In February 2015, Hope for Korah (HFK) began offering its first literacy course through the Income Generation program. The local government office provides
instructors to come in 3 days per week, 1 hour per session, to teach members of the HFK program. Since most of our beneficiaries are women who come from the countryside where girls’ education is not a family priority, illiteracy is common.

We are grateful to Weinshet, our patient & kind Literacy instructor

As one can imagine, not being able to read or write is a significant disadvantage, particularly in an urban setting. It limits job opportunity, increases vulnerability, and most certainly has an adverse effect on one’s confidence. Instead of signing their name, a fingerprint is all that Tiruwork, Marta and most of our women can offer...... a clear identifier of where they fit in the social order. 

 Actual Signatures

However, as a result of this recent literacy course these women and others will now be writing their own names and fingerprints will no longer be necessary. How grateful both Tiruwork and Marta are that the HFK program is offering this training. Not only will their children learn to read and write at school, but there is still hope for them! Each mother will take home a chart of the Amharic alphabet where she will continue to learn from other teachers ... her own children! They will learn together, be empowered together, and have a renewed sense of hope together.

This fall, Hope for Korah will continue to offer Adult Literacy Training Level Two to these same graduates, meanwhile their example has also inspired others in our program to courageously take their first steps towards literacy and they too will soon begin Level One Training.   In addition to Literacy Training, HFK also began a semi-annual life skills assessment program in April and our families are scheduled to be assessed again in October. This will be a way to monitor individual’s progress in literacy, numeracy, money management, health, hygiene communication and numerous other important skills that are deemed necessary to gain dignified employment and to become self-sufficient.

Hope for Korah believes adult literacy is a key to helping individuals in Korah break their cycle of poverty and as such, we celebrate World Literacy Day.  Being able to read and write not only helps change the future of children; it empowers their parents as well!

If you would like information on how you can help bring literacy and opportunities for education to women and children in Korah, please email Jacqueline at