Despite the official literacy rate for Sri Lanka (92.3% in 2019, in a population of 21.4 million people), there are still a significant number of people in rural areas, slums, undeveloped areas and among ethnic minority groups who do not have proper access to education. These include street children, children and youth in orphanages, underprivileged children, disabled children, and poor children growing up in rural areas who don’t even have their basic needs met.
Churches have been trying to reach out to children and young people who have some literacy, but struggle in reading and writing in their mother language. Yet the churches have lacked a systematic approach and have approached Bible Society asking for assistance.
The classes have been running in the Sinhala and Tamil languages and include reading Scripture through simple Bible stories (both printed and digital), explaining stories from the Bible and Christian books, and covering simple teachings of Jesus, Gospel parables, songs and other audio material.
These are some of their stories…
“My name is Jagath and I am working as the Pastor of a Church. This literacy class that the Ceylon Bible Society is conducting is a great blessing to our church. Most of the children in our church are unable to write and read.
From this literacy class, we could find such children in our church. God has given us a blessing to find such students and make their future brighter…
This is the time that some children are engaged in work without learning. But this program paved a path for these children for a bright future. These children wished that if they had this program before.
But God gave these children an opportunity to participate in it.
This class is a good class because we could give a message to the society through this class. Some children are curious while some children are afraid and ashamed. So, we could find such children and help them in learning with love and discipline. We are doing this class in three churches in three areas.
This is a blessed class. These children are the future of not only our parish but in our country too. Through this class, the love and our dedication will cause these children to brighten their future and be good citizens in this country.”
“My name is Jeramiah. I am 13 years old. My brother said to me to come to this class. So, I came to this class. I am expecting from this class to know about God more and more.
I have a small ability to write and read letters but I like to improve and develop that further. I like to come to this class regularly and today is my 2nd day.
I learnt many new things in this class specially about the Kings in the Bible and the stories about the Disciples of Jesus.
I like to learn the new things in the Holy Bible.
I think within two years’ time I will be able to improve the reading and writing skills and my ambition is to be a businessman in the future.
As for an improvement of my studies in this program, I would like to learn more about the stories in the Holy Bible.”
In Australia, we are blessed with access to free education; however, millions of people in other countries don’t have the same opportunity for education.
Your donation provides a multi-faceted gift to non-literate people.
The gift of literacy helps end poverty, improves health and well-being, promotes gender equality, and allows one to read God’s word for oneself