Your trust in Bible Society helps us respond quickly when the unforeseen happens
Have you seen the words ‘Where Needed Most’ on a Bible Society donation form, and wondered just what it meant? A gift to ‘Where Needed Most’ offers us the greatest flexibility to provide help and Open The Bible where it can have the most impact.
The literacy program in Mozambique demonstrates it perfectly. Through its donors, Bible Society Australia supports this work which teaches hundreds each year to read and write. Almost half of the population of Mozambique is illiterate. 13 million adults, their early education disrupted by a 15-year civil war, are trapped in ignorance and poverty.
Maria was widowed years ago, left on her own to fend for seven children. Unable to read, Maria survives by growing vegetables for food. She sometimes has enough to sell but is aware that she is easily cheated.
Rabeca faces similar challenges. “I spend a lot of time just finding food for my family. I have lived my whole life in poverty,” she laments. “All my life I have wanted to read. I have seen the power it gives people.”
That’s why Maria and Rabeca were among the first to enrol when a literacy class began in their area. 17 groups operate across two provinces, with trained facilitators helping adults to read and write in their mother tongue. The program is run by Bible Society partners in Mozambique and provides literacy, numeracy, life and health skills to people who have never had the opportunity to learn before. Those who graduate are also given a Bible of their own.
Last year, Cyclone Idai ripped through Mozambique. Hardest hit was Beira in the nation’s centre where the literacy project is concentrated. About 80 per cent of the city was destroyed, impacting all the churches where our literacy classes are held, and putting classes on hold.
Thankfully, not for long.
Bible Society Australia was able to send emergency funds to replace literacy resources. Thanks to gifts to ‘Where Needed Most’, Bible Society was also able to help churches rebuild and to care for their communities by providing food packages.
This meant that the literacy work could carry on for those yearning to learn. “I want to learn as much as I can,” Rabeca says, “so that I can start my own business or get a job to support my family.”
For Maria, it has meant increasing independence, and the one thing she has always wanted. She is finally able to write her name, thanks to those in Australia who have placed their name and a little tick on a donation form.