South Sudan: Literacy for Shilluks


This literacy project aims to bring growth and reconciliation to people in South Sudan. This project works with churches in South Sudan in offering literacy classes, to contribute to the community’s social progress, promote wellbeing, help break the cycles of poverty as well as empower communities to read and learn the word of God.

Since South Sudan’s independence in mid-2011, social unrest, armed conflicts, tribal disputes and other challenges continue to impact the daily lives of the South Sudanese.

Only 34.5% of South Sudanese are literate (according to a 2018 Global Report on Literacy). With 70 major ethnic groups (each with its own language) only 1 out of 10 women and 3 out of 10 men can read in any language. The Shilluk people in particular (of whom about 45% are Christians) were badly affected by the conflict of the civil war. Illiteracy concerns mostly women above the age of 15.

It is in this context that the Bible Society considers this literacy project a priority. A focus on adult literacy is crucial for many areas of life: learning basic rules of sanitation for their homes, selling or buying in a marketplace, helping children with schooling at home, and reading the Bible.


  • 65.5 million of South Sudanese people are non-literate (2018, World Bank data)
  • 45% of Shilluk people are Christian
  • There are 574,000 Collo speakers in South Sudan

Related projects