“Literacy is beautiful,” Lewa exclaimed, unable to hold back her smile. “It’s my deepest joy to watch someone learn how to read.”
Lewa, the literacy coordinator for the Kalo language in Central Province, was attending the Orthotech workshop held at the Ukarumpa Training Centre along with 17 other participants from over 11 languages. The goal of the workshop was to train participants as “orthography technicians” who would be able to organize and run alphabet design workshops. She was excited to learn about new tools and methods that would help her refine the Kalo alphabet and continue to develop literacy programs.
Lewa has been teaching literacy in her area since the 1960s. “It encourages my heart to see my former students become leaders and good Christian people,” she said. She believes that it’s the responsibility of those who are educated to pass on their gift, and she models that theory by keeping the doors of her house open to anyone who might want to learn to read. “They are so hungry for knowledge! I tell them, whenever you have time, you come to my house and I will help you. I’ve asked my family to give me 10 minutes free from my other responsibilities to help this person, and they understand.”
Lewa sees her role as a literacy teacher as planned by God from the beginning, and always seeks to encourage her fellow teachers. She teaches, “Psalm 139:13 says God knitted you together in your mother’s womb . . . God has been forming you and molding you so you can be willing to serve Him through literacy.
“God has chosen us to take up this literacy work. People don’t always understand . . . but because of your commitment, because of your teaching, this man that you teach, he will be able to open the Bible and read the Word of God, and he will find life.
“And it’s because you taught him to read in the first place.”
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