Mass Literacy Movement in Four Unions of Mymensingh

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“Since I was illiterate, I used to give a thumb impression. I had to receive credit from our local committee, admit my kids into school and all types of activities through thumb impression. It was really reprehensible to me. However, at present I am not ashamed as I can write my name, read the newspaper. Thus I am so glad; it is possible for being taught the Bengali alphabet,” said Rahima, a 40 year-old student of mass literacy centre of Khagdahor union. In just 42 days she was able to write the Bengali alphabet and has begun practicing by reading newspapers frequently.

Many people who were once illiterate are finding their voice in literacy centers like the one in Khagdahor.

This achievement has also been possible for women leader Rokeya and youth leader Shafiq. In the past, when Rokeya and Shafiq had not taken any training from The Hunger Project (THP)-Bangladesh, the scenario was quite different. They were not stable at all in their positions. Rokeya Akter was a simple homemaker passing through a hard time with her husband. Similarly, Shafiq was only a student who did not feel he could contribute much to his society.

After taking part in different trainings from THP-Bangladesh, they were inspired to introduce new ideas not only in their families, but also to the larger society. They felt in order to make some change regarding scarcity in their own regions, mass literacy was one of the most important initiatives among so many activities. Presently, they are two of the 260,000 trained volunteer animators working towards making positive changes in their regions.

THP-Bangladesh's first mass literacy center was established at Charnilakhiya with the help of "Protiva," a local unit of 25 volunteer youth leaders. Later, they established three additional mass literacy centers. These centers laid the foundation for the formation of a mass literacy movement, which was launched in August 2010 by THP-Bangladesh in partnership with BRAC.

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