Temwa speaks to Tabitha Manda about her reading progress since she joined our Community Literacy programme.
Tabitha Manda, in Grade 3 at Nthembo Primary School, Nkhata Bay North, lives with her family of six, headed by her mother. Tabitha’s mother used to have a small-scale fishing business, however, this could not bring in enough money for them to survive on, so she began subsistence farming instead. However, the family still struggles to meet their basic needs, including for food and clothes.
Family incomes can impact school attendance, even for primary age children, who may need to help the family to earn money, especially for educational materials. Many families cannot afford to pay for school uniforms, books or provide school lunch, in addition to other essentials. Temwa’s reading camps help to overcome this challenge by providing free access to literacy education, and highlighting the importance of this to parents who may be struggling.
The teachers and school management committee at Tabitha’s school have been encouraging parents, including Tabitha’s mother, to send their children to the Reading Camps established by the community and facilitated by Temwa. Before Tabitha attended the Reading Camp, her performance at school was poor, but she has seen huge progress since.
“I am now able to read and write since I started attending Reading Camp sessions, which I could not be achieved as quickly otherwise” .Tabitha
Tabitha now has improved literacy skills and does well in class. Out of 86 students in the year, she is the fourth highest achiever. Tabitha’s mother plans to encourage other people to actively participate in Temwa’s projects for self sufficiency.
Many of the communities we work with are subsistence farmers, who need at least basic reading, writing and numeracy skills. A good education means better opportunities can open up for employment and even moving on to further study.
Our community literacy programme helps to improve children’s performance at school. This means that students are encouraged not to drop out and contributes to improved life opportunities.
“We thank Temwa for supporting us and other communities to improve livelihoods”.Tabitha’s mother