Thursday, May 3, 2007

Empowerment in Literacy.

Having children has always been a matter of economy. When you have children one has to think of whether or not the child can be fed and also what can this child bring to the family by way of support. Here in the United States parents worry more about if their children will be able to support them when they get old. While in developing countries it is more likely that the child will have to essentially support him/herself by working. My cousin said something wise to me the other day as we discussed sports and getting children involved in sports or other interests. I said to him that I thought it was a good idea to get kids involved and try to see what they'll enjoy whether it be sports or music/art. He said "children are an investment...with all the money you spend on kids you have to get them into something so the money comes back." So basically it is no wonder why so many parents think along the lines in which I was thinking. Many would love for their child to be the next big childstar like Michael Jackson was or a genius in some other sport like Tiger Woods with golf or Venus and Serena Williams with tennis. The dreams are more lofty here in America for obvious reasons. This after all is the Land of Opportunity. In developing countries however for many gaining the mere skill of reading and writing is a dream in and of itself.

The Global rule is reading and writing will lead to better job opportunities.. It allows you to get the degrees necessary to move upward in society. In today's world depending on where you live access to learning is more than most of the working poor can afford. Many families work extremely hard just to be able to send one of a handful of children to school. In many cultures around the world the choice comes down to the simple matter of sex. Girls are not just discouraged from education but kept from getting one outright. Boys are seen as more suited for education as it would allow them to bring home the money. While the girls are raised to be wives and mothers. This practice can lend itself to abuse in many cases where families are desperate they may marry their girl children off to grown men for the money they could receive in return.

In developing areas throughout Asia and Africa this is all too common. Young girls worldwide on autopilot, doing what society wants them to do. Their creative and intellectual drive is being suffocated. What can reading do to lift a girls self esteem? Read this article from the Lutheran World Relief website. I'm not the biggest fan of missionaries but this article gives great insight into how reading brings hope to girls and women in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Opening Books Opens a Whole New World: Literacy Program Empowers Women in Democratic Republic of Congo

I will leave you with the song
Education Injustice by Empire Bakuba
Pepe Kalle sings on the state of education in the Congo

Sorry I took so long in between entries. I make my own music and I've been working on that lately and lost track. I still aim to bring new entries as frequently as possible. Thanks for staying tuned...And remember tomorrow night Tambour D'Afrique airs on Radio Triomphe...PEACE

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