SIL International Home

Mothers Take Language Development into the Future

Mothers have great influence in almost any culture. This year alone, 575 mothers from the Kom language group of Cameroon, West Africa, learned how to read. Now they have the tools to help their children value education and to encourage them in their schoolwork.

The Kom Language Development Committee (KLDC) began as a partnership with SIL. Later two Cameroonian NGOs also began to work with the KLDC. The Kom people assumed ownership from the beginning and received training to do all aspects of the language development project—from adult and children's literacy training to translation and literature production. SIL provided consultant help in training authors, literacy workers, newspaper editors, translators, computer specialists and desktop publishers for local book production. In 2001, 46 new adult literacy teachers were trained as well as 97 primary school literacy teachers.

Part of the development project has been creating a bilingual education program. Fifty-two schools enroll 3,860 students. Both parents and school teachers are pleased with the project because they see that their children are learning to read well when they first learn to read their mother tongue.