Most Outstanding Literacy Program!
Graduates of literacy classes in Matigsalug villages in the Philippines, proudly wear yellow T-shirts to encourage others that they, too, can learn to read. Determined to break the cycle of illiteracy, the Matigsalug language group formed Matigsalug Literacy Education Incorporated (MALEI) in 1995.
Local members of the NGO have taken responsibility for shaping the goals and direction for the literacy program. Each Matigsalug village elects a five-member Village Education Committee, chaired by the village leader. The committees choose members of the community to receive teacher training and send them to a two-week training workshop. They return to their communities to begin teaching literacy classes. Thirty-nine classes are conducted in seven Matigsalug communities. More than 850 people have completed the program and received certificates of achievement in reading.
In 2001, MALEI was named "Most Outstanding Literacy Program" by the regional Department of Education. "We are extremely proud to have the Matigsalug name lifted up in this way," said Mr. Cosme Lambayon, chairman of the MALEI Board of Directors, as he accepted the honor. Mr. Lambayon also expressed appreciation to SIL literacy consultants for partnering with the community organization and serving as a resource for training and materials.