Meeting Millennium Development Goals
through local languages
Goal 1. Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger
SIL views local language development as essential to achieve this goal.
Income improvement and hunger relief within ethnolinguistic communities is achieved when life-changing information is communicated in a language that people understand well. Higher literacy rates often result in higher per capita incomes.
Literacy booklets explain improved farming methods
If he is unable to read, a farmer’s knowledge is generally limited to just the agricultural information passed down from his parents. Michel is a farmer in the African country of Benin, whose life changed when he completed literacy classes in his mother tongue, Waama. He credits literacy with giving him access to information about improved farming methods, the use of fertilizers and other products as well as significant agricultural dates.
As a result of his reading skills, Michel also learned about the best times and places to sell his produce in order to maximize his profits. Now that he has learned to calculate on paper, he has the confidence that he will never again suffer exploitation at the hands of unscrupulous middlemen.