Meeting Millennium Development Goals
through local languages
Goal 5. Improve maternal health
SIL views local language development as essential to achieve this goal.
A mother is better able to care for herself and her family when she is literate in her mother tongue and has access to health information in a language she understands well. Language development facilitates the introduction of new concepts and the accurate translation of new terminology.
Medicinal local plants explained in Soumraye booklets
The Soumraye people of Chad conduct a three-year literacy program in 37 villages. During the first two years, students learn the Soumraye alphabet and gain basic literacy skills. In the third year, they concentrate on various reading materials that include booklets about clean water, planting trees, HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, treating and preventing intestinal and respiratory illnesses and medicinal use of local plants.
One mother who finished the three-year literacy cycle said, "I am learning a lot through the health booklets in Soumraye, and I have successfully used local plants to treat some symptoms such as coughing and diarrhea."