Meeting Millennium Development Goals
through local languages
Goal 6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
SIL views local language development as essential to achieve this goal.
People in ethnolinguistic communities are vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases due in part to the lack of essential information in the mother tongue. Reading materials in local languages that discuss hygiene, nutrition,and the prevention and treatment of diseases have proven to be effective in improving general health and life expectancy. The availability of culturally-relevant information dispels misconceptions surrounding HIV/AIDS.
"This is one of the best stories in Bafut!"
One day Becky Mfonyam started reading the Kande story to her hairdresser. When she stopped reading, the hairdresser asked, "Why did you stop? Keep reading. This is one of the best stories in Bafut!"
Kande is the true-to-life story of a 12-year-old African girl who struggles to raise her younger brothers and sisters after their parents’ death from AIDS. The booklet is impacting lives in many communities by presenting the important message of HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in a culturally appropriate story form.
The story not only addresses the problems faced by HIV/AIDS, but it teaches people that they can resist the temptation to participate in extramarital relationships. Teachers have discovered that even if they read the story in a classroom of noisy students, the room will become completely quiet.
Kande has been translated into 15 other languages of Cameroon as well as dozens of other languages across Africa and around the world. Lives are changed when communities take ownership of this emotionally-compelling vital health information.