Syha is a 42 year old married woman and mother of 4 children; her neighbour Racha is a 44 year old married woman and mother of 6. They are both from the Khmu tribe and live in Oudomxay province, read their story below:
Living in this particular area is very difficult, especially for people who do not know how to write or read. Syha says: “We don’t know how to do anything except work on the farm. I did not have a chance to attend school at all, and so life as an illiterate person is really hard, especially when it comes to trading, and remembering the date or time. I do not even know what day or time it is today. I don’t even remember my birthday or my children’s because I did not know how to write or record the date when they were born and over time I forgot everything.”
Racha, her neighbour says: “Life for an illiterate person is very difficult, it is so hard when it comes to going to the markets. Sometimes I bring goods to sell at the market and I do not know how to weigh them on a scale, as I do not even know the numbers from 1-10. So many times the customers came and purchased all my goods and paid me very little. At times I went to buy items and I would not know if they gave me the correct change or not. Thinking about that I am really upset that I am not literate.”
As Syha does not know how to read or write, she does not really attend any activities in the village. Syha: “All of my learning is through listening or seeing things and trying to remember as much as I can…”
“Learning how to read and write will change my life...
Everything will be better. I can help my children with schoolwork and I can take notes and record information that I have heard or learnt. If I can learn how to read and write now, I can use it in my daily life such as trading produce from our farm.”
Racha says: “I believe my life will become better if I could only read and write. I can teach my children. My husband could make a shop for me to sell our produce in the village and earn some money for the family.”
With YOUR help in this year’s Annual Appeal, ADRA-UK will equip local schools with solar power and conduct evening classes to teach women like Syha and Racha in Laos to read and write. ADRA-UK will also improve the sanitation facilities at the schools.
Help ADRA-UK by supporting our adult literacy and solar power project in Laos at adra.uk.org/donate