New Internationalist

PHOTO ESSAY: literacy is a family affair

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Glitter Moreño shares images of a rural project in the Philippines, where parents are learning essential skills alongside their children.

The Awagoh Learning and Development Center (ALDC) is a non-profit organization in the Philippines which aims to ‘Empower Through Literacy’.

Glitter Moreño, a resident of the rural town of Cauayan, Negros Island, who founded ALDC in 2009, believes that only literacy and education will enable the many marginalized people in Cauayan to know and to fight for their rights.

ALDC is a small and young organization, and it has been lobbying to get the attention of the government and other organizations to support its work.

Above: The Adult Literacy Curriculum (ALC) is a customized programme run by the ALDC to teach adults, including the elderly, how to read and write. ALC was started last August in the upland village of Patol, an hour and a half’s walk by foot from the main road.

Above: Every Thursday, the ALDC borrows a classroom in Patol Elementary School up in the mountains, to teach students who are participating in the ALC course. The oldest student, 63-year-old Servando Chavez, is the village chief.

Left: Stephen Mapus, 49-years-old, is another student. A farmer and single parent of two, he is eager to learn how to read and write. It is a joy to see him and his son walking home together after a day of lessons. Stephen has the lowest literacy rate in the class and it is difficult for him to help with his sons’ homework. His progress is slow, but he is showing determination and his children spur him on and remind him to study! Stephen’s confidence is increasing as he becomes more literate: the aim of the organization is not just in skill building but in empowerment.

Above: Out and about during the class ‘enrollment’ period, July-August 2013. Staff and volunteers went from house to house, and field to field, to encourage non-literate adults to join the ALC programme.

Above: Finding out who is at the door: ALDC staff visit a home in the rural village of Patol.

Above: In 2011, British expat, Richard Foster, donated back copies of New Internationalist to the organization’s library for students to read or look through. They lack current issues so if you would like to donate your old copies, please get in touch via the comment section below.

Watch the ALC campaign for 2014 and visit the ALDC website for more details.

This is the third installment of our ‘In pictures’ series on local community projects. See our first story about a youth dance project in Nottingham, UK. And our second that shines a light onto Crystal Palace, an area in South London.

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  1. #1 Linda 14 Mar 14

    Maybe the ’Easier English’ on-line version of New Internationalist would be useful for the learners? :
    We are doing this for people learning English around the world, but it could help literacy learners too.

  2. #2 Lydia James 14 Mar 14

    Hi Linda,

    That's a great idea - thank you for pointing it out.

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New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

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