The Power of Literacy Education

UNESCO’s International Literacy Day (ILD) may have taken place on September 8 – but here at TEMBO, a key component of the Women’s Outreach program is literacy education for women all year long

Every week, staff from Learning in Longido provide women in three remote villages with an opportunity to develop their literacy skills. 

Many of the women never attended school or perhaps left after only one or two years of primary school. Today, they’re very proud of their achievements.

What the women like best in the classroom:

  • Meeting together
  • Coming to Learning in Longido for celebrations
  • Support from TEMBO and LIL

“I never went to school. My parents use to hide me when officers use to visiting bomas to write children to attend school. I am happy to attend literacy class. I am continuing to learn writing slowly. I now know part of the body so when I feel sick, I know to explain myself to the doctor.”


“It is very important for me to attend literacy class because I joined primary school but I didn’t go beyond class 2. Literacy class has helped me communication in Swahili. It helped me how to use the phone. Now, I know how to save someone number in my phone and when someone call, I know her / him by name instead of recognise them by voice.”

– Naishorwa

“It is important for me to attend literacy class in order to know write, reading, and count number. A way from this literacy classes help me do other community activities like attending village meeting and contribute my ideas in Kiswahili. It helped me following the instructions when voting leader. I can choose the person I prefer instead of someone to choose for me.”



ILD2023 is an opportunity to join efforts to accelerate progress towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) on education and lifelong learning and to reflect on the role of literacy in building more inclusive, peaceful, just, and sustainable societies. 

In doing so, it will embrace the reciprocal relations between literacy and other areas of development: Literacy is central to the creation of such societies, while progress in other areas of development contributes to generating interest and motivation of people to acquire, use, and further develop their literacy and numeracy skills. Visit the UNESCO website for more information.