Growing up in Chad, Katari always felt like an outsider when he was around his friends who could read and write. Katari’s parents couldn’t afford to send him to school, so they trained him in practical skills such as hunting and farming. But Katari longed to sit at a desk and learn.
His insecurities only grew as he got older. As an adult, Katari felt ashamed having to ask others for help with everyday tasks. He was frustrated that he couldn’t write to family members living miles away, or simply read the newspaper.
By the time Katari got into his late thirties, he had almost given up on the idea of ever learning to read and write. But when the Chadian Association of Literacy, Linguistics and Bible Translation, one of Tearfund’s local partners, set up a literacy centre in Katari’s local area, he saw a glimmer of hope.
Katari was one of the first to sign up for an adult literacy course at the centre. Before long, his lifelong dream was coming true.
‘Today, I can write, read and calculate in the Guley language,’ says Katari, who has now been attending the literacy centre for three years. ‘I am amazed! For me, it is truly the miracle of God! There are no words to express my appreciation and thanks to God for this opportunity.’
There are many more people like Katari, waiting for a second chance at education. In Chad alone, over half of the adult population are illiterate. Literacy centres, such as the one run by our local partner, are offering valuable opportunities for people to get the education that they missed out on in childhood.
This has been life changing for Katari. He is now brimming with confidence, and finds that life is full of possibilities instead of frustrations. He has also become passionate about encouraging other adults to join the literacy courses. When more adults learn to read and write, they can also pass these skills on to the next generation even if they cannot afford to send their children to school.
‘I am raising awareness among my illiterate brothers and sisters who are still hesitant to understand that this second chance is within their reach,’ says Katari. ‘They can grab the opportunity. If they enrol in the literacy class, they will come out in this very happy state – like me.’