The Lowa (a marginalized indigenous nationality in Nepal) literacy classes are conducted in Upper Mustang with the help of local youth clubs, which are also important social organizations in Nepal. We work with the partnership of the local youth club empowering them towards language development. We plan together and train them as facilitators to teach functional literacy, which is an approach that teaches literacy for everyday life. On the completion of the literacy class, participants are able to read well enough to function in a society. They learn basic numeracy. This skill is an important step towards them being able to manage finances and make a good living for themselves as well as participate in community development activities. Being able to read makes a huge difference in people’s confidence and level of independence: whether it is reading the instructions on a medicine bottle for their children, reading the sign on a bus, knowing how to dial the mobile no to a relatives and friends, or how to correctly fill out forms in government documents.
The method and materials of teaching make big differences in the learning of students. Class management is one of the major concerns of our literacy project, so we provide furniture, solar lights, pencils, paper, bag and necessary files. The classroom is fully decorated with the lots of teaching materials as well as the student’s creations: writings, pictures, songs, poems, riddles, stories and others. Our teaching materials are developed according to student's interest, context, and helping them function in their daily life. After completing the class students are given lots of interesting reading materials produced in local context in order to encourage lifetime learning and achieving reading fluently. The students also have access to a community library where local reading materials are available.
Goal: To see the community engaging in literacy activities and developing pride in their cultural identity to preserve their language and culture. As a result, individuals, families and communities are experiencing equitable social change and improving their economic standing.