FOL has launched its most ambitious education project to address the literacy crisis in Liberia. Almost half of Liberians cannot read adequately and at least 40 percent are illiterate, according to recent UNICEF statistics. This had tragic consequences in the Ebola epidemic as communities tried to grapple with a deluge of prevention information. FOL will address this crisis by partnering with an international NGO and a Liberian literacy organization to initiate a culturally appropriate version of an evidence-based family literacy program. FOL is working with Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY-International.org), whose primary goal is to prepare children for long-term academic success, beginning with their parents or caregivers at home. This internationally-recognized program, which has been implemented in many countries, including the United States, has proven to be particularly useful in low-literacy households with limited economic means.
Families in three communities, being selected now in Montserrado County, will be chosen based on their desire to improve their pre-school child’s learning readiness skills. Parents are instructed in the home by visiting trainers in literacy and numeracy exercises for children between the ages of 3 and 7. This involves a variety of prescribed activities, using HIPPY-designed packets that require the parent to read to the child and guide their use of materials. Participation in this program has proven to increase parents’ literacy and their involvement in their child’s education.
Through the generous support of the Rolander Family Foundation, we have begun this process with WE-CARE a longstanding Monrovia-based literacy and publishing NGO, which will administrate the program and monitor the activities. We still need to raise more than half of the funds needed for the program.
Please consider sending a donation to the Family Literacy Initiative to continue the work you began in Liberia through a proven program supported by two non-profit partners and a team of literacy specialists convened by FOL to guide the project.