“Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.”
While GFA-supported Sisters of Compassion don’t teach villagers how to fish, they do teach them something quite necessary to thrive in life: how to read and write.
For one mother, this old proverb stands true as the sisters’ lessons are satisfying her lifelong dream to learn to read and write.
Habiba, 40, lives in a slum village with her husband, 10-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son. Growing up, Habiba had the desire to attend school and learn to read and write, but she never had the opportunity because of her family’s poverty. Still, it was a dream she clung to even after getting married.
When Habiba’s children were born, she desperately wanted them to receive an education. Unfortunately, her husband was also uneducated and, therefore, unable to teach the children, and school fees were too expensive for them to afford. Habiba grieved that her children would grow up illiterate like she did, but it seemed her dreams for their education were equally out of reach.
One day, Sister Tamanna and a few other GFA-supported Sisters of Compassion visited Habiba’s home and shared the Good News of Jesus’ love. They also explained to Habiba and her family they were starting a literacy class for the women and children of the village.
Not surprisingly, Habiba rejoiced to learn about the class and that the lessons would be offered for free. It renewed hope that her dreams of an education for herself and for her children could finally become a reality.
“I want to become an educated lady,” Habiba excitedly explained to Sister Tamanna, “and my desire will surely come true through this class.”
When the literacy class began in her village, Habiba and her children were among its students. One year after Habiba started her lessons, her hard work paid off. She learned to write and speak her local language’s alphabet and numbers. She was also able to write her name and the names of her husband and children.
Meanwhile, Habiba’s children found success in their literacy classes as well. In addition to learning their A-B-Cs, some of their lessons include learning God’s Word and how to pray.
Though Habiba may not have realized it yet, this literacy class was just one demonstration of God’s love for her and her family. Through the Sisters of Compassion and their literacy ministry, God is the One making Habiba’s dreams come true.
Habiba isn’t the only mother for whom literacy is an important dream. Read Parmila’s story, and learn how attending GFA-supported literacy classes became an answer to her prayers.