Women Empowered Through Literacy

Four women from Africa


Habi Mani, a 23-year-old woman living in Kontagora, a village outside of Maradi, Niger, is a peanut seller, married, and has two children. Like many women from her village, she married at age 12 and did not receive a formal education. She lived in poverty and among many social prejudices, which also got in her way of an education. 
Habi enrolled in the literacy program MicroCredit in Africa (MICA) with a goal to learn to read and write in the Hausa language.

Between taking care of her family, working in the fields, and selling peanuts, she was determined to achieve her goal. After six weeks in MICA’s ambulant and mobile program, she can now read the alphabet, spell small words, write her name, and dial her phone number.

“I wish I knew there was such a life changing program long ago,” said Habi. “It would have been perfect to help me be on the same page as my children. I’m very much grateful for this wonderful opportunity.”


Patricia, a woman from Monrovia, Africa, never went to school—she was sent to live with family in the countryside where only boys could be educated. When she returned home as a young adult in 2010, her sister enrolled her in Imani House, an adult literacy program.

“I no longer have to ask someone to write my name or read things for me,” Patricia said. “I don’t know it all, but at least now I can try. And even words I don’t know I can sound out. I feel very proud of myself and my husband and children are, too.”


Rebecca, a 54-year-old Liberian woman living in Monrovia, never received an education. She was told her husband would be educated. In 2002, she enrolled in Imani House. However, due to illness and family issues, she had to drop out and return several times. Regardless, she persevered.

“I feel very happy about Imani House school,” Rebecca said. “It makes me feel like somebody now. I can write my name and read to my grandchildren a little.”


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Research proves the correlation between obtaining literacy skills and the return on investment related to improving an adult’s life and future.

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