Local Enterprises Promote Literacy

containers of millet lined up for grinding in the millWhat do millet and sheep have to do with literacy? A lot!

Two income-generating projects in the village of Guduba, Cameroon, are contributing to the success of the community’s literacy program.

After a few attempts to find a secure source of income for a literacy project among the Muyang-speaking community, Gideon Noussi of SIL Cameroon made a creative suggestion. He proposed buying a mill for the people of Guduba to grind their millet and using some of the profits to fund the literacy program.

It was determined that there was a definite need for a mill in Guduba and the machine was purchased and installed. After some initial problems with the equipment were resolved, the mill became a valuable addition to the community. The project has been profitable enough that the community was able to add a second machine to fund additional language development activities.

grinding millet in the millThe Guduba mill project, now in its fifth year, is providing two important community services—machines to grind millet grown by local farmers and opportunities for community members to learn to read their mother tongue, the Muyang language. After viewing the success of the Guduba project, a neighboring language group also purchased a mill last year. They, too, report good results.

Another source of income for the Muyang literacy program is livestock. Most families in the Muyang community have a small flock of sheep.  Literacy workers raise a project-owned sheep along with their own flock, and when that animal is sold, profits are divided between funding the literacy project and reinvestment in additional sheep.

Above: Bags of millet harvested by local farmers are lined up at the mill.
Left: The mill equipment in operation.