The ink that dries on your thumb after “signing” your name with your thumbprint—because you can’t read or write—is the symbol of how illiteracy enslaves you, diminishes you, and robs you of your dignity and hope. You might as well be wearing shackles. Everyone can see that you are illiterate. Everyone knows that you won’t go far.
There are more than 1 billion people who cannot read or write. They can’t read a newspaper, can’t read a job ad, can’t read street signs or a bus schedule. They can’t read their Bibles. Illiteracy is a prison that isolates them from much of life. Each day is a challenge, and each encounter a possible source of humiliation at not being able to read and write.
A clean thumb is a clean start. It’s like being set free. There’s no limit to how far you can go.
Our goal: No More Thumbprints. Hope for Humanity is supporting “Learning Circles” throughout Central America where learning basic reading, writing, and math skills banish signing with a thumb forever.
The Learning Circles are organized by Adventist women who volunteer their time to serve their communities: 2 hours per day, 4 days per week, for 6 to 8 months at a time. The classes meet in homes, in churches, and even outside. Most of the students are women who have never had the opportunity to attend school. The circles are open to the entire community but are particularly important to young mothers who cannot read.
When a mother learns to read, it helps her entire family. She can read to her children and help them with their homework. She can read the directions on a bottle of medicine. She can have more confidence when getting on a bus or making change at the marketplace. She can get a better job that will help her support her family.
Adventists in North America are partnering with Hope for Humanity to support the Literacy Learning Circles in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic. These projects succeed because of this partnership between the church in Central America and the church in the US.
You are needed in the fight against illiteracy. Thank you for your support.
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