In June 2004, the Education Development Center, Inc. was awarded a grant to begin interventions under the Literacy and Community Empowerment Program (LCEP). The LCEP had two primary goals:
To build the capacities of rural people, particularly women and young people, to participate more effectively in development of their communities and families; and
To strengthen democratically-elected institutions of civil society that give a greater voice to women and young adults, and that deepen grassroots participatory governance.
The project, while working in a challenging environment, had many successes, including:
Establishment of the Women’s Teacher Training Institute (WTTI);
Establishing a cadre of literacy “training of trainers”;
The development of literacy-related materials, that can be used nation-wide;
Completion of 48 essential literacy modules--3,000 literacy students in the first cohort and 6,500 to complete course in December--giving a total of 9,500 literacy learners across 190 villages in five provinces;
715 self-help savings groups initiated, 336 of which are women’s groups; and
24 community banks formed and lending within their own communities, and another 50 preparing to follow suit.
Since literacy is a major thrust of the USAID Office of Social Sector Development’s education portfolio, the Office will continue its literacy activities under a new follow-on initiative, the “Literacy & Community Empowerment Program-2 (LCEP-2). Under LCEP-2, literacy activities will be expanded to serve a greater number of clients and communities.