We met Marguerite when we moved into the village of Gouabafla. The wife of the church leader, she welcomed us and took an interest in what we were doing. Unlike most Kouya women she spoke impeccable French, with a cosmopolitan accent and knew a great deal about the outside world. After a while, we asked whether she would be willing to work with Sue, to help her learn to speak Kouya. She seemed the ideal person. Then, on the first day that she came to work with Sue, we discovered something that shouldn’t have surprised us, but it did; this pleasant, well-spoken woman did not know how to read. I’ve no idea how she got to speak such good French without ever going to school, but she managed it.
Marguerite is not unusual, women are often last in the queue when it comes to education. Families pay for their boys to go to school, but why bother with educating a daughter? Girls just go and marry into another family anyway! One of the things I really value about Bible translation work is not just that it makes the Scriptures available (which is brilliant in itself), but it also helps millions of women and girls to learn to read and to start to take control of their own lives.
This short video catches this brilliantly:
If you are in the UK and you can click this link to find out more about the work of Wycliffe Bible Translators.
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