Talking Points: Illiteracy


What is it?

Not being able to go to school. Not having the basic skills to use language, numbers, images, computers and other basic means to understand, communicate, gain useful knowledge and operate in a place.  We learn about health, hygiene and nutrition in schools, so when children and communities can’t go to school they often lack the basic understanding of cleanliness.  Things like washing your hands so you don’t spread germs or brushing your teeth to prevent cavities, learning how to eat food that’s good for them. All of these things are taught in schools and when a child doesn’t know these things it can lead to a lot of health problems that could be alleviated through eating protein, fruits and vegetables. Lack of schooling can keep one from a good job, hindering the ability to provide for family.


What does that mean?  

Lots of kids all over the world don’t get an education.  Today there are 124,000,000 kids who aren’t able to go to school. (UNICEF) For some it's because they have to help their family get food or water and that takes so much time that they don’t have time to go to school.  For other kids, their parents never went to school so their parents don’t know how to help them get into a school or learn to read and write. Illiteracy affects girls more than it does boys.  


Through this project and the way you and your family are providing food for kids, you are helping kids get to go to school and learn. Did you know that one of the side effects of hunger is that you can’t learn? Even if you are attending school, your brain doesn’t have the nutrition needed to learn.  That’s why when you have a big day at school, maybe a test or a big project, your mom always tells you to eat a good breakfast.  Good food helps you think!  Through feeding kids you are helping them to be able to think and learn so that they can have a good future!



What does the Bible say about it?


Genesis 37-41

Joseph’s life provides a good example of literacy.  Joseph started out in slavery, but proved himself to be a good learner, who was wise and he feared the Lord. As we read Joseph’s story we see him slowly gain a good reputation and respect. By the end of Genesis 41 Joseph is put in charge of a whole country and he is a smart, wise leader.   

In the book of Daniel we see another example of young men who were very smart rising up to give the King advice because he knew they were so smart.  Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah used their brains to help make good decision for the nation, but they also wound up getting to tell a lot of people about God because people could tell that God was with them.  

Learning and the call of God go hand in hand.  God uses the things that we know and learn to bless people and provide for nations.  It is important for us to be good students and to encourage others to love learning also.   


“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.” Prov 12:1


“ Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29

“Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.” Titus 3:14


The word “Disciple” actually means “student” and disciples are learners. This means that we should always be teachable.





How to pray?




Pray for kids who can’t go to school today.  Ask God to move in their lives and make a way for them to go to school.  For the little girl that has to walk for hours to get her family water, so she doesn’t have time to go to school, ask God to provide water for their village.  For the little boy who has to work so that his family can have food, ask God to help his family find food and a good job.  God sees these kids and cares for them, let’s pray together and ask God to move on their behalf.  

Take a minute to give thanks for your teachers and school and ask God for a way to show them how much you appreciate them today.