According to the Peruvian Bible Society (SBP, Spanish acronym), they are called facilitators because their work is that of training and encouraging local teachers so that they can carry out the literacy training in their communities. These teachers are leaders of their local churches. There is an average of 10 students in each group. The students are members of the churches who want to learn to read so as to be able to study the Bible and sing from their hymnbooks in their congregations. The teachers generally teach the classes to the groups once a week. Some of the areas where this literacy training takes place are very remote and difficult to reach, and the facilitators have to travel for 5 to 7 hours along narrow trails to reach the communities.
The Quechua associations with which the SBP is working, includes the Tawantinsuyuman Evangelioq K'ancharininpaq (ATEK) Association, which carries out the literacy training in the communities of Huancarani (Paucartambo Province), Yanaoca (Canas Province) and Vilcabamba (Convención Province), in the Department of Cusco. In 2008, three facilitators from this region of the country established 20 groups, reaching a total of 271 participating students from the three areas. Also included is the Interdenominational Association for the Integral Development of Apurimac (AIDIA, Spanish acronym), which carries out its work of literacy training in the Quechua communities of Antabamba, Mollebamba, Sillco, Vito, Calcauso, Chumilli and Sabayno (Antabamba Province), and in Chalhuanca, Santa Rosa, Yanaca, Colcabamba, Sarayca, Casinchihua, Pacsica and Tapayrihua (Aymaraes Province) in the Department of Apurimac. In 2008, the two facilitators of this region reached 226 students who are learning to read and write in their language.
The SBP has also collaborated with the publishing of 8,000 literacy training notebooks in the Cusco and Apurimac Quechua, and 5,000 portions of the “How to overcome” series in the Ambo and Ayacucho Quechua.
The teachers assure that as a result of this effort, not only will the new readers be able to better understand the message of the word of God as revealed through the Bible, already translated into their native language, but they will also acquire the ability to read and write as a tool for their continued learning, contributing to their personal, family, church and community development and strengthening.
One Quechua speaking woman student thanked the support given to this learning to write and read, saying that it helps her complete what she lacks in the learning of her native language, “and I will be able to share what I have with my people, such as the stories, legends and customs, with the same Quechua flavor of my Apurimac.”
Photo: The Bible for all in Peru (SBP)