The first Rayjon adult literacy class started in 1994 in the rural community of Pinson with a class of 10.
In two years the number of graduates had swelled from 14 to 741! Today, more than 1,600 adults have learned to read and write as well as gained numeracy skills to assist them in earning a living in a market economy.
In Haiti, when you can’t write your name, you are forced to sign your name with an “X.” Imagine the pride and self-confidence gained when you are no longer an “X” but can sign your own name with dignity!
There are now three levels of Alpha literacy training, each taking a year to complete. The first graduates of Level III will be in 2017, and the graduation will be marked with great celebration! Level III is equivalent to a Grade 6 level of literacy. This coming year the Alpha program will be linked with the microcredit program, to expand the learning to involve basic business skills and training. It is our goal that participants leave with greater confidence and employable skills- leaving them better able to contribute to their communities and the local economy.
Each class begins with song. Beautiful Creole words tell the story of “no longer being an ‘X'”. You can watch a video of an Alpha class below.
“How horrible, how insulting, Oh so afraid to sign my name that I must make an X,
Ticking this little X like this one is not right,
This little X, I should not do it again
This year, I decide that I must know how to read and I must know how to write
Come, draw your pencil mark and mark…”