Women from DR Congo during graduation ceremonies for their first adult literacy class

Literacy class members review their notes — another milestone! — before graduation ceremonies begin.

There’s no shame in an occasional happy-cry. Last year, members of one of the newest Outreach-facilitated communities in DR Congo prioritized adult literacy as the first issue they’d tackle together. A mere six months later, the Level 1 literacy class they established welcomed its first round of graduates! The ten students (all women!) learned the alphabet, mastered entry-level reading skills, and even got started on some written tasks in preparations for their Level 2 classes.

Literacy class graduate writes her name in front of the assembled crowd during graduation

A new adult literacy graduate struts her stuff!

Outreach Congo facilitator congratulates one of the literacy class graduates as she receives her certificate of completion

Outreach Congo staff delivers a handshake along with a certificate, both well-earned.

adult literacy graduation!

Graduation ceremonies included honors for all involved, each of whom took turns writing their names on the chalkboard in front of the class — something they couldn’t have done six months ago. Take a look at some photos from the big day, and make sure to hydrate afterward.

Literacy class instructor and student share a celebratory dance during graduation ceremonies

Graduation day was a cause for spontaneous, joyful dancing for literacy course instructors (in blue, right) and students alike.

Outreach Congo staff watching graduation ceremonies

Why are these members of Outreach Congo staff feeling so good? The same reason as you are: This is great.

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