Holyhill Literacy Centre (HLC)…creating a non-formal pathway of learning for the rural poor

Fatima Umar is a 40-year-old business woman dealing in fabrics and kitchen utensils. Her highest level of education is her first school (primary school), leaving certificate. She can barely speak, read or write in English. Fati as she is fondly called is one of the very many women in Garki Village of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria.

Like her peers in business she stands to do better with a significant level of literacy but that seemed far-fetched as she before now had no hope of improving her English language skills. Desire you would want to say is the first step to fulfilling this goal.

A high level of illiteracy hinders information exchange and the transfer of skills. Illiterate famers and traders, like Fati, have limited access to information that could help them increase productivity, since the dissemination of this is mostly through the print or electronic media.

For the majority of rural households who depend on agriculture for their subsistence and cash incomes, the inability to read, in situations where extension services are either inadequate or non-existent, means continued use of unproductive production methods; and the resulting poor yields easily translate into poverty and undernourishment.

Overcoming Illiteracy

HLC is an intervention borne out of a desire to see adults who missed out on acquiring formal education in their early years access basic literacy skills. It is aimed at providing a non-formal pathway of learning for the rural poor, especially women.

The project kicked off with 22 women between the ages of 21-60 years who eagerly gather twice every week to learn to read and write at a learning centre in Garki Village.

Hadiza and Halima, both indigenes of Garki Village were trained as facilitators for the literacy centre using the training manual for facilitators in non-formal education prepared by UNESCO.


In overcoming illiteracy amongst women in Garki Village which is the first focal point of this project, we enrolled twenty five women at the beginning and started them up on the basics of reading and writing using different learning aids.

To ensure maximum productivity, we hold review meetings periodically with the tutors as well as special skill acquisition or health awareness session with our facilitators and learners once every contact/term.

Our Result

It is exciting to note that the interest of the women in acquiring knowledge has greatly increased as the learners understand better the importance of education. This is shown in their enthusiasm as they look forward to classes, submit assignments on time and even call for extra classes during the holidays.

They also show a great sense of willingness to enroll their children in schools. There is an improved level of communication between the learners and the monitoring team from HRelieff, with improved interaction in class and outside class.

Partner With Us

We hope to get individuals or corporate sponsors, donor agencies to sponsor this project as we aim at expanding and opening up more literacy centres in other communities in Abuja.

For more information, please contact:

Holyhill Relief Foundation

Box Office 2nd Floor, The Valley Mall

Adetokunbu Ademola Crescent,

Wuse II,

Abuja, Nigeria

09-2910748, 08174579053

info@hrelieff.org, hrelieff@gmail.com