Local community hungry for books in their language

Dafrosa was on her way to teach in the Bungu language area. Dafrosa is the SIL Literacy / Scripture Engagement team member for the Bungu project. As the motorbike, driven by the Language Area Officer, neared Maleza village, a man stopped them.

“Do you have books?” he asked. “The fishermen need some. They asked me to tell you when I see you.” 

When Dafrosa and the officer arrived at the lake, they met a crowd who welcomed them. “Have you brought us books?” they asked. Everyone pressed around the motorbike to look at the Bungu language books and calendars Dafrosa had brought with her. Several bought copies for themselves. 

“Please read to us,” said one young man, holding out his new copy of the book of Ruth. Another held out his new calendar, still another the book of Jonah. “I will read all of them,” Dafrosa promised. 

She began with the calendar. “Read the Bible verses,” said that one, “that’s what I want.” When she had finished, he asked her to read them again. But his friends protested. “She should also read for us!” So the Language Area Officer read for them the book of Ruth. 

“They were all excited,” Dafrosa remembered, “to see that their Bungu language has been put in writing. And of course they were very happy to get those books and calendars for themselves.”

This story was written for SIL Tanzania by:

Kenny Grindall (Communications Coordinator)

SIL International is a global partner among academic and professional organisations which offer language development services. SIL works alongside speakers of more than 1,700 languages in over 100 countries. Active in Tanzania since 1989, the organization makes its services available to all without regard to religious belief, political ideology, gender, race or ethnolinguistic background.