Life without an alphabet is almost impossible to imagine. What would that even look like? Until recently, this was still the case for a community in a remote mountainous location. A couple of years ago, two field workers visited this community and partnered with local academic leaders to develop an alphabet. During this time they also collected children’s folktales to create the first ever book in the community’s language.
This is a great story from the two workers of how the remote community received the first book ever to be written using their new alphabet:
‘After our arrival we didn’t have long to wait. The moment we entered the home of the family we were staying with, the little girl, aged about eight, ran up to us with the book and with shining eyes started to read fluently from it.
Our landlady then told us how much the girl had wanted the book as a birthday present. When she got it, it was her treasure; she didn’t even want to share it with her younger brother, she was so afraid that the book would get damaged. We had a stock of books with us, and so we solved this situation quickly and gave a copy to her younger brother, which made everybody happy.’