MendeLiteracy and Scripture Engagement

Raise up literacy class facilitators and print primer materials to empower the Mende to engage with the written Word of God.

Bible Translation


  • Sierra Leone


  • West Africa

Language Population


Literacy Gaps Can Stagnate growth for Mende Speakers

Mende speakers want to develop reading and writing skills in their own language. Teachers raised up from within the community will lead workshops, seminars, and literacy groups. Mende speakers will learn to read Scripture at home and in church, and churches may see a growth and deepening of faith. 

A variety of programs and activities—Bible reading groups, Bible listening groups, radio programming, events highlighting mother tongue usage—will be available to the Mende community. As individuals learn to read and write Mende, they will teach others to do likewise, sharing God’s Word with believers and non-believers alike.

Empower Leaders with Tools & Support

We believe that every community should have the chance to read the Bible in the language they know best, led by people they trust and respect. Your financial gifts and prayers help leaders in Sierra Leone to engage the Mende language community in literacy education and Scripture engagement opportunities.

Program Goals

  1. Conduct workshops and conferences teaching people to read the Bible and other materials in their own language.
  2. Print the following teaching and learning materials: 300 copies of Pre-primer books, 300 Primer 1, 300 Primer 2, 300 Primer 3, and 350 class registers.
  3. Hold Mother Tongue Day Celebration as an International Event to showcase the significance of languages around the world. The celebration will cover: Symposium on the role of language in society, radio discussion, exhibition of teaching and learning materials, short statements from partners on the Themne, teaching demonstration, etc.

Program Plan

Step 1

Promote and host literacy workshops.

Step 2

Produce literacy education materials.

Step 3

Celebrate the significance of mother tongue languages.

Meet the Local Team

Partner Organizations

Honoring the Language

Mende (Mɛnde yia), also known as Boumpe, Hulo, Kossa, and Kosso, belongs to the Southwestern group of the Mande branch of the Niger-Congo language family. 

Four mutually intelligible dialects: Ko, Kpa, Sewawa, Waanjama

Seven vowel phonemes, i.e., sounds that distinguish word meaning

Mende is a tonal language. Four tones marked by diacritics as follows: high, low, rising-falling, falling-rising.

Program Progress

Literacy education will empower Mende speakers to engage with the written Word of God.

  • Maintained and visited all seven new literacy classes.
  • 46 students trained on various primer levels.
  • Established two children’s ministries.

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