Awaken is a Mothers’ Union resource that takes individuals, families and communities on a journey of community transformation through literacy.
Awaken is a development of Church and Community Mobilisation (CCM) a process which helps churches and Mothers’ Union groups develop their own potential to tackle issues of poverty using the resources they already have. The aim of the CCM process is to inspire groups through biblical based stories which encourage people into knowning they can bring about transformation for communities without constant reliance on external aid. However, from our experience of working in communities across the world, Mothers’ Union has identified a potential barrier to access to the programme for those who are illiterate being able to fully participate in CCM. This means large numbers of people still cannot benefit from the training or participate in the process and remain dependent upon external aid and resources.
To address this problem, Mothers’ Union, working together with Tearfund and other partners, has developed the Awaken resource in order to combine the CCM approach with our successful Literacy & Financial Education Programme methodology. In this way we hope to enable illiterate people to not only become literate, empowered individuals, but also to equip them to play a key role in shaping and changing their communities for the better.
Working with Bill Crooks and Jackie Mouradian from Mosaic Creative, the main Bible studies and activities from Umoja (a version of CCM developed by Mosaic for Tearfund), have been included in the Awaken resource but have been adapted to make them accessible to illiterate groups. Part of the success of Awaken relies on the facilitator having a vision and passion for seeing individuals become literate whilst at the same time communicating the richness and value of the CCM approach.
In 2013 the first pilot of Awaken was rolled out in DR Congo. In 2014 Mothers' Union Guyana also began Awaken, working with some of the most isolated communities in the interior.