Why we’re needed: 

Oral culture  |  Numeracy  |  Village Finance Savings 


 

Why we’re needed 

Today, what we know is what we can google. But, at the fringes of our ‘global village’ nearly one billion adults — mostly women — cannot read or write.

Living in an Oral World


An ‘oral’ village is one where most people can’t read or write. Orality has grave and direct financial consequences. For example, it is much harder — and riskier — to plan a business or save effectively. But oral villagers know language – the most complex and far-reaching technology ever invented – very well. Oral culture trains the memory: poor people often speak several languages, and can learn them with remarkable speed. And in spite of incredible constraints, oral villagers save aggressively. But they do not understand the presentation of savings passbooks, or transaction receipts. As a result, they may borrow from a bank or microfinance institution, but they are much less likely to save with it.

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