Here is a blog from Elizabeth den Otter, a OneBook volunteer who spent the past 2 months working with CABTAL in Cameroon.
Why CABTAL exists – why bother taking an unwritten language only spoken by a few thousand people and creating an alphabet for it, then translating the Bible into that language? A Bible written in a person’s own language – their heart language – has a much deeper meaning and understanding. When God speaks a person’s language, that person is able to build a more intimate relationship with Him.
The other focus of organizations such as CABTAL is literacy. Without a written language, a people group’s voice is easily ignored. They lack the dignity that is possible only when their heart language takes a visible and tangible form. They are often exploited. Literacy in the mother tongue allows access to information on health, HIV/AIDS, agriculture, commerce, further education, community events, and government programs. Literacy transforms a culture! The people learn new skills and knowledge, have fresh confidence and the ability to function as full members of society. So instead of us just trying to throw money at a problem (which doesn’t work – billions of dollars have been poured into Africa in the last 30 years, but conditions have actually gotten worse!), the community is given the tools it needs to develop and gain lasting improvements in their lives.
CABTAL is OneBook’s partner in Cameroon. Elizabeth den Otter spent 2 months volunteering with CABTAL. If you are interest in volunteering with OneBook’s partner check out our overseas service opportunities. http://onebook.ca/resources/careers/