Margaret Beckett


Margaret Beckett


Here is a lady who is totally fulfilled in her life and work among the people of Tanzania. There is no surer way to reach the hearts of people than loving them unconditionally, and because she genuinely does so she reaps the benefits. Rural Tanzania continues to experience significant poverty, so opportunities for development abound; and if the development work comes with sincerity – and Margaret has tons of that – it commands even greater respect.

Her main activities include training leaders and teachers in community literacy, planning and implementing writers’ workshops, text processing, and publishing and distributing booklets on a range of themes in four languages. To all those things we should add her work in the Christian community that includes preparing material to help pastors working in Burunge and Rangi areas. There are plenty of opportunities to teach the Bible and encourage people to surrender their lives to the Lord Jesus.

Her home and supporting church is in Cardiff, Wales, and she remains in contact with them and continues to feel a part of them. When in the UK for family or deputation work she may be found there.

What is in the future, we ask? We do know she has an increasing desire to reach the Alagwa people who are almost all Islamic.

Below is Margaret’s summary of her approach to community literacy:

1) Usually we start with a linguist working with the community. We identify every spoken sound for that language, and agree upon the written form.

2) We identify a key object from ordinary life. That becomes a key picture with its associated word, exemplifying the use of one sound and its written form. Then we draft simple sentences, and those become our initial reading booklet.

3) I work with a group of people developing a set of three or four short sentences based on the key picture. That becomes the second early reading booklet.

4) The next step is to write a simple narrative of about 50 words for each key picture. That makes the third early reading booklet.

5) Then we produce simple Bible stories, traditional stories, and other materials to help develop fluent and confident reading.

Without this sort of approach many would not get as far as reading any scripture. It is long-haul work!