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About Pillars

Pillars guides provide practical, discussion-based learning on community development. The guides are designed for use in small community groups such as youth groups, church groups, women’s groups, farmer groups and literacy groups.

A trained leader is not required, just one literate person. That person, often an existing member of the group, acts as the facilitator, and leads the group in discussions and activities based on the Pillars guides. 

The Pillars approach combines reading with listening, talking and taking action, to reinforce learning and to make the information accessible to people with different learning preferences and little educational background. 

At the back of each guide are a number of related Bible studies.

Watch the first in a series of short films about Pillars

In this series

Why Pillars?

Pillars guides

  • encourage group members to share their knowledge and experience and to learn from each other
  • help people consider new ideas and skills by discussing the information presented
  • encourage and enable a practical response to the information
  • encourage a collective learning process that equips a group to initiate and manage change
  • strengthen community development work and complement the work of NGOs
  • build the confidence of the group and its individual members as they have access to printed and relevant discussion-based information in their local language
  • strengthen the literacy skills of the group
  • strengthen the literate environment by providing additional reading material
  • strengthen cultural identity and local capacities for writing and translation.

Translating Pillars guides

Pillars guides are designed so that they can easily be translated in a workshop setting. This is how the guides and the whole approach came to be called Pillars: the name was adopted as an approximate acronym for ‘Partnership in local language resources’. Guides have been produced in over 80 languages around the world.

Alternative illustrations for either African, Asian or Latin American use can be inserted into many of the guides. The materials are copyright-free, allowing certain pages or illustrations to be changed or adapted to meet local needs. 

Contact us for more information.

To see which translations are currently available through Tearfund Learn, go to the pages for individual guides listed above.

A group of pastors in a church at Komsilga in Burkina Faso reading 'Pillars' (2009)

Looking for printed copies of Pillars guides?

A wide range of Pillars guides are available to order

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