Throughout Central Africa, populations speak multiple languages and dialects to communicate in their business and social interactions. In spite of this culture of trilingualism, education systems have traditionally used solely French as the primary language of instruction because society’s elites deemed local languages as inadequate for discussing complicated subjects. However starting 30 years ago, Paul Tary Ilboudo found a way to integrate this culture of trilingualism into teaching literacy. Instead of denying access to local languages in education, Paul engineered fast paced courses that used local languages as the building blocks for literacy. With increased student self-confidence and evident progress, this literacy could then become the grounds for students to learn new languages and subjects. Paul has since pioneered this work across Western and Central Africa as well as Madagascar in schools, farming communities, and NGOs. Through this process of integrating local languages into education curriculums, Paul has empowered communities with the capacity to read and write, thus enabling them to excel in social, governmental, and educational systems.