The purpose of ILAD is to partner with local communities, governments, and organizations to effect ongoing change through the promotion of literacy in local languages and collaboration with communities on development.
Our organizational goals include:
-Promotion of mother tongue language development and literacy in minority groups worldwide.
-Empower local people to identify strengths in order to meet needs through sustainable community and economic development projects.
- Increase access to resources through the development of effective organizational messaging.
- Build a strong organizational foundation designed to support field work
Our Strategies to effect ongoing change are:
(1) The promotion of literacy in local languages by means of:
a. The development of local writing systems;
b. The creation of sustainable literacy programs;
c. The facilitation of access to written materials.
(2) The collaboration with the local community in development projects, each of which will incorporate one or more of the following key areas of development:
a. Poverty relief
b. Access to education
c. Economic growth
d. Provision of clean water
f. Health and medical relief
Thanks to a well-trained staff that is competent and dedicated, ILAD has the ability to serve minority language groups through language and sustainable community and economic development expertise. We have the capacity to mitigate cross-cultural challenges in working with local communities due to our focus on long-term commitment to learning the language and culture.
Our staff also has access to regional expertise in the field of language development due to strategic partnerships. Strategic thinkers on our board along with an executive leadership that is highly qualified and committed provide our organization with the guidance to be able to greatly impact minority language people groups. We currently have a project in rural West Africa that is very successful and is providing a model and a training ground for our current and future projects.
Our organization's indicators for making progress over the next 5 years are:
1) 30 field staff with long-term commitments living in vulnerable communities, learning the language, and making relationships with key people in the community.
2) In our current fields, to see the local language alphabet developed and proposed, primers and reading material developed and literacy programs being implemented.
3) 1-2 partnerships developed per region.
4) Community development initiatives started and/or implemented within these communities.
5) Local leaders trained in community taking initiative in bettering their community through context specific activities.
• Literacy: Since 2012, over 180 ladies have learned to read and write in their own language through literacy classes.
• Agricultural Training: ILAD staff is training subsistence farmers using ILAD's self-sustaining demonstration farm and off-site training of farmers within small-farm cooperatives. Over 700 local farmers are now involved in organic pineapple farming that is taught on the demonstration farm.
• Microfinance: ILAD is providing financial services such as savings and micro- loans through a village banking system. The bank also offers financial education and helps each client with business plans and assessment of their use of the loan. Currently, 340 people have received financial services of savings and loans to help facilitate their agricultural activities. These loans are providing an increase in the farmer's income by 400- 900%. The goal of this program to have 500 subscribers by the end of 2018, creating sustainable livelihoods for these rural families.
• Medical Initiatives: Working in partnership with local medical personnel and international medical teams, ILAD provides mobile medical clinics several times a year in rural villages. These villages have very limited medical services and many residents lack the financial means to travel to the urban areas where medical facilities might be located so these clinics provide a vital service in these communities. Over 165 people have been treated by these mobile clinics during 2012 and 2013, 450 people treated in 2016 and 500 treated in 2017.
• Education: ILAD facilitates education in rural villages via sponsorship programs managed by local community committees. Families receiving sponsorships for their children's educational supplies are asked to make their own contributions to the program; these funds are saved and utilized in subsequent years with the expectation that the program will be completely self-sustaining within ten years. In 2016, ILAD was able to provide 1750 students with school supply kits. In 2017, we extended to 2000 students.
• Clean Water: Currently, we have three village well that is providing clean water for over 1000 families.
• Language Development: We have currently allocated 24 staff in 9 different minority language groups that have been identified as lacking a written language and are vulnerable economically. The first two years of service for our personnel consist primarily of learning the language of wider use in order to fully interact with and thrive in the larger society. Understanding the language and the culture of the general society is very important for success in living normal daily life in the region and communicating with government officials.
We would like to replicate some of these same initiatives in the other regions where we have allocated field staff. Many of our staff are still in the language and culture research phase of their projects and will look to begin specific initiatives within the next couple of years.