A Legacy of Words

A Legacy of Words

It all started with a scared little boy who spoke no English, crying on his first day of school.

Norbert Rennert was six years old. His parents, who were refugees from World War II in Eastern Europe, had just moved to Canada by way of Paraguay. “I remember that experience quite vividly,” Norbert says, “So I know what it’s like going to school and being confronted with a language you don’t understand.”

It was a key moment that would lead him, eventually, to create a language program called “SynPhony,” which is currently alleviating the fears of children all over the world. The next key moment came with his daughter…

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Learning In the Wind

Learning In the Wind

When William Kamkwamba was fourteen years old, famine came to his corner of Malawi. The famine dragged his family into poverty so desperate that his parents were no longer able to pay his fees for school and he was forced to drop out. This was devastating for William, who has said that when his friend Gilbert would pass his house each day on the way home from school, William would ask him about the day’s lessons…

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Taking It Viral

Taking It Viral

"You have to use the media, the methods, that fit your audience."

The difficulty of providing clear, accessible information about communicable diseases might seem like a problem for white-hatted development workers in foreign countries. But even though it’s primarily an issue for minority language groups, it’s important to remember that medical messaging is a problem that can affect anyone, anywhere…

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In Their Own Words...

In Their Own Words...

While we at SIL LEAD are grateful for many opportunities to serve communities around the world, we hold a special place in our hearts for the organizations we are able to support through our Community Based Language Development (CBLD) program. These are often smaller organizations that might otherwise be overlooked in large scale aid and development initiatives.  By supporting the efforts of local citizens who are taking initiative to improve their own communities, SIL LEAD has a fantastic opportunity to make a real difference in a very focused way. One of the first organizations we have partnered with through the CBLD program is Literacy & Development through Partnership (LDP)…

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A Bridge to Other Worlds

A Bridge to Other Worlds

Imagine for a moment that you’re a small child with a love of books. We may be biased, but we think that makes you pretty much “a small child,” period, because we believe that all children love books! Anyway, imagine we bring you, a small child, into a vast library filled with hundreds or even thousands of brightly colored books.

The colors! The pictures! The beautiful words!

You’ve heard about books. Someone has told you of the worlds these books will open up to you, so you head for the closest shelf and pluck off a promising title with an intriguing cover image of a baby cradling a giant grasshopper. What a mysterious image! …

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The Language of Trust

The Language of Trust

What if someone you love was sick, but no one in your community spoke the language of the only doctor in town? What would you do? How would you communicate your loved one’s symptoms? How would the doctor communicate what was needed for her care? Far too often, medical providers and their patients are unable to communicate effectively due to language barriers. And that can lead to tragic results…

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Imagine the Stories

Imagine the Stories

Have you ever felt misunderstood… and then judged for it?

Most of us have had this happen to us. But a great many people in the world experience regular, systemic prejudice of all kinds, and it is easy for them to come to the false belief that they have in fact been understood perfectly well—and that is why they are being mistreated. Whether it’s for the color of their skin, their language, their economic status, or some other aspect of their identity, many oppressed and marginalized people must fight a herculean, uphill battle against people’s perceptions if they want to be understood and treated as equals…

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