Giva Salutes: The Indigenous Literacy Foundation

At Giva, we seek to recognise organisations, both large and small, that are working hard to make a positive difference in the world. We are pleased to salute them here!

Today, we are celebrating the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF), which strives to increase literacy among Indigenous Australian children, particularly those living in remote areas. By connecting children with books and literacy resources, the ILF hopes to help improve their opportunities and lives. In 2016, it supplied 140,000 books to 230 remote communities.

Indigenous Literacy Foundation

The not for profit was founded in 2005 through collaborations with the Australian Book Industry. It primarily receives financial support from the Australian Publishers Association, the Australian Booksellers Association and the Australian Society of Authors, as well as from its volunteers, ambassadors and staff members. However, donations are always welcome and appreciated. If you are interested in helping provide books to Indigenous children living in remote areas, you may wish to donate to the ILF here. As it costs only $10 for one book, even small donations can make a big difference.

In addition to providing books to children, the ILF promotes Indigenous literacy through advocacy. Its biggest advocacy event is Indigenous Literacy Day (ILD), which will be on 7 September 2016 this year. The event is celebrated annually by different community and corporate groups all across Australia. Publishers promote the ILF, booksellers hold literary events, schools and businesses host Great Book Swap challenges, and individuals hold fundraisers. If you are interested in participating in an ILD event, you can find a list of events for the 2016 ILD online.

The Indigenous Literacy Foundation also hosts educational programs, such as Book Buzz, which focuses on early childhood literacy, and Pamela Lofts Bequest for Literacy and Learning Project, which is a mentorship program designed to encourage young artists, illustrators, and writers living in remote Indigenous communities.

One of the greatest things about the ILF is that it addresses significant social issues in the Australian education system. The 2016 Closing the Gap Report found a major difference in school attendance between Indigenous children living in very remote areas and those living in metropolitan areas (67.4% vs. 86.5%). And according to the ILF's website, "Only 1 in 5 kids in a NT remote community can read at an accepted level". By bringing educational opportunities to Indigenous children in remote communities, the ILF is helping to level the playing field among diverse cultural groups in the Australian community.

If you would like to get involved with the organisation, you may be interested in becoming a regular donor, holding a fundraiser in your community, hosting a school event, becoming a corporate sponsor, volunteering, or participating in an Indigenous Literacy Day event.

Giva is proud to salute the Indigenous Literacy Foundation for its promotion of literacy throughout Australia. It is helping to change the world for the better, one book at a time!