WHAT WE DO
Launching in mid-2020, INKLUDEM will create language and travel resources for diplomats, humanitarian aid workers, international development professionals, and socially-conscious travellers.
INKLUDEM will primarily produce guidebooks, phrasebooks, dictionaries and language learning courses to support cultural competency and local language acquisition for English-speaking professionals being deployed into the Global South. INKLUDEM’s goal is to build the capacity of deploying professionals so that they can better build the capacity of local communities.
The initial product suite will be produced in both hardcopy and e-book formats to support deployments in both urban and regional/remote areas. Initial products will be produced for the Asia-Pacific region, beginning with guidebook and language resources for Bislama (Vanuatu), Tok Pisin (PNG), Tetun (Timor-Leste), and Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesia). While INKLUDEM will initially focus on the Asia-Pacific region, we intend to extend our travel and language resources to other regions in the coming years.
Importantly, INKLUDEM has been established as a social enterprise – 100% of net profits from the sale of guidebooks and language products will be directed into development projects in the Asia-Pacific region, primarily through the provision of microfinance loans to women and people with disability.
WHY WE DO IT
Our founder, Jo Reid, was an Australian government aid worker in Vanuatu in 2015-16 as part of the Australian Volunteers for International Development program (now called the Australian Volunteers Program). In Vanuatu, Jo was embedded in the local community working in the sport for peace and development sector which saw her working directly with local communities, athletes, coaches, NGOs, and the Vanuatu Government. However, to do so, Jo required competency in the local language, Bislama, and despite living and working around the language everyday, she struggled to learn a second language as an adult learner. This was further hampered by the lack of available language learning resources for Bislama – there are no phrasebooks, dictionaries, or language courses available on the market.
During her deployment, Jo was seconded to the Australian High Commission in Vanuatu to assist with the disaster relief response to Tropical Cyclone Pam. There, she also witnessed many of the English-speaking relief workers struggling to adequately communicate with local communities, NGOs and government organisations because of the language barrier and the lack of language support resources. On her return to Australia, Jo heard similar stories of delayed language acquisition from friends and colleagues who had deployed to other parts of the Pacific on aid and development programs.
Whilst Jo did eventually acquire a working proficiency in the language, she believed she could have been more productive, and achieved more of her deployment objectives, if she had mastered the language sooner. It was clear that there was a real need for language resources for Pacific languages which would better support aid and development workers deployed into the region.
INKLUDEM was founded to help supply diplomats, humanitarian aid workers, international development professionals, and socially-conscious travellers with the language and travel resources they need to hit the ground running. The better equipped aid and development workers are to communicate with local communities, in local languages and in culturally appropriate ways, the faster they can meet their development objectives – maximising their time spent in the field as competent communicators.
WHAT IT MEANS
Inkludem is a Bislama word meaning ‘to include’ or ‘to come together’. Bislama is the English creole language of Vanuatu, sometimes mistakenly referred to as a type of pidgin English.
The goal of INKLUDEM is to build inclusive and harmonious communities by enabling communication between groups who do not share a common language, beginning with humanitarians and development professionals deployed into the Global South. So the word inkludem, with its connection to inclusive societies and peace, was a fitting name for an ambitious company.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
If you’re a governmental organisation, NGO or INGO that deploys staff to the Global South and you would like to discuss funding INKLUDEM’s work, or opportunities for collaborative or co-branded products, please get in touch.
If you’re a native and fluent speaker of languages other than English or if you’re an educational or training institution based in the Global South and you can assist with the translation of language learning resources and materials, please get in touch.