Emu Trekkers is proud to announce that the proceeds raised from the treks in 2017 will be going to the amazing charity, the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. This Australian charity focuses on improving literacy rates among remote and very remote Indigenous communities in Australia.
Being able to read opens so many doors, but unfortunately, according to the 2017 Closing the Gap report, only 42% of Indigenous Year 5 students in very remote areas in Australia are reaching national minimum reading standards, compared to 94% for non-Indigenous students.
What we love about the Indigenous Literacy Foundation is that they not only give children thousands of new, culturally appropriate books - with a focus on early literacy and first language- but they also run programs to inspire the communities to tell and publish their own stories. Many of these stories, such as Nginingawila Ngirramini – Our Story, are written by the students themselves in their first language and English. These stories focus on their heroes, sacred places and favourite memories.
As the National Indigenous Language Survey has shown, growing up bilingual or with a good knowledge of other languages, not just English, is an advantage for Indigenous Australians. “Far from being ‘irrelevant in the modern world’”, the Survey reports, “the old languages are providing crucial ways of understanding the present and are assisting Indigenous groups to survive as distinct peoples with a unique culture into the future.”
At the time of European arrival, there were 250 distinct Indigenous language groups in Australia. Now, only around 145 of those languages are still spoken and many are on the endangered languages list and are at risk of being lost forever. On global scales, Australia is singled out as the continent where languages are disappearing fastest.
Emu Trekkers wants to support the Indigenous Literacy Foundation as much as it can. So if you are keen to take a positive step, come join us on a trek in Sydney or the Blue Mountains and help us raise funds for this great cause!