Dr Ingrid Ahlert is the co-founder of The Learning Initiative (TLI), a non-profit organisation that focuses on providing professional services to marginalised communities. After having worked in private practice for 12 years and assisting children with learning barriers, she realised that many problems could have been prevented with early identification and intervention. The stark reality in South Africa, however, is that most children do not have access to these vital services. Many children in marginalised communities also simply lag their peers due to lack of stimulation. With some therapeutic input and the upskilling of parents and educators, many children’s life story can be changed. With this in mind, the TLI team developed the Blocks 4 Growth Programme which focuses on promoting holistic child development in young children. The results have been very promising! In 2019 TLI was recognised with the “Change Maker in Education Award” from the Community Chest Impumelelo Social Innovation Awards.
I am passionate about children and love their innocence, enthusiasm and ability to forgive. By enabling children to reach their personal best, they can approach the world with confidence and rise out of poverty. They are after all the future of our beautiful country.
Every child is born with the same need for love, respect, understanding and security. Every child is also born fearless with an endless curiosity, a desire for adventure and a hunger to learn. We should not rob our children of this. Imagine a society where children are free to explore, free to fall, free to get up, free to be themselves, free to learn. This is my dream that I am determined to make a reality through the work we do.
How I would change our world:
I would love to see a world where people from different race, religion and culture live in harmony. A world, where respect and compassion is the norm. A world where every individual lives with dignity. A world where we never give up hope and belief in a better tomorrow. We should learn from challenges, not be afraid to start over, and not repeat the old mistakes.