Our Mission

  • To document, promote, and preserve the indigenous and endangered linguistic and cultural heritages of the minority and marginalized communities.
  • To promote multilingualism and linguistic diversity within indigenous and minority communities.
  • To promote early literacy as well as STEM literacy through the indigenous signed and spoken languages.

Who we are

We began as S-DELI, Save the Deaf and Endangered Languages Initiative, documenting indigenous sign languages in Africa and promoting early literacy and early access to sign language. Our several years of studying and documenting the various sign language varieties used in African deaf communities gave birth to Indigenous Hands as a corporate entity and the Indigenous Hands SignApp, which is a web-based and mobile app where literacy modules are created from the documented signs. Indigenous Hands (iHands) SignApp was launched in 2022 and has been one of our most important milestones since the study of indigenous sign languages.

Indigenous Hands and Voices (IHAV) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization established to incorporate the study of indigenous and endangered minority spoken languages and their cultural heritages. With Indigenous Hands and Voices, no minority or endangered language is left to die, whether signed or spoken. Starting with the languages known to us, such as Igbo, Tiv, Igala, Ibibio, Dine, etc., to those not known to us today, IHAV seeks to create true visibility for as many indigenous and minority languages as are reachable and identifiable, especially those with little or no internet presence. IHAV focuses on creating and sustaining multilingual spaces around languages with significant foreign language influence. Exploring linguistic diversity and early literacy principles, IHAV will increase the physical and digital presence of indigenous and minority languages.