The Liberian Translation and Literacy Organization (LIBTRALO) is a non-profit and non-political organization founded on September 29, 1995 located in Kpelle Town, Bernard Farm, Paynesville, Liberia.
The dream for an indigenous translation and literacy organization was conceived by some farsighted Liberians, Jaa Ngaima Kawala, who was the visionary and chairman of the formation committee, C. Bloty Necollin, Sr., vice chairman, missionaries Mike Rodewald and Marvin Shaus, members of that committee and Prince M. Fahnbulleh, hired as a coordinator in the formative stages of the organization. Coming out of the 1990 civil war, these men recognized the importance of being able to read educational, health and other materials in their mother tongue. This was their source of hope and peace when they faced some very difficult circumstances during the war. Prior to the civil war they had worked with The Institute for Liberian Languages (TILL). TILL was an American based mission organization that worked with the Liberian Ministry of Education to put unwritten Liberian languages into written form. TILL developed training materials in various Liberian languages and then translated God’s Word into these languages.
The Liberia Translation & Literacy Organization (LIBTRALO) exists to translate English literature into the languages of Liberia and to offer the opportunity for all to read and write their own vernacular language and encourage Scripture use.
LIBTRALO began with seven language teams in 1995, namely Bandi, Gola, Grebo, Kisi, Krahn, Kuwaa (Belle), and Vai, but has grown to to fifteen languages also including Bassa, Dan (Gio), Kpelle, Krahn Gbarzon, Krahn Tchien, Klao (Kru), Lorma, Maa (Mano), and Sarpo.
The membership of LIBTRALO is open to all religious institutions, non-governmental organizations, literacy associations and individuals who subscribe to the purpose and objectives of the organization.
Since the founding of LIBTRALO, the organization has been headed by the following Executive Directors:
- Elder Aaron Vesselee, Sr. (1995-2004)
- Sylvanus A. L. Tucker (October-December 2004 Interim)
- Deacon C. Bloty Necollin, Sr. (2005-2011)
- Doe Johnson (March 2011-April 2012 Interim)
- David K. Setiyee (2012-Present)