Das Tor Interview with Laura

The Thunderbird on-campus newspaper published an interview with Laura Libman, as part of an article on the field study conducted by Tia, CHOICE Humanitarian, and Thunderbird International Development students on the effects of development on cross-border immigration.

The raw data resulting from the study was astounding!  Four times the rate of immigration was seen in villages that have no outside non-proft development programs, as opposed to communities receiving sustainable development assistance.

The graduate students surveyed only communities in the same microregion, with nearly parallel population sizes, geography and agriculture.  In addition to quantitative data questions on frequency of migration, the students asked qualitative questions too.  One of the most telling questions polled what would it take for a family to stop migrating to the U.S. or for those who had already curtailed migration, what made them stop.

The answers revealed that people would continue to migrate as long as necessities such as adequate food, access to health care, and primary education could not be obtained.  Those who had stopped migrating said that they had no more need to do so, because with NGO assistance, they were able to produce more food, build a school, and had access to healthcare.

An Interview With Laura Libman, Founder and President of the Tia Foundation

Recently, Laura Libman, President of Tia Foundation gave an interview to the Thunderbird Alumni Magazine. We thought there were many important questions asked that may give you some good insight into the work we do…and love. (en espanol debajo)

What prompted you to start the Tia Foundation?
I spent part of my childhood with my extended family in Mexico, going to school in Guadalajara and summers on a ranch in rural Mexico. I fell in love with the people there. Toward the end of my education at Thunderbird, I had difficulty finding NGOs who were using the successful ID models that I learned about in class; the models that create independence and sustainability.

I also discovered that in most cases, the downward spiral of poverty in rural areas of Mexico was often precipitated by something health related. A farmer would get injured or his wife would die in childbirth, which meant that productivity suffered, so they produced less food for the family and nothing left over to sell. Then everyone in the family would become malnourished and consequently more prone to illness and less productive. Trying to prevent that first precipitating event would do a lot to improve quality of life.
Continue reading “An Interview With Laura Libman, Founder and President of the Tia Foundation”