Indigenous Education Foundation Programs

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Suku Mentawai program officially underway!

Due to the wonderful response and support we’re receiving via our As Worlds Divide #wafsac - ‘watch a film, save a culture’ campaign, Suku Mentawai’s Cultural and Environmental Education Program (CEEP) is now officially underway.

Mentawai community commencing work on their Suku Mentawai cultural and environmental education program
After many years of lengthy discussions and collaborative development, last week IEF and local Mentawai Foundation, Yayasan PGPI (setup by the community to implement their Suku Mentawai program), signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreement - establishing and providing ongoing guidance for our cooperation.

IEF Director, Rob Henry, signing an MoU agreement with Suku Mentawai Director, Esmat Sakulok
To facilitate the Yayasan’s operation and for Esmat and his growing team to fulfil the requirements of our cooperative agreement, a selection of office, communication and transportation equipment has been purchased. They are now in the process of setting up a base close to the harbour of Siberut Island and the Sarereiket river. Meantime, they continue to occupy an office space at Manai Koat, in Maileppet. 

Yayasan PGPI team painting the new office space near the Siberut harbour
Manai Koat beach hotel resort located in Maileppet, Mentawai
Discussions are currently being held with various village heads regarding the program and the most appropriate venue to host the first CEEP classes. The response from all has been extremely positive and so the team are now deciding which of these villages is in most urgent need of the program. A very difficult choice.

Sanggar Maileppet - traditional Mentawai uma built for community activities in Maileppet
Further to this, we’ve been supporting the Yayasan in their development of a Mentawai Ecotourism initiative, which is designed to improve the experience for travellers and the relationship between them, the local community and their environment. Most importantly, this model is also purposed to provide an ongoing financial avenue for the community to operate, develop and expand their CEEP. It is hoped that their Mentawai Ecotourism initiative will be launched within the coming month/s.

IEF Director and Mentawai Yayasan Director and Manager discuss the Mentawai Ecotourism cooperation
For ongoing and immediate updates on our activities in Mentawai and how the CEEP is progressing, we’d suggest (if you’re on Facebook) you follow our IEF and Suku Mentawai pages, and/or @asworldsdivide on Instagram.

We’re very excited for what lays ahead and to share this journey with you all. Thanks again for all the wonderful support.

IEF