After many years of lengthy discussions and collaborative development, last week IEF and local Mentawai Foundation, Yayasan PSM (setup by the community to implement their Suku Mentawai program), signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreement – establishing and providing ongoing guidance for our cooperation.
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.
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.
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 months.
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.