Suku Mentawai

Yayasan Pendidikan Budaya Mentawai (YPBM) is a non-profit organization based in Muntei Village, South Siberut, in the Mentawai Islands. YPBM vison is to provide Mentawai youth and the broader community access to learn about Mentawai cultural and environmental knowledge through non-formal, extra-curricular education programs.
YPBM Director, Fransiskus Yan, says “The need most critical to our community is the delivery of a cultural education program throughout every region of Mentawai, delivered in accordance with the specific needs and cultural customs of each individual district. Our Yayasan Pendidikan Budaya Mentawai team has developed a model to achieve this, giving our children opportunity to learn about Mentawai’s culture and local wisdom, so that this wealth can carry us into the future.

Fransiskus also added, “This program is important because if we do not take the initiative and take advantage of this opportunity then our culture will be lost and our children and community will be destined for poverty, or worse, disappear. An impoverished culture is as harmful as abject poverty. We have seen a really positive impact on our Mentawai community – particularly the younger generation, since the cultural and environmental learning program has been running here in Siberut Island. The program is now running in six different villages and we have over 350 students. Parents are seeing their children develop new skills and understanding of our cultural wisdom, such as gathering from the forest, making handicrafts, and learning Mentawai’s traditional story, song and dance.


YPBM Director, Fransiskus Yan, says “Mentawai youth leaders and IEF Founder, Rob Henry, began working together in 2010-2011. In the early stages, Rob assisted a team of young Mentawai researchers to conduct a baseline survey. By 2013, we had established a suku Mentawai cultural education foundation to develop a program. We are very grateful that the relationship between YPBM and IEF has always been open, honest and focuses on enabling us Mentawai to find our own way forward. We appreciate the way in which Rob and IEF have supported us, but it is the encouragement to be as we are and to assert ourselves that has made the difference.

To learn more about Yayasan Pendidikan Budaya Mentawai’s inspiring program and achievements, visit their website at

Support YPBM and their objectives by making a donation via IEF. All donations over $2 are tax-deductible. 100% of your donation is given toward their program initiatives.

Advancing the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals 1, 4, 8, 10 & 13

Yarn Bark and IEF acknowledge and pay our respects to the past, present and emerging traditional custodians of the land on which we work and live.

To achieve our mission supporting Indigenous-led cultural and ecological education programs, IEF relies on support from public and private donors.

IEF supports the 2030 UN
Sustainable Development Goals
and Declaration on the Rights
of Indigenous Peoples

ACN: 168 130 096

ABN: 67 168 130 096