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 5 different villages and we have over 120 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.”
SUKU MENTAWAI AND THE INDIGENOUS EDUCATION FOUNDATION
YPBM Director, Fransiskus Yan, says “YPBM Founder, August Tonggiat, and IEF Founder, Rob Henry, began working together in 2010-2011. In the early stages, Rob assisted August and 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 www.sukumentawai.org
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ACN: 168 130 096
ABN: 67 168 130 096