To give a brief update on the project, I’d like to share with you the news that two key documents, which are particularly vital to establishing the project’s direction and further development, have now been completed.
The first of these documents, the Indigenous Mentawai Community Research Report, presents a detailed analysis of the baseline survey alongside secondary/pre-existing research data; establishing a finding that, whilst the people do consider nationalised education to be important, the Indigenous community – including current leaders, schoolteachers and students – believe that learning the skills and knowledge of their native education is of far more importance to their future survival. Which, as is found through this research, with almost all of the Indigenous Mentawai community currently residing in settlement villages dotted throughout the islands, at present, the opportunity for children to learn about this simply does not exist.
The second of these documents is a community-driven step-by-step implementation model for a Cultural and Environmental Education Program, based on a strategy that has been carefully developed in collaboration with the local community. Responding to their wants and needs, the aim of the Cultural and Environmental Education Program is to provide the people an opportunity to integrate important elements of their native Mentawai cultural and environmental education into their day-to-day learning.
Pending a thorough content and design check, a website which will be both the central hub for information regarding the Cultural and Environmental Education Program and also a platform for viewers to watch the BUI MAREUREU BAAP As Worlds Divide documentary film upon its release, is also nearing completion. Meaning that, outside of the lengthy task of developing a constitution and navigating a way through the circus of legal hoops that are likely to surface, the film is the last major component requiring attention. Which, combined, are the current focus.
Again, thanks to Esmat, August, Matty and Lauren for the enormous amount of work they’ve given to these documents, and also to Fletcher Henry, Chris McConville, and Helene Barbe, who were collectively responsible for the wonderful design. More updates to come, stay tuned.