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 and establishes a finding that, whilst the people do consider a national education to be important, the Indigenous resettlement community – including current leaders, schoolteachers and students – believe that learning about their own heritage is of far more importance to their survival. Which, as is stated by the community sample, with almost all of the Indigenous Mentawai community currently residing in resettlement villages dotted throughout the islands, the opportunity for children to learn a traditional Mentawai cultural and environmental education 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. The aim of the Cultural and Environmental Education Program is to provide local children an opportunity to study a Mentawai cultural and agricultural education in conjunction with the national system of education; a program, structured upon existing practices, roles, and networks, which seeks to combine traditional knowledge with methods of modern-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 writing the foundation’s 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 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.