Video / Audio - Self Determined Development
Pamulaan - Centre for Indigenous Peoples Education - Pamulaan is an indigenous university created for the indigenous youth of the Philippines. Its main task to create culturally appropriate and relevant degree level courses, producing indigenous graduates with knowledge and skills but still rooted in their own cultures.
The Misak indigenous people, from the south of Colombia, experienced almost complete cultural, territorial and linguistic loss, before taking back their ancestral lands in the 1970s, going on to rejuvenate their culture, reclaim their traditions and strengthen their autonomy. Today 95% of Misak speak their mother tongue. Nine out of ten youth who leave the territory, return. How have the Misak done this? And what role has their own indigenous education system played?
The TUGDAAN Mangyan Center for Learning and Development is an educational institution dedicated to serve the 8 Mangyan tribes of Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, The Philippines. Tugdaan High School, for children aged 11-18, was set up in the community of Paitan in 1989 after many discussions with the elders who had reflected that they are being discriminated against and tricked by lowlanders and felt this was due to their education levels being very low. They developed their dream to educate their youth without compromising their deeply rooted cultural beliefs, knowledge and practices.
The seeds of indigenous education in Indonesia - Samabue Indigenous School was set up in 2016 in West Kalimantan. It runs as an after-school club to serve indigenous children who attend the mainstream government run school and focuses on giving children a rooting in their own traditional knowledge and culture. Teachers are indigenous volunteers and local elders who foster communication between the generations.
This film documents the gathering of indigenous educators from across Indonesia and the Philippines in Kaseputan Ciptegalar, West Java. They discussed the problems: “The existing education system teaches ‘ilmu pergi’ - the science of leaving.” (Sarno Maulana, Pasawahan school, West Java). And they developed a vision of the future: "It is important for us to start our own education - our indigenous education. So we are the ones who determine its methods, we are the ones who determine its contents, and all of this within our territory.” (Jhontoni Tarihoran, BPAN)
In April and May 2018, there was a unique opportunity for community organisers in Scotland to meet with community leaders from the indigenous Misak people of Colombia, as they tour Scotland to share their experiences of the ‘Plan de Vida’ or Life Plan, and learn about Scotland’s own journey towards land reform and community empowerment. The Misak were displaced from their lands and almost disappeared as a people. Over the last 40 years they have reclaimed their territory, their culture and their futures against all odds. They did this by developing the Plan de Vida, an exceptional approach for communities to re-envision and take control of their futures. Pioneered by the Misak in the 1980s, this approach has been adopted by hundreds of indigenous peoples and communities across South America and beyond. Misak leaders Jeremias Tunubala and Liliana Pechene will be holding events with communities in Mull, Eigg, Skye, a residential training on Bute, and a final event at the Scottish Parliament. The events will offer valuable insights on rebuilding community, reclaiming cultural identity, and collective visioning, and an opportunity to reflect on the synergies between the Misak’s indigenous approach and Scotland’s growing community empowerment and land rights movements. The tour is being organised by LifeMosaic, a Scottish-based charity that works with indigenous peoples around the world to help build the capacity of communities and movements to protect their rights, cultures and territories. LifeMosaic is co-organising the tour with the Cabildo Misak (Misak leadership) and Scottish community organisations, educational institutions, and the Scottish Parliament. https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/plandevida
Community members from Sarayaku in Ecuador discuss what leadership means to them, and how it is practised in their territory.
Rajanga and its neighbouring villages had never seen electricity due to their remote locations in the middle of dense forests. In order to electrify such villages in India, an off-grid electricity supply model was developed by TERI. The film highlights a successful model in the heart of a reserve forest in Dhenkanal, managed completely by the community at cluster level and the various livelihood activities generated under the model by the community.
The humble babassu palm provides a livelihood for communities of women across North Eastern Brazil. Bread, charcoal, oil and soap are produced from the nut and husk; the surplus is sold on. But production has not always been so peaceful. Babassu: Brazil’s Warrior Women tells the story of the hard battle to maintain these communities’ way of life. In the face of intimidation and threats from farmers for years, Babassu women have negotiated their own terms; creating a grassroots movement and establishing the ‘Free Babassu Law’ in seven states. The law gives landless coconut gatherers rights to collect from palm groves. These inspiring women are now able to plan for the long-term, diversifying their business and securing their future. They fight for their families, their forests and the Amazon as a whole.
The Biogas Sector Partnership (BSP) in Nepal managed the installation of over 124,000 domestic biogas plants in Nepal between 1992 and 2005. The plants use cattle manure to provide biogas for cooking and lighting. In addition, about 75% of the plants incorporate toilets. About 80% of the 4.2 million households in Nepal use fuelwood, cattle-dung cakes and agricultural residues for cooking, and kerosene for lighting. Demand for fuelwood substantially exceeds the rate of regrowth, and this is leading to degradation of the land and damage to vital watersheds. Cooking indoors over open fires, and lighting with kerosene, gives dangerous exposure to air pollutants and a high risk of fire, particularly for women and young children who spend much of their time indoors. In addition, women and girls have the drudgery of collecting fuelwood, which typically takes three hours each day. The Ashden judges commended this project for the many benefits which it provides. The biogas plants replace nearly all the use of fuelwood, and make cooking easier, cleaner and safer. In 20% of houses biogas provides safer lighting as well. This saving of unsustainable fuelwood use also reduces carbon dioxide emissions. The provision of toilets improves sanitation; and the effluent from the biogas plant is a valuable organic compost. The use of cattle dung to generate biogas is well known in the Indian subcontinent, but in no other place has it been used with such success as in Nepal. The scale of the programme is remarkable. Biogas already serves about one million people (4% of the population of Nepal), and the biogas sector provides about 11,000 permanent jobs in the country. If anyone needed to be convinced that 'small scale can be big' then they need look no further! The Ashden judges also recognised the excellent collaboration between different organisations (BSP, government, construction companies, donors, finance organisations) in order to achieve such outstanding results.