The First Mile Project is a collaborative interactive and inclusive community development programme which aims to empower the indigenous community at RPS Air Banun, to successfully develop into a sustainable ecovillage. In Air Banun, our project is being supported by JAKOA ( Department of Orang Asli Development) , Mattel Children’s Foundation, as well as the Pulau Banding Foundation. Read a summary of the First Mile Project HERE
While the work so far has been at Air Banun, we cannot ignore the many other villages that are found deep within the Belum-Temengor Rainforest Reserve in Grik, Perak. Recently on 6th March, the local office of JAKOA ( Department of Orang Asli Development) decided that it was time we had a formal meeting with the community leaders of all the villages of the surrounding area around RPS Air Banun. The leaders were aware of the progress we had made in Air Banun and wanted the project extended to their communities as well.
The meeting was well attended by a very vocal group of community leaders. BRAINetwork provided handouts and a progress report. You can view the handout HERE. A progress report on the Air Banun project is also available HERE.
The meeting was a good opportunity to explain that BRAINework has always been concerned with the sustainability of all its projects.We are currently working with various agencies such as JAKOA and KEMAS ( Social Welfare Department ) in order for them to take over the relevant projects. It is our intention at BRAINetwork to extend the First Mile Project to other villages. However, one of our first priorities is to assess the current project especially in terms of it’s sustainability.Overall, it was a good meeting which ended with a special lunch provided by BRAINetwork and JAKOA.
We also took this opportunity to request En Hassan Ali from JAKOA to present certificates to En Uda Goying and team who had successfully completed the Basic Life Support Course conducted by the Emergency Department of the School of Health Sciences, USM. They are now the pioneers for the “Services for Survival” sub-project of the First Mile Project. A visit to the PlayLab also showed that our pioneer facilitators and the group of children are doing better than we ever expected.Thank you Mattel for your ongoing support!
After our meeting with the community leaders, the BRAINetwork Team visited the Pulau Banding Rainforest Research Centre which is owned by the Pulau Banding Foundation. Discussions were held with En. Najmi and En. Azrin who are researchers based at the Centre. This meeting was the first step towards evaluating the community wellness of all villages surrounding RPS Air Banun. As a result of this discussion, the intrepid BRAINetwork Team of Gerard, Ridhuwan and Fakhru will soon be braving the rainforest for an initial visit to the other communities within the Belum-Temengor Rainforest Reserve ! More on that later, after their visit which is scheduled for 31st March to 2nd April. Good luck guys !!!