Celebrating International Day of the World’s Indigenous People

BRAINetwork [ via the First Mile Project ] and the indigenous communities of the Belum-Temenggor Rain Forest Reserve celebrated the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People on 12th August 2014 in RPS Air Banun. Read all about the activities below…….

This post is written by our guest blogger Gerard Dunleavy who is currently doing his internship at BRAINetwork. Gerard also prepared the videoclip that showcased the events of the day. We also had another visitor from Ireland. Emer had great fun in the rainforest. Thank you Emer for sharing part of your holiday with us. Enjoy !

The First Mile Project celebrated International Day of the World’s Indigenous People last week with the indigenous communities of the Belum-Temenggor Rain Forest Reserve. The main celebration took place in RPS Air Banun, with indigenous people from surrounding villages joining the festivities. The celebration was aimed at the youth of the indigenous communities, with games from football to hula hooping, skipping to making giant bubbles, attracting and entertaining children of all ages.

The celebration coincided with two integral elements of our community development programme, The First Mile Project. Last week saw our project successfully initiate a Computer Skills workshop in Air Banun. The workshop forms part of a larger plan to open a computer café in the indigenous village. Trainers from the Computer Unit, School of Health Sciences, USM travelled to Air Banun to deliver a full day workshop which 8 participants took part in. The participants learned how to fully set up the PC’s before moving on to some basic typing and computing skills. Two PC’s are fully operational and remain in the workshop room in Air Banun for participants to practice their new computer skills, hopefully they can introduce and educate their fellow communities members who didn’t make it to the workshop. By next week, the other 6 PC’s will be up and running in the first ever Rainforest Cybercafe run by the indigenous community of Air Banun!

A First Aid workshop also took place last week in Air Banun, with a team from the Emergency Department of Hospital USM lead by Dr. Shaik Farid Abdull Wahab performing the training. A First Aid workshop took place earlier in the year in Kota Bharu, with the same target group, but a low participation rate meant that it wasn’t as successful as we’d have hoped. A change in strategy was needed and this led to the workshop being relocated. Instead of being run in Kota Bharu, we decided that we would be more successful if we ran the First Aid workshop from within the indigenous village of AIr Banun. This proved to be the case with more than 10 participants attending and learning First Aid skills like CPR, how to clean wounds, how to apply bandages and slings. We hope to run additional Computer Skills and First Aid workshops to top-up the skills of those who attended the workshops, whilst also attracting, engaging and empowering those who are yet to attend a workshop. Eventually, this group of indigenous participants will earn their Basic Life Support (BLS) certificate and be on their way to being the first Orang Asal village with certified First Aiders.

Credits for video: Created by Gerard Dunleavy, Music: Lagu Perjuangan Orang Asal, Jaringan Orang Asal http://www.youtube.com/user/JaringanOrangAsal.  Video also avaiable at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8szLESNklMk



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