Educating the Youth to Preserve the Traditions of the Ogoni and Mapuche People
- Earth, Exploitation and Survival: Dimensions of Indigenous Identity for Montagnard, Mapuche and Batwa People
- Earth, Exploitation and Survival – Actions to Redress the Threats made to Indigenous Peoples’ Natural Environment, Languages, Traditional Livelihoods and Community Cohesion
- Earth, Exploitation and Survival - Redress the Threats Posed to Indigenous Peoples (Phase IV)
Project location: VARIOUS COUNTRIES, NIGERIA and ARGENTINA
Project start date: August 2009 - Project end date: August 2010
Project number: 2009-19
ACTIVITIES 1: Young Ambassadors Program
The Ogoni already have a national youth organization, headed by young leaders who organize various activities, visit schools and encourage young Ogoni to continue in their tradition of peace, environmental management and conservation of culture. The Youth Council of Ogoni (NYCOP) is a very active group, with good growth opportunities.
NYCOP proposed to UNPO to create a "Young Ambassadors Program" that includes three young men between sixteen and twenty years of age, men and women, to assist the leaders of the Youth Council in their duties. Candidates will be selected directly by NYCOP among Ogoni's brightest youth.
One of the key projects run by the Youth Council is the School Peace and Empowerment Project. This program covers the development of projects by Ogoni students, that are to take place in their communities, and that are presented to NYCOP hoping to receive funding. Every year the best projects are funded by the NYCOP Foundation. The implementation of these projects is assisted by teachers and community leaders.
Young Ambassadors could cover the primary role of helping and inspiring students during the preparation of proposals; to train students who have received funding on the most effective ways to implement projects and to act as supervisors in the development of projects until their completion. The ambassadors will receive training by UNPO, and by the Ogoni leaders. The ambassadors will also serve as contact-people and supervise the projects locally for UNPO.
ACTIVITIES 2: Environmental Consciousness Project
The environment is an integral part of the lifestyle of the Ogoni. Since Christianity is widespread among the Ogoni, traditional beliefs that see the earth as a spiritual being or as a source of livelihood are still common.
Through cultural traditions transmitted orally, the Ogoni have passed down respect for the land for several generations. Today, the Ogoni are facing many challenges due to many years of environmental exploitation caused by bad mining policies, which have created many ecological problems in the Ogoni territories.
Environmental experts of the MOSOP group (Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People) have developed an awareness program aimed primarily at young people and subsequently at the other Ogoni communities, with the following objectives:
1. Create awareness on environmental cleanliness and hygiene in six secondary schools in six Ogoni communities.
2. Create awareness on the dangers of the practice of supplying fuel to ships.
3. Creating awareness about the impact of climate change on the territories of the Ogoni and analyze the possible adaptation strategies.
This program will be managed by the NYCOP and MOSOP director, Young Kingbara, with the help of five Environmental Youth Leaders, to be selected according to their dedication to ongoing programs and their concern for environmental education.
ACTIVITIES 3: UNPO Training
For this project, an employee of UNPO will be instructed in a training course of several days at the Secretariat in Nigeria, before visiting Ogoniland. This person will study all available information on the Ogoni and will remain in constant communication with Mosop, NYCOP and Youth Ambassadors.
The course will include a day of training with closed sessions for ambassadors, environmental managers and community leaders, as well as events open to all Ogoni community and other active partners in the territory to introduce them to the project.