Earth, Exploitation and Survival: Dimensions of Indigenous Identity for Montagnard, Mapuche and Batwa People

Project location: WORLDWIDE, Vietnam, Chile, Rwanda
Project start date: October 2010 - Project end date: October 2012
Project number: 2010-61
Beneficiary: UNPO

PHASE I:  October 2010- January 2011 

The project “Earth, Exploitation and Survival: Dimensions of Indigenous Identity -  Montagnard, Mapuche and Batwa people” commenced in late 2010 with the working visit to Rwanda to create solid foundations for the ongoing work with the Batwa. During the visit to Rwanda, the UNPO Programme Manager confirmed the poor living standards and economic situation of the Batwa, or the pygmies of Rwanda. Visits to communities surviving on the margins of society were made. In some of the worst situations, families lived in makeshift shacks, enviously looking at the mud huts of others living in their communities. Others themselves lived in mud huts with families, often of more than 5 children, acknowledging their luck to have such housing.

Many of the Batwa are surviving only through begging or as casual labourers or porters for other community members when work is available. Their pottery is no longer as valuable as it once once, with the advent of new technologies such as plastics and metals.

In addition, new large-scale economic projects related to logging and the tourism industry have displaced communities from their ancestral homelands in and around the forests and volcanoes and their centuries old environmentally safe, sustainable, traditional livelihoods have been destroyed. In acknowledging that adaptation is crucial for survival, the EES: Dimensions of Indigenous Identity Project has established a bamboo nursery management and propagation project which includes bamboo craft-making. This uses innovation to provide livelihoods for the Batwa communities and at the same time, it is an environmentally safe form of adaptation to the current economic climate.

Bamboo is a fast growing plant, which requires less resources and land to propagate. Bamboo is self propagating which means the practitioners will not need to buy seeds themselves. They will be able to generate their own stocks thus ensuring the project will be sustainable. Bamboo also acts as a purifier when grown in wetlands and so has multiple positive properties. Bamboo can be made into crafts and jewellery, furniture and also day to day living materials such as brochette sticks. A new law was recently passed in Rwanda banning the use of metal brochette sticks in favour of the more hygienic, environmentally friendly bamboo sticks.

In December 2010, UNPO visited the bamboo nursery, and the locally based project manager was consulted regarding the selection of those who will participate in the vocational trainings in bamboo nursery management and propagation, bamboo craft-making, and furniture creation.

The first of two annual training sessions took place in January 2011, with ten selected individuals. The target group includes men, women, young people and people with disabilities. Importantly, whilst the focus is on the Batwa population, other Rwandans are also selected to participate in order to encourage community cohesion and tolerance.

Sessions in literacy and numeracy complement the largely vocational training and since the bamboo nursery is permanent, there is now a community hub allowing for ongoing vocational workshops and skill sharing. Each of the ten practitioners were given their own set of tools, which they can use to practice their skills between training sessions.

PHASE II: February- May 2011

TRAINING REPORT ON BAMBOO CRAFT-MAKING AND ARTIFACTS CREATION

(Training workshop held in Musanze, on May 17th - 21st 2011)

The training took place over the course of 5 days and was overseen by a local Project Coordinator who reported a well managed training programme. A group of 10 attendees participated in the training, attending all 5 days, showing they were committed and engaged. In retrospect a 5 day training is a short timeframe, and with high demand it has been evaluated that the next training be longer. This in addition to the fact that bamboo needs time to grow, which can lead to more possibilities to work with bamboo on a creative level, including the making of jewelry.

The participation of youth, as agents of change, is central to the long term goal of this training. Engaging youth in social projects, working with their communities and communicating their lessons learned are criteria to fight the poverty cycle for the younger generation.

Overview of Training

DAY 1:

  • Introduction to bamboo nursery techniques management
  • Introduction to tools and bamboo technichnology transfer
  • Application of  tools and production of artifacts

Day 2:

  • Application of tools and production of artifacts
  • Introduction of bamboo products and artifacts finishing
  • Exploring bamboo products techniques curing treatment

Day 3:

  • Application of tools and production of artifacts
  • Bamboo products  and creativity
  • Bamboo products finishing techniques

Day 4 and day 5:

  • Bamboo  Artifacts Finishing And Storing

PHASE III : June- November 2011

TRAINING REPORT ON BAMBOO CRAFT-MAKING AND ARTIFACTS CREATION

(Training workshop held in MUKO, MUSANZE on 24-26 August 2011)

1.0. Introduction

Training is the process of acquiring the knowledge, skills, and attitude that are needed to fill the gap between what people want to do, and what they are able to do now. The purpose of ‘cascade training’ is to pass knowledge and skills to colleagues who work at different ‘levels’.

In order to teach a trainer how to train well, a ‘learning by doing’ approach is best. For example, participants in a workshop can learn skills in participatory monitoring and as soon as

is practical can hold a similar training workshop for colleagues working at district/local level.

Training is more effective if visuals are used to communicate and if participants actively participate in the workshop proceedings – or in the words of Confusius1: ‘I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand.’ The below text offers a series of pointers and considerations that can be used in any training of trainers exercise. In August 2011, Cultural Conservation Act conducted a 3 days workshop with aim of equipping its members with the skills to transmit their knowledge to others.

2.1.Objective and Participants

The main purpose of the training was to strengthen CCA and its institutional capacities in the training of trainers in order to increase respect for the vision and objectives of CCA and to strengthen its daily activities. This training equipped the CCA members and CCA committee members with the necessary skills to allow the expanded implementation of planned bamboo husbandry and craft making activities, aimed at improving the daily life of Rwandan people.

2.2. Trainers and Material

Cultural conservation Act through its department of Capacity Building conducted the training for trainers in collaboration with the art and craft coach. Training materials were prepared ahead of time, and focused on the following topics:

  1. Training of trainers
  2. Elementary accounting
  3. Art and craft activities
  4. Alphabetization

2.3. Methodology

The participative approaches characterized by interactive methods, case studies and exchange of best practices were used throughout this training. The training was delivered over the course of 3 days. During the first 2 days, the training concentrated on the pre-prepared training material, while one additional day concentrated on in-depth participatory training with practical exercises.

2.4. Expected results

It was expected that after training, irregularities in management processes could be reduced. The implementation of planned activities and the service delivery will be improved.

2.5. Venue and period

The training was conducted in Northern Province in Musanze District Muko sector from 24 to 26 August 2011.

3.0. Courses and Facilitators

Courses

Trainer

Economic and environmental essentials of Bamboo

Andrew Mubiru

Bamboo ornaments and crafts/Technology Transfer

Phocus Numa

Intermediary accounting

Nderelimana James

Business accounting

Nderelimana Juma

Key to success /Alphabetization

 Ms Jane Mwezi

 

With a point to note the table above, all the facilitators/trainers were present during each session of training. Each trainer in the table had a minimum of three hours per session including time for asking questions, which provided sufficient time for trainees to be given an in-depth course on each subject.

 

3.1.Bamboo as alternative

Bamboo promises good opportunities for restoring degraded landscapes and improving soil quality. Planting bamboo for reforestation and conservation also promotes the ecological nature to sustain soil. Its roots can hold up topsoil saving soil erosion. The bamboo rhizomes will anchor topsoil. Its leaves and fallen culms decompose and create thick humus layer that enriches the soil. This in turn increases food production, provides causal work, and mitigates other environmental risks for poverty reduction initiatives. Bamboo is a dependable source of income, as it can be used to manufacture baskets and other furniture.

Bamboo is very environmentally friendly; on a hectare land, bamboo can absorb as much as 12 tonnes of atmospheric carbon dioxide, thereby aiding in the fight against global warming. Rural Stakeholders can be part of the solution for climate change. The bamboo addresses the resiliency initiatives of climate change “adaptation, mitigation, technology and financial incomes.” The bamboo would address these risks of climate change through reforestation, mobilization and public awareness. The idea is to employ greater policy attention to accelerate the up-take of existing green technologies and practices to encourage efficiency and market–based production. Mainstreaming climate change adaptation and mitigation into all relevant areas of public policies is a priority if MDGs are to be achieved.

3.3.Art and crafts

The facilitator introduced bamboo ornaments and crafts stages of production and materials. The training began with the instructor showing the necessary equipment and materials to be applied in the making of different items made in bamboo.

While giving more explanation on how earrings are made, the participants were shown how to start production process. In this session trainees were allowed to ask questions, and they also participated directly in demonstrations of what they know about bamboo and its by-products. This allowed the trainer to determine in which area he needed to put more emphasis.

This evening session took 4 hours. The two first hours was the introduction of the lesson of which the participants were going to follow. During the two remaining hours, trainees participated in various demonstrations, and had an opportunity to ask questions related to the training session.

3.4. Intermediary and Business Accounting

3.4.1.Accounting Concepts

4.0. Alphabetization

The trainer focused on the methodology for teaching of adults. She emphasized that teaching adults who have not had access to basic education is not easy. The instructor needs to be very cautious and draw the attention of the audience through motivating initiatives. In this respect, the instructor needs to be a time manager. Adult education /popular education involves a variety of livelihood approaches. Apart from reading and writing and numbers, the adult learner needs to be aware of the environment around him/her. These include:

-          Health and sanitation around their homestead

-          Nutrition

-          Basic modern agricultural skills

-          Simple project leadership and management

-          Fundamental rights

-          Fighting against Gender-based –violence

-          Communication

To mention but a few.

The participants did some exercises in each of these areas. One semi-literate participant testified how he had been very ignorant in thinking it was for the learned. But now he promised to go back and start changing his attitudes and employ health and sanitation in his house and around the home stead .The participants promised to take the message back and start teaching the adult Batwa and other local communities who are still ignorant of such conditions of living.

 

 

PHASE IV: December 2011-May 2012

 

TRAINING REPORT ON BAMBOO CRAFT-MAKING AND FURNITURE , LITERACY AND BOOK-KEEPING.

(workshop held in Musanze , March 5th-7th 2012)

 

Introduction

The project “Diversity Adult Literacy for Rural Participation and Creativity” has two parts to cover.

1) Civic Education

The written word is increasingly important throughout Rwanda and the world at large. By literacy it means more than just skills of reading, writing and numeracy; literacy is seen as a tool for transformation under a broad definition which embraces IT and other media resources. Literate community is able to read and write up-to-date health information.

 

2) Vocational training

Cultural Conservation Act (CCA) is also establishing a youth and young women community conservation and reforestation and  awareness for adaptation and mitigation to climate change. CCA involves the efforts of Batwa women and youth who are already traditionally conservationists and craft makers.

 

First day

Introduction on Bamboo

Bamboo is a plant which has a multi-purpose usages especially when it comes to furniture, crafts , ornaments or jewelries, setting house structures ,plywood, mats ,cloth ,table utensils including. After the trainer had finished introduction as far as bamboo species are concerned, they learned how to make baskets.

For the first day, they made baskets/trays .

Second day

The young women learned how to make baskets/trays .

Third day

They continued to make baskets/trays with different colors and  patterns. For the fabrication of other crafts, and ornaments, where necessary a pencil is needed to take the measurements .Selection of materials is considerably strict. As already mentioned above, for making any object out of bamboo, one needs to know which species of bamboo is suitable and able to resist insect attack conditions.

 

The training of crafts making went concurrently with:

  • Adults literacy

 

The integrated functional literacy approach is designed to help the Pygmy Batwa indigenous people be aware of their true and reasons for their problems. The training involved REFLECT and Popular Education. They also did a lot of practices especially primary health care. All these methodologies and practices are to be used for teaching.

The training of the trainer of adults literacy is involving a high school drop -out to learn methodologies and improve teaching approaches. They will be able to acquire practical knowledge and skills .They will be able to teach skills and give the adults learning enough skills.

Young women and men will acquire skills to participate effectively in society within the context of their environment of the wider community such as local decision-making, demanding their rights, participation in democratic processes and environmental responsibility. The training has imbued the trainer of trainers to empower the Batwa youth activists. These will reinforce each other’s commitments ,by nurturing commitment to improving the society through human rights activism .The training has  cultivated a body of leaders who embody a spirit of service to human rights and rule of law. Please see the photo of a young woman to teach the literacy.

  • Accountancy

The accountancy was basic book keeping and it related to the cooperative perspective. The introduction was first on the types of resources of money which included:

-      People

-      Money

-      Assets

 

People here means the members of organization or a cooperative. The trainer emphasized on the sources of money which an organization or cooperative needs to achieve its objectives. The money of an organization or cooperative comes from the membership contribution, gifts, legacies, as for the NGOs from grants and its assets.

The organization’s assets and financial resources are controlled and kept by an Accountant. He keeps control of personnel, assets and financial resources. His /her indicative values include to be of ; integrity, capabilities , confidentiality, customer caring and  keeping time in his/her services. He works directly under the supervision of the Executive Director.

Principles include:

 

-      Respecting the objectives of the organization

-      Write the books neatly

-      Fill the books daily  and keep records of assets

-      Before any money is spent, it has to go through Petty Cash 

Sorts of papers in accountancy include:

-      Receipts

-      Invoices

-      Dispatch Invoices

-      Purchase Invoices

 

 

PHASE V (final): June- October 2012

 

Batwa training report on bamboo craft-making and furniture, literacy and book keeping

(workshop held in Musanze, October 21st-25th 2012 )

 

Topics of the Training

Civic Education

The written word is increasingly important throughout Rwanda and the world at large. By literacy it means more than just skills of reading, writing and numeracy; literacy is seen as a tool for transformation under a broad definition which embraces IT and other media resources. Literate community is able to read and write up-to-date health information.

Vocational training

Cultural Conservation Act (CCA) is also establishing a youth and young women community conservation and reforestation and  awareness for adaptation and mitigation to climate change. CCA involves the efforts of Batwa women and youth who are already traditionally conservationists and craft makers.

Introduction on Bamboo

Bamboo is a plant which has a multi-purpose usages especially when it comes to furniture, crafts , ornaments or jewelries, setting house structures ,plywood, mats ,cloth ,table utensils  and many other uses as far as poverty reduction  and community livelihood is  concerned.

The bamboo is becoming more versatility in environmental conservation. On a hectare land bamboo can absorb as much as 12 tonnes of atmospheric carbon dioxide. This is a viable tool to possibly fight against global warming .Its roots can hold up topsoil saving soil erosion .The bamboo rhizomes will anchor topsoil .Its leaves, sheaves and fallen culms will decompose and create thick humus layer that enriches the soil. Bamboo forests have hydrological functions that promote soil health.

The livelihoods and food security of the poor often depend directly on ecosystems, and the diversity of goods and services derived from these ecosystems. Healthy ecosystems provide a range of ‘invisible services’ that are essential for sustainable development. The economy is also linked to the environment in many important ways. All economic activities including production, consumption and waste disposal subsist in the environment. It has become abundantly clear that the state of environment determines the level of prosperity not only in the short term but also for future generations. This underlines the need to examine both economic and environmental indicators to determine the impact on the environment of a range of economic activities in Rwanda and conversely, how wise use of environmental resources can increase economic growth.

 

TRAINING OF TRAINERS

First day

It is in this respect therefore that the participants were taken to the Buhanga Eco Park in Nkotsi Sector Musanze District. Where CCA has a bamboo project Community conservation of cultural Heritage based on Bamboo Greenbelt around Nkotsi and Buhanga Forest.” The participants were amazed by this visit where they witnessed the essence of bamboo for both environmental and economic viabilities. They visited the CCA Bamboo Seedlings Multiplication Seedbeds and learned how to propagate and plant bamboo. They posed under bamboo thickets planted and enjoyed the fresh air and found out how bamboo holds up soil and provides compost to facilitate growth of agricultural produce.

The participants urged that the project in the future would combine also environment protection. They realized the improvement and progress made in boosting agricultural production when seeing how these can go hand in hand.

The area had a problem of agricultural produce. The peasants did not have  enough food for domestic consumption, without mentioning for the excess to the market for their incomes. Today they are appreciating CCA’s initiative to bring the Bamboo Green-belting project of the forest. Today the forest generates more rains throughout the year. And food security is a great secure as the above photo shows.

The first day was very busy on the field learning ,observing realizing the uses of bamboo and its essence as far as community livelihood and community biodiversity conservation is concerned.

Second day

Training continued at the CCA skills center. The trainer introduced a creative approach and they started improving the skills so far achieved. They made many bamboo objects just creatively with innovations. They made bamboo beads and joined them to produce necklaces, earrings, beaded jugs, mats and items of bamboo.

The trainer was very happy seeing how the participants were skilled and creating innovations of bamboo crafts.They learned how to make beadwork, bamboo jugs of advance and innovative creativity.

During the second day, a variety of bamboo items were made and the participants learned a number of skills as far as bamboo exploitation is concerned.

                             

Third day

The participants continued making different items with different colors and patterns. For the fabrication of other crafts, and ornaments, where necessary a pencil is needed to take the measurements. They learned how to make even baskets as you may see in the pictures.

These items were of more creativity and innovations compared to what they had training during this project. The participants were interested with their skills of creativity so much that they demanded to come the following day  and continue creating bamboo items.

 

Fourth Day        

The day was full of appreciation for the skills gained throughout the project. As CCA also trains some youth in shoemaking, the participants wanted to learn that skill as well. But it was not accepted as that is another separate project funded by local government institution. But the project is finishing at the end of next month November2012.             

The participants made items and each was happy while demonstrating their talents as far as crafts of bamboo is concerned.

                                                                                                  

  • Adults literacy

The integrated functional literacy approach is designed to help the Pygmy Batwa indigenous people be aware of their true reasons for their problems. They also did a lot of practices especially primary health care. All these methodologies and practices are to be used for teaching.

The training of the trainer of adults literacy is involving a high school drop -out to learn methodologies and improve teaching approaches. They will be able to acquire practical knowledge and skills .They will be able to teach skills and give the adults learning enough skills.

  • Accountancy

The accountancy training was basic book keeping and it related to the cooperative perspective. The introduction was first on the types of resources of money which included:

-      People

-      Money

-      Assets

 

People here means the members of organization or a cooperative. The trainer emphasized on the sources of money which an organization or cooperative needs to achieve its objectives. The money of an organization or cooperative comes from the membership contribution, gifts, legacies, as for the NGOs from grants and its assets.

The organization’s assets and financial resources are controlled and kept by an Accountant. He keeps control of personnel, assets and financial resources. His indicative values include to be of ; integrity, capabilities , confidentiality, customer caring and  keeping time in his services. He works directly under the supervision of the Executive Director.
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