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Indigenous, Local Women at Forefront of Defending Environment, Community Development

In 24 indigenous and local communities in the Philippines, women are at the forefront of facilitating efforts that address pressing community issues and vulnerabilities, especially on defending the environment.

Through the Women Environmental Defenders (WE-Defend) program, Samdhana supports Cohorts—-individuals who have had long years and experience in leading their community, and Fellows—-individuals who are taking up the challenge and stepping in as next generation leaders, to learn and practice new skills in pursuit of their respective communities’ goals.

Webinar on “Loss and Damage in Southeast Asia: Current issues and ways forward” 6th October 2022, 6:00 PM PST

How do we, in Southeast Asia, understand ‘loss and damage’? 

The Manila Observatory, with Samdhana Institute and Chiang Mai University, is undertaking a project to gather the various perspectives and experiences of  individuals and organizations on Loss and Damage. 

Planting the Seeds of Progress: Restoration at Yotoro Hill

Following many years of shifting cultivation practices, Yotoro Hill in Papua’s Jayapura Regency is in a critical condition. This has impacted Indigenous Peoples (IP) living nearby in Kwadeware Village, Waibu District, in the form of landslides and flash floods. In response, the women and youths of Kwadeware Village have taken action, by planting trees on Yotoro Hill.

Recovery after Odette

Indigenous and local communities still vulnerable to natural disasters aggravated by climate change.

A month after the devastating category 5 typhoon Odette (Rai) last December 16, 2021, affected communities are focused on their recovery. Through the urgent action grant mechanism, Samdhana Institute was able to contribute to the relief and recovery efforts of community partners.

Restoring the Land, Prospering the Next Generation.

In the heart of Sentani Lake, there lies a small island. Tourists call this island "Teletubbies Hill" because it has smooth bumpy hills just like in the Teletubbies TV series. The actual name is Yotoro Yoman Jo Hill. Approximately 50ha, it is home to the Kwadeware Village in Waibu District, Jayapura. On top of the hills, one can witness the beautiful scenery of Lake Sentani and the Cycloop Mountains, the far-reaching savanna grasslands and local houses at the edge of the lake surrounding the island. Sunsets and sunrises are naked to the eye because there are no shades to cover the sky.

Sikka Youth Empowerment: Building a Cleaner, Greener Community

In East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), youth groups are eager to learn and contribute to their communities’ future. Despite limitations caused by Covid-19, Samdhana Institute was able to support the Association of Child Rights Activists (Perkumpulan Aktivis Peduli Hak Anak - PAPHA) in Sikka Regency, where young people are encouraged to learn about climate change and what they can do to mitigate and lessen its local impact.

Sustainable spaces of learning

In Laos, the Green Community Volunteers (GCV) set out to build an earth brick house, to be the abode of learning for children, women and elders alike. The bricks are made from raw earth found in the village, mixed with husk and water. Mixed mud is used to hold together the bricks to form the structure. The practice of making an earth house is not very common anymore. The earth house in the village of Phonsavanh was built by community members volunteering, many of them are from the ethnic groups, such as Khmu, Hmong and Lao Loom.