Global Diversity Foundation

GDF has a dual mission. Through our regional programmes, we support indigenous peoples' and local communities' efforts to protect their biocultural diversity, and peacefully achieve just and autonomous decision-making regarding their territories, resources and futures. In collaboration with diverse institutions, we provide support for communities to elaborate their own research, development and advocacy programmes. Areas of specific focus depend on community interests, although they tend to be community access to lands and resources, community-led conservation, advocacy and campaigning for social and environmental justice, the continuity of ethnobiological and biocultural knowledge, and he...
Feb 27, 2015

Assessing impacts of education on life after school

Dar Taliba all-girls boarding house residents
Dar Taliba all-girls boarding house residents

Mohamed El Haouzi, leader of the Global Diversity Foundation’s school garden projects, is launching a comparative study that will provide much needed information to assess the impacts of the Dar Taliba boarding house in Ourika since it first opened in 1999. He has developed a questionnaire with Dr. Mohamed Cherkaoui, a human ecologist from University Cadi Ayyad, Marrakech’s leading university. The comprehensive survey covers diverse topics ranging from the socioeconomic backgrounds of students who previously resided at Dar Taliba Ourika, the skills and knowledge they gained, and how the experience impacted their life today.

The current director of the boarding house, Jamila (an ex-student herself, who benefitted from GDF’s school garden projects over the years), is confident that carrying out the survey will open up opportunities to network with former residents and encourage action to inspire environmental initiatives borne from knowledge gained during their time at Dar Taliba. She highlighted the annual Cultural Week that takes place in the middle school adjoining the boarding house, saying “Participation by our residents in environmental activities carried out during Cultural Week is a direct result of the importance placed on environmental education at Dar Taliba. Residents are taught to respect nature, manage rubbish properly and use water wisely, among many other initiatives.”

Our ambition is that GDF’s long-standing support for environmental education and wellbeing at the school continues to ensure a strong legacy among students for responsible and respectful engagement with the environment.

This project qualifies for the We Believe in Girls campaign!

To celebrate International Women’s Day, GlobalGiving UK is launching their We Believe in Girls campaign on Monday, 2nd March. Every donation will receive a 50% top-up (until the fund of £18,000 runs out). Please do consider making a donation to support the girls of Dar Taliba.

DONATE HERE

 

Descriptions of photos:

Fresh faces of the Dar Taliba all-girls boarding house residents, always eager to learn new skills and knowledge.

Dar Taliba was built near a middle school to accommodate girls as they continue their studies beyond primary school.

A new ethnobotanical garden is under development at Dar Taliba to allow girls to exchange knowledge about local useful plants, including ones used for food and medicine.

Dar Taliba was built near a middle school
Dar Taliba was built near a middle school
A new ethnobotanical garden is under development
A new ethnobotanical garden is under development
Jan 23, 2015

How to choose an emerging environmental leader

Daniel, a participant of GESA 2014
Daniel, a participant of GESA 2014

The first stage of the GESA 2015 application period, from 15 October 2014 – 15 January 2015, seemed to go by in the blink of an eye. Expressions of interest flowed in from around the world, and we were pleased to receive far-flung applications from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Eritrea, Guatemala, Jamaica, Latvia, Mongolia, Sudan, Yemen, Zimbabwe and other nations that are typically underrepresented in international courses. We have a record number of candidates vying for a spot this year, over 500 from 93 countries, up 63% over last year. Now comes the hard part: choosing the finalists from this talented set of applicants.

The good news is that we have a stellar jury to help us with the tough choices we have to make. We are pleased that many GESA alumni have agreed to help select their future peers, and this gives international breadth to the jury. For the 2015 lineup, we have Daniel (Dominican Republic), Rishi (Nepal), Chryl (United States), Manoj (Bangladesh), and Eda (Turkey). Their enthusiasm in taking on this task is an inspiration. Of this undertaking, Rishi said, “I take this as our collective responsibility to make GESA a dream academy for change-makers and I am honored to volunteer to achieve this mission.” Chryl agreed to these sentiments, responding, “I would be honored to serve on the jury as GESA has a special place in my heart.”

The other jury members are GESA coordinators and resource people: Gary Martin (United States), Sarah-Lan Mathez-Stiefel (Switzerland), Emily Caruso (United Kingdom) and Susannah McCandless (United States).

Many have asked us how we go about making the decision of who attends the summer academy each year, and we would like to make the process as transparent as possible. The jury members choose their preferred candidates based on the leadership capacity communicated by their personal statements and CVs, ensuring that the resulting class has a good balance of men and women, mixture of nationalities (with no more than 2 people from the same country), regional spread, age range and multidisciplinarity. As we want to continue expanding our network globally, we also take into account if the candidate is from a country not previously represented in GESA.

Photo descriptions:

Daniel, a GESA 2014 participant, will assist in the shortlisting process this year.

Group photo taken during GESA 2014: A great mix of participants is an important feature of GESA.

Group photo taken during GESA 2014
Group photo taken during GESA 2014

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Dec 9, 2014

Digging deep and moving forward

Japanese students dig hole for septic tank
Japanese students dig hole for septic tank

Ulu Papar communities’ continued enthusiasm in engaging with partners was apparent through their active participation in planning for and being involved in the DISSOLVA Borneo Project 2014; a visit by a group comprising predominantly Japanese undergraduates, joined by Malaysian students and supervised by leaders from their respective institutions. Apart from regular daily interactions, the Dusun communities from Buayan and Kalanggaan shared their traditional knowledge by involving their visitors in hunting activities, giving theatrical performances in their local language, and teaching the art of bamboo weaving. Through collaborative efforts, the toilet and septic tank for the Biocultural Heritage Centre was successfully constructed during the visit, a project led by social enterprise, Arkitrek. 

Community researchers from Ulu Papar have built on their experiences in a variety of ways. Some have to gone on to pursue other priorities, leaving their homefront for gainful employment. A select few, however, maintain their aspirations as environmental and cultural champions in the local sphere. One step they and other community members took recently was the inauguration of a youth committee in Buayan village, followed by initial discussions to outline specific aims relating to preserving their biocultural heritage. One of the committee members, Raymond, trained over the years in various participatory research methods including community filmmaking and participatory mapping, notes that his employment at the local district office allows him to utilise his in-depth knowledge about Ulu Papar to contribute towards upholding the traditional values that define the people of Ulu Papar.

(Photos courtesy of Arkitrek)

Taking time to learn about each other
Taking time to learn about each other's culture

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