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Preserving the Culture of Indigenous People in Sulawesi, Indonesia

Region: Indonesia, South and Southeast Asia
Author: Jabar Lahadji on behalf of the ToWana, an indigenous community living in the Morowali Nature Reserve, Sulawesi (Celebes), Indonesia
Consortium Member: Ashoka, Innovators for the Public
Status: Needs Funding Budget: $3080 Collected: $300 Needs: $2780
Goal: The ToWana are seeking a sustainable source of income which will enable them to maintain their unique culture and traditional lifestyle in the Morowali Nature Reserve.
Comment: Located north of Java, Sulawesi is an island rich in traditions. Your donation will support a handicraft project to benefit this remote indigenous community.
Thanks to the Donor: Katherine Randolph, California [January 2001]

The ToWana traditional culture and economy depend on swidden agriculture (shifting agriculture, or “slash and burn”) and hunting and gathering. Increasing pressure from the government and from conservationists is restricting their traditional lifestyle. They are currently seeking a source of income which will enable them to maintain their unique culture in the Morowali Nature Reserve. There are a total of 5000 ToWana living in the reserve, but this project is aimed particularly at the Kayu Poli Wana, who number 148, and live near to the reserve’s point of entry.

What Will be Done in the Project

How the Project will Affect the Community

Who Will be Responsible for the Project?
Jabar Lahadji, an Ashoka Fellow from Indonesia, has been working with the ToWana people for over ten years. His goals are to promote the rights of the indigenous people and to develop conservation practices within the Morowali Nature reserve. In partnership with the ToWana, he has been taking small groups of eco-tourists and conservation expeditions into the Morowali Reserve (225,000 hectares, approximately 869 square miles). Because of the nature of their culture, the ToWana people are not in a position to apply to the Virtual Foundation personally or to manage any monetary awards given, so have therefore asked Jabar Lahadji to make this application on their behalf.

Notes on the budget:

Transport for handicrafts
Boat with outboard motor$1500
Shop in Kolonodale
Rent (one year)$150
Shop fittings$250
Handicraft centre
Building $250
Handicraft materials
Raw material 0
Virtual Foundation administrative fee (split between Consortium Member and VF-US): $280
Total Requested from the Virtual Foundation for this project: $3080