Empower Jingpo Children with Their Own Culture, Their Own Creativity!
Being surrounded by so much ethnic diversity results in such an influx of information into our minds, it’s sometimes hard to imagine that not every culture and language is thriving—in fact, many are endangered. Societies are living entities, susceptible to erosion, low self-esteem, and even extinction. Many governments provide initiatives to preserve minority cultures and languages. These can prove to be effective in protecting the communities from discrimination and other societal ills, but unfortunately not every group that’s under threat in the world receives state-sanctioned protection. However, several NGOs in various countries have taken it upon themselves to work with minorities and educate the children there to restore confidence in their culture.
One such organization is the Prop Roots center in the Jingpo village of China, founded by Dr. Anton Lustig, a linguist who has spent over 20 years studying the Jingpo language and community. The slogan of Prop Roots is: Empower Jingpo children with their own culture, their own creativity! Members of the center conduct classes in language and creativity, which serve to make the children proud of their Jingpo heritage. The children also present their work to visitors. Through this kind of education, Lustig and his colleagues hope to reduce the problems caused by AIDS and drug use. This campaign has launched to finish one of Prop Root’s major goals: constructing the project center right in the middle of the Jingpo village. Due to the nature of the organization, work would be much easier and more efficient if the volunteers, researchers, guest artists, and anyone else who’d like to help out could perform their tasks from inside the village itself. Additionally, activities would be more accessible to the children. The proposed building will have 2 stories—the first story will be made of brick, while the walls of the second floor will be bamboo. It has also been designed so that guests can reside there during their stay. At the moment the first floor is nearly done, but the second one still needs its walls and roof. The project needs more funding, as the cost of labor and materials is quite high.
Prop Roots has already raised $1,435, well on the way to its $2,000 tipping point goal. When the tipping point is reached, the bamboo walls can be implemented, along with a temporary canvas roof. This will allow Prop Roots to conduct activities for one season. If the total funding goal of $7,500 is obtained, the center can be completed with a permanent wooden roof, furniture, and other basic facilities. There are still 14 days left in the campaign so let’s help Prop Roots realize its dream by getting the word out about this project! Inform your friends, family, business partners—anyone who wants to see change in the world—and be sure to spread the message through your social media outlets! Let’s hope to hear the Jingpo language more often in the future.
I’m an incoming senior at the American School of Bombay, India. Living and traveling around the world and staying in Bombay for 5 years has provided me with incredible insight into the dissimilar lifestyles humans can maintain while sustaining a functional society. Currently I’m president of the V-Care organization in my school, (which provides care and education to underprivileged children affected by cancer) and am involved in other community service projects. My passions lie in trying to reduce the prominent financial gap in Bombay’s society through literacy and bringing about a progressive change in rigid social norms (such as oppressive gender roles, foeticide, etc.). I’ll major in English lit and evolutionary bio in college, but one of my ‘life goals’ is to open up hygienic and academically stimulating shelters for the homeless in Bombay.
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