Karen People

Organization: Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact

Participant: Pirawan Wongnithisathaporn

Country: Thailand

This project offered a learning space for the Karen Indigenous Community. Its objective was the effective transfer of indigenous knowledge related to vegetables, natural dyes and, fundamentally, rotational agriculture from the Elders to the Indigenous Boys and Girls. 

The proposal was focused on a workshop held in coordination with three other indigenous organizations and in consultation with local villagers. There, the participants learned from the elders and then developed action plans for their future initiatives. 

Activities included a visit to a local forest to learn about the flora and fauna and their medicinal and nutritional values, as well as a field trip to learn about crop rotation and its importance. The leaders then taught the young people how to cook traditional recipes with the products harvested from the forest and the field. Activities also included a session on how to make dyes from natural resources such as clay, tree bark and turmeric, and a session on entrepreneurship for participants to propose and develop an idea for a product using local resources and environmentally friendly practices. 

In addition, several elders had a discussion with the participants about the customary system of government of the Karen People and the roles that traditional leaders play. The workshop reached 54 participants.