Indigenous Peoples Press Centre

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Indigenous Peoples Press Centre

Malaysia
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The innovative process in this proposed project is giving the indigenous minorities a human face on the faceless virtual world.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The indigenous peoples remain one of the most vulnerable and marginalised minority groups in many countries. They account 15 per cent of the world’s poorest population. 70 per cent of the estimated 300 million indigenous peoples in the world live in Asia, representing about 5 per cent of the total global population. The same goes to Malaysia where indigenous people form the minority. Malaysia is a signatory of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP) which is the basic universal instrument that protects their rights. Unfortunately, there are still existing gaps between the UNDRIP and the Malaysian laws and policies. Unless their rights are recognised especially on access to their customary land and natural resources being their basic source of livelihood and identity, indigenous communities will be further pushed into poverty. Indigenous people want to voice out these issues, problems, concerns and offer solutions. But the media in this country is state controlled. The UNDRIP declares that indigenous people should have the right to their own media. They want to tell their stories. They want to be on the mainstream. They need a press centre.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The solution is to be better informed and to have the capacity to inform. Hence the Indigenous Peoples Press Centre serves as one-stop information base for 51 indigenous communities in Malaysia. Since it started few months ago, the centre has been operating as a news room by taking stories, statements and releases from the communities and publish them newspapers especially in a special Indigenous Peoples column in the largest-selling daily newspaper in Sabah, the Daily Express. The column space is made possible after weeks of negotiations between Losina Media Connections and the newspaper which finally agreed to create the weekly column. This way more people will know about stories from the communities. Most of the stories are supplied by young indigenous peoples who have been trained in citizen journalism. The next step is to reach out and connect with a global audience through an online news portal. What's innovative about this project is that not only the IPPC is the first of its kind, it also takes the indigenous people systematically into the information technology world for a stronger voice that speaks about their rights and at the same time sing the celebration song about their unique identity and sustainable lifestyle which may in some ways be able to offer possible solutions to world's pressing problems such as climate change.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The IPPC serves as a voice of the indigenous communities within the network. With the upcoming portal, the communities will be connected to other indigenous peoples network of organisations in Asia and the world. Such feeling of solidarity will make them feel united and strong. But this task is just the beginning to what is planned to come next: branding. The IPPC has worked with techo-savvy young indigenous youths (some of them from a remote village that takes 6 hours to reach on foot) to create a video documentary on a rural electrification project. That was just a humble start to what is expected to happen in the future which is more contents are being developed using IT and media about the indigenous peoples themselves. Contents will not only be digital video documentaries but many others including possibly video games that promote indigenous peoples rights, sustainable lifestyle and identity. The IPPC believes that stories influence reality. Powerful brand advertisements tell their stories everyday. Likewise the indigenous peoples need to brand themselves creatively using IT and media. It has been seen through all the development programmes implemented by the communities how they have been empowered in so many ways through the use of basic IT tools. It is time to move on to the next level for virtual reality provides so much space for exploration of ideas and creativity as well as for self-expression. The IPPC will continue to empower the indigenous youths and encourage them to see the power of information which they in fact could creatively create and disseminate.
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

No challengers. The IPPC is a pioneer project.
About You
Organization:
Losina Media Connections
About You
First Name

leonard

Last Name

alaza

Twitter URL
Facebook URL
About Your Organization
Organization Name

Losina Media Connections

Organization Country

, SB

Country where this project is creating social impact
How long has your organization been operating?

Less than a year

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Innovation
Select the stage that best applies to your solution

Start-Up (a pilot that has just begun operating)

How long have you been in operation?

Operating for less than a year

Social Impact
FOUNDING STORY: We want to hear about your “Aha!” moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution’s potential to change the world.

Several years ago, a 13-year-old boy committed suicide by hanging himself after schoolmates made fun of him for being poor. The story shocked the society where the gap between the poor and rich is not as big as other countries. Still he took his own life as a result of both his condition and the kind of public image imposed on him by his peers. The indigenous peoples in Malaysia are mainly poor. That is their condition which is caused mainly by rights deprivation. But as far as their image is concerned they are rich in so many ways. They have formed a very unique relationship with the natural environment, developing a wealth of knowledge in the process, which could be shared with the mainstream society. All they need is an effective means to tell their story. Their stories will have financial value when packaged and branded right. It took several years later before I dared to leave my job as a working journalist to commit myself into building this project with them. But then again, I decided no time is the right time to do it.

Specify both the depth and scale of your solution’s social impact to date

The IPPC is now serving as an information base for 51 indigenous peoples community-based organisations in Malaysia. It has given the platform for all the CIJ trained indigenous youths to send their works and be recognised. The general public have access to indigenous peoples stories through the Daily Express column. And the IPPC is now seen also as a centre for young indigenous peoples to explore new ideas especially in digital content development. A documentary video on the microhydro project has been produced. More to come soon. The IPPC also establish links with other non-indigenous community members through a weekly get-together at the IPPC office called 'The Link'. The weekly get-together is filled with a specific programme such as a short talk on renewable energy, craft-making etc.

What is your projected impact within the next 1-5 years? Is your idea replicable? If so, how?

I hope to see more programmes that empower indigenous communities being developed under this initiative. I could foresee the portal generating a huge traffic not only from among the 300 million indigenous peoples in the world but also the general population. This will happen because they want to be part of this exciting online development because it contains 'Everything Indigenous' stuffs from stories, visuals, online shopping, forums etc. It is replicable because anyone can make a website. They should. And get connected with the IPPC big family. With such momentum going, I can't imagine what will come out of it. But certainly, the whole indigenous peoples movement will be a powerful force as compared to what they are now, minority and marginalised. An indigenous peoples airline? Why not.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and mark growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

IPPC news portal up and running

Six-Month Tasks
Task 1

Portal development

Task 2

Advanced CIJ trainings for rural indigenous youths and creative content development

Task 3

Increase momentum of news supply

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

IPPC news portal starts to take in creative contents developed by innovative young indigenous minds

12-Month Tasks
Task 1

Portal has more contents other than news from the network

Task 2

Starts to connect with major industry players such as satelite television providers for visual contents

Task 3

Generatingsome income from intellectual properties

How many people have been impacted by your project?

Fewer than 100

How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?

More than 10,000

Sustainability
Explain how your company, program, service or product is structured

Hybrid model

What barriers have hindered the success of your project to date? How do you plan to overcome these and other challenges as you grow your solution?

Financial has been a huge challenge. At the moment, the IPPC operation sustains itself from the newspaper column revenue and also from my freelance writing jobs. IPPC have also written for small grants one of which is from a regional satellite television company which, if approved, would allow the IPPC to create a proposed four-series documentary on indigenous peoples innovations in Malaysia. These products will surely have market value and if there are takers, the IPPC will be able to sustain itself further and possibly get more assignments to create more contents of value. If there are no takers, then the IPPC will have to sell harder.

How do you see the information-technology and media sectors shifting over the next decade? How will your solution adapt to and/or drive that changing environment?

Content is king. It will continue to be so over the next decade. What the IPPC has started meets future demand for quality contents. And the IPPC is at the moment the only entity doing this and has the capacity - and the creativity - to do it.

Failure is not always an option. If your solution fails to gain traction in the next two years, what other applications of the idea could you explore?

If that happens, I will explore what else the market wants in terms of contents. The indigenous movement has so much to offer. All they need is to put on the information technology robe and translate the wealth of their knowledge and traditions in the commercial language that mainstream society understands. Animation? It's certainly an option. But it will be presented with a purpose that goes beyond mere entertainment. It's about teaching the world the wisdom of a people often perceived as backward, at least here in Malaysia.

Expand on your selections, explaining how you will sustain funding

The IPPC has to and will create contents that have market value. Other than selling news and virtual contents, the IPPC also connects with indigenous women's groups who are involved in craft making. Their products have a niche market through fair trade. The IPPC portal is the most effective means of marketing their crafts to the world and has the space to tell the interesting story behind each product, which is the selling point.

Tell us about your partnerships

The Indigenous Peoples Network of Malaysia (which secretariat is based in Sabah) and the Thailand-based Asian Indigenous Peoples Pact(AIPP) which is the umbrella organisation of all the indigenous organisations in Asia. I also sit as committee member of the AIPP's Research and Communication Development (RCD), a role which allows me to connect with other partners and stakeholders in the region.

What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section?

I serve as editor and have one assistant project coordinator. I also have a team of volunteers to help the IPPC grow including support from the Indigenous Peoples Network of Malaysia's programme coordinators, members from other indigenous grassroots organisations, corporate individuals and organisations, indigenous policy makers and social reformers.

Changemakers is a collaborative and supportive space. Please specify any community resources you would need to grow and sustain your initiative. Select all that apply

Investment, Human resources or talent, Marketing or media, Research or information, Collaboration or networking, Pro-bono help (legal, financial, etc.), Innovation or ideas, Mentorship.

Specify any resources you might offer to support other initiatives. Select all that apply

Human resources or talent, Marketing or media, Research or information, Collaboration or networking, Innovation or ideas, Mentorship.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren’t specified within the list
Summary
Define your company, program, service or product in 1-2 short sentences

Embracing technology and creating information contents to empower indigenous minorities in Malaysia

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