Two Rabbits Featured on HAEd Podcast

The Two Rabbits Team was featured this week on the Harvard Alumni for Education Perspectives Podcast! Check out the link below to listen to Nell O’Donnell interview Sarah, Kara, Mary and Matt about Two Rabbits, the Innovation Lab and the Graduate School of Education!

http://www.harvardaed.org/podcast/

The Harvard Alumni for Education (HAEd) is a shared interest group that exists to connect alumni across all Harvard schools who are interested in the field of education. Founded November 2015 as part of the Harvard Alumni Association, the HAEd provides a forum for alumni to network with other professionals, discover career development opportunities, keep up-to-date with recent research, and engage in cross-sector partnerships.

Thank you @HarvardAEd and Nell!

 

Two Rabbits wins #GoBeyondGiving Challenge!

GoFundMe, the world’s largest social fundraising platform, announced today that Two Rabbits is the winner of its GoBeyondGiving Challenge, a prize of $10,000.

img_1017The Two Rabbits team is thrilled and humbled to receive the award, which recognizes our mission and the traction of our donation campaign. This contribution will enable us to conduct a feasibility test of our program in Myanmar, to carry out an in-depth assessment of our work in Cameroon, and to continue providing quality preschool education to our cohort of learners in Cameroon this year.

GoFundMe CEO Rob Solomon said “we couldn’t be happier to give this well-earned donation to Two Rabbits.” He added that “Sarah and her team have shown it’s possible to help people in places as far away as Cameroon and Myanmar by harnessing the power of social fundraising. We can’t wait to see how they change the worlds of their bright young students in 2017 and beyond.”

 Launched in 2010, GoFundMe is the world’s largest social fundraising platform, with over $3 billion raised so far. With a community of more than 25 million donors, GoFundMe is changing the way the world gives.

Introducing Feature Sponsor: O’Connor Hearing

 

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Chasing Two Rabbits at Once is thrilled to introduce O’Connor Hearing, our featured sponsor for the Run the World Fun Run for Global Education! The race will be held on October 9, 2016, at Gallup Park, thanks in part to O’Connor Hearing’s generosity.

Logo 3Many local businesses that we approached about the race were curious as to why an organization that serves children on the other side of the world in Africa would do awareness-raising and fundraising in Ann Arbor. The truth is that our global communities are getting smaller and smaller. As an Ann Arborite with deep connections to the hunter-gatherer villages that Two Rabbits serves, the forests of Cameroon are as much a part of my community and home as Kerrytown, the diag, and the Hands On Museum. And I know that bringing communities together makes all of us better global citizens, and improve quality of life across both at once.

 We are thrilled to partner with O’Connor Hearing in putting on Run the World, as a sponsor who truly understands how to bridge people and communities. In the words of Tom O’Connor himself, their founding principle is “to improve individual’s lives through better hearing,” and “education is a core precept in this mission.” Both Tom and his co-founder Claudia B. Williams have an educational backgrounds in teaching, and firmly believe that the most efficient and enduring way to improve lives globally and locally is to support efforts that promote learning.

Although their service is focused locally, Tom and Claudia believe deeply in the transformative power of global education. “As a local business, we support local efforts and programs,” Claudia explains, “but also understand the critical importance of fostering education in all parts of the world.” Partnerships with change makers, both global and local, make it possible for businesses like O’Connor to reach people in need around the world. “Small steps such as supporting the Run the World Fun Run allow us to be part of a much larger effort,” says Claudia.

baka people cameroon educationFrom the perspective of Chasing Two Rabbits, I cannot emphasize how important local support is for our efforts. Just as Claudia emphasizes the opportunity for O’Connor hearing to be part of larger efforts, support from O’Connor Hearing also enables us at Two Rabbits to maximize our efforts and reach as many children as possible. We are proud of our partnership, and looking forward to Run the World with the O’Connor team!

For more information about the Run the World race and how to take part, visit www.chasingtworabbits.org.

For more information about O’Connor Hearing, visit www.oconnorhearing.com.

 

 

 

 

Give the Gift of Learning on Giving Tuesday

Today, December 1, 2015 is Giving Tuesday! Today is the day where we take a moment pause our holiday shopping and give back to the causes that mean most to us. It pairs well with Thanksgiving Day – on Thansgiving, we give thanks for the joy in our lives, and on Giving Tuesday, we take the opportunity to bring joy to others, either by volunteering, raising awareness, or donating to important causes.

At Chasing Two Rabbits at Once, we believe that every child deserves the chance to learn to read and write, and to be proud of who they are, regardless of the circumstances they were born in.  We believe that knowledge is power, and therefore education must be empowering. If you are looking for a meaningful way to give back today, then invest in the future of a child halfway around the globe.  Give her the chance to learn to read, to proudly pursue her ancestral traditions, and to learn language skills to share her story with the world. Money cannot buy world peace, but it can help us sow the seeds for a more just and peaceful future, one child at a time. baka people cameroon education

Chasing Two Rabbits at Once as an innovative education program designed especially for indigenous hunter-gatherer children in Cameroon. We create lessons, games, stories, and songs in the Baka language and style, and record them onto mp3 players. These are no iPods: they are powered entirely by a crank that kids wind by hand.  Our lessons focus on essential literacy and language skills, and build pride in the Baka culture.  Think of a Baka Sesame Street – a joyful program that makes learning fun and builds children’s self-confidence – that will allow even the hardest-to-reach children to learn to read and write.

If you are looking for a meaningful way to give back today on G​iving Tuesday, then invest in the future of a child halfway around the globe.  Give her the chance to learn to read, to be proud of her culture, and to fight back against deforestation.

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We know that education is a light that can illuminate the world. And like a candle, it can be passed from person to person without ever diminishing the giving flame, growing brighter and brighter as it spreads. But we also know that there are places in the world where education is a privilege for the lucky few.  As you get in the holiday spirit and you think about gifts for your loved ones, consider education as the ultimate gift that never stops giving. Your contribution to Chasing Two Rabbits at Once will give children an education that they will have for the rest of their lives. Visit our page at www.GoFundMe.com/ChasingTwoRabbits to find out how you can be a part of our story.

 

After the Forest: A Portrait of Indigenous Struggles

A recent video published on the website for The Guardian depicts the Baka people struggling to maintain their dignity and quality of life as their ancestral forest is stripped away at the hands of logging companies.  Interviewees describe the importance of education as a tool for preparing their children for the future, and the need for community representatives to defend the rights and interests of the Baka people.

I admire this video for its bravery in presenting the topics shown here in such a raw and candid nature.  But I would like to raise questions about the message behind this video and others like it.  While it is extremely difficult to convey complex dynamics of heritage, culture, pride, globalization, and economics behind the degradation of the forest and its impact on indigenous peoples like the Baka, often videos like this seem to oversimplify the story.  Here, the video seems to present two options.  1) The forest is doomed, and the Baka must evolve to adapt to the new status quo, and are in need of advocates to ensure that they receive their fair share of profits from extractive industry activities.  2)  The forest is doomed, and the Baka must do something to change this situation or they will find themselves lost in an unfamiliar world.

While both of these are plausible scenarios, I would like to posit that there is a different narrative that is slightly more complex, but more indicative of the perceptions of Baka communities themselves.  The forest is not yet destroyed, and neither is the Baka culture and way of life.  The Baka are not only faced with a rapidly encroaching outside world, but are as curious as anybody about what the rest of the world may have to offer.  Pursuing an understanding of the wider world and deepening cultural ties to the forest are not mutually exclusive, but actually self-reinforcing in a context where knowledge is power and strength through confidence in one’s identity is valuable currency.

I would like to invite readers to share their thoughts and ideas about this article.

Trip to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights

Post by Sylvie Tangu, Two Rabbits project officer.

Between the 22nd of October and the 5th of November 2013, I was part of a team that attended the 54th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, held in Banjul, The Gambia. Prior to the session, our team, made up mostly of representatives of indigenous communities in Cameroon,first met with the Working Group of the African Commission on Indigenous Populations/Communities.

At this meeting, we submitted a report before the Working Group on the situation of indigenous peoples’ rights in Cameroon. Briefly, we exposed the discrimination faced by indigenous communities through national laws, programmes and projects which do not take their concerns and aspirations into consideration, and which do not make provision for any mechanisms to ensure their effective participation in decision making processes which affect them directly.

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54th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Banjul, The Gambia.

 

During the session, our team had the opportunity to present a statement before the Commission through
 which we brought to the Commission’s attention the problems faced by indigenous peoples especially in the areas of health, education, lands and natural resources, and most especially the discrimination against indigenous women and girls. Attending the session was also a platform to network and share experiences about our various activities with like-minded individuals and potential partners. As such, through informal meetings with some members of the Working Group on Indigenous Populations as well as some organizations working on indigenous peoples’ issues, I was able to present and enlist support for the Chasing Two Rabbits at Once project.

Last but not necessarily the least, I was able to visit the exotic sights and sounds of the smiling coast of Africa.

The Website is Live!

Welcome to the brand new website for the Two Rabbits project!

This site will be a tool for us to advance the project’s goals of advancing empowerment, respect, autonomy and peace for the Baka in Cameroon, and communicating our activities, stories, and lessons learned to the world.  The website will enable us to do the following as we pursue this goal:

1. Communicate project activities and lessons learned with the global community, advancing awareness of the challenges faced the Baka and their triumphs in overcoming them.

2. Connect with indigenous communities around the world that are engaged in their own journeys of empowerment, self-determination, and justice.  Sharing knowledge, strategies, and stories will promote global solidarity among indigenous communities, and pave the way for a stronger network of advocates for indigenous rights and interests worldwide.

3. Share stories presented by Baka individuals and communities themselves, through video testimony.  Videos posted on this website will enable the Baka to communicate with the world in a way never before possible, creating a platform for directly engaging with the global community in a way never before possible.

4. Collect and present articles, news, and literature about the empowerment efforts of indigenous communities worldwide, educational innovations for marginalized populations, mother-tongue education, education technology, and about the Baka.  We will create a library of information, in order to grow the knowledge base about issues relevant to Two Rabbits’ work.

Check back regularly to find updates about the project, including news, partnerships, members of the team, and ways to get involved!  Be on the lookout for new pages in the coming weeks, with exciting news about SABER technology, our partners, and the project team.  In the meantime, leave us a message below to welcome us to the world wide web!