We work to strengthen indigenous food systems through community-based initiatives with a focus on nutrition-sensitive food systems and agroecology principles. To achieve this goal, we provide training to an intercultural cadre of vibrant indigenous youths who support each other and apply the gained knowledge and skills for the overall wellbeing of their local communities.
Nofri Yani, Minangkabau People, Indonesia
Yani Nofri, belongs to the largest matriarchal community globally - the Minangkabau people in West Sumatra, Indonesia. Yani is studying master program focusing on disaster risk management at Bung Hatta University in Padang. Through training and collaborations, she has developed expertise in community-based disaster management, youth empowerment and resilience. Yani is a skilled facilitator, and she has been instrumental in supporting numerous initiatives aimed at both environment and community wellbeing. In 2015, Yani and her colleagues established the Cahaya Maritime Foundation (Camar), an organization that advocates for sustainable development and traditional resource management in coastal communities. Currently, Camar is collaborating with the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries for Education and Alternative Livelihoods in the Pieh Marine Protected Area across 3 districts in West Sumatra. Camar is also partnering with the Australia Volunteer Program and the Indonesian Farmers Union (La Via Campessina, West Sumatra Chapter).
Chenxiang Rimchi Marak, Garo People, India
Chenxiang Rimchi Marak, who belongs to the Garo matriarchal tribe of North-East India, is a goal-oriented nutritionist who focuses on using agrobiodiversity and counselling for food and nutrition security. She is experienced in providing care and guidance to patients in a community health setting. She is committed to providing better nutrition to all, and she has worked as a resource person in the rural community nutrition programmes. She strengthens the role of local women for family nutrition. She is currently working as an associate at the Northeast Slow Food and Agrobiodiversity Society (NESFAS) in Meghalaya, India.
Edgar Osvaldo Monte Borges, Mayan People, Mexico
Edgar, belonging to the Maya peoples of Yucatan in Mexico, has studied engineering in business development at the Maya Intercultural University of Quintana Roo. He has actively participated in forums that focus on the development of indigenous communities, with a focus on youth livelihood and employability through agriculture and marketing. He had also worked as a community education leader at the National Commission for Educational Promotion (CONAFE) in Los Lagortos, José María Moreles, Quintana Roo. Currently, he is working in the agriculture marketing and retailing.
Merrysha Nongrum, Khasi People, India
Merrysha Nongrum, from the Khasi matriarchal society in North-East India, specializes in community initiatives and mobilization, village development and participatory video. She supervised participatory video development in three regions of North-East India. Currently, together with field coordinators, she supports indigenous communities across 18 villages under the project “No One Shall Be Left Behind“ implemented by the Northeast Slow Food and Agrobiodiversity Society (NESFAS).
Pius Ranee, Khasi People, India
Pius is from Nongtraw village in Meghalaya, North-East India, and he belongs to the Khasi community. His background with a Masters degree in social work has allowed him to to delve deep into community mobilization to create a sense of ownership, accountability and responsibility within the communities and local stakeholders. He is experienced in strengthening indigenous food systems through agroecology and by bridging traditional knowledge with scientific approaches. In 2020, he became the Executive Director of Northeast Slow Food and Agrobiodiversity Society (NESFAS) in Meghalaya, India. Currently, he manages the organization and oversees its initiatives which are reaching 130 local villages
Alethea Kondor Lyngdoh, Khasi People, India
Alethea is from the Khasi community in Meghalaya, North-East India. She is an Indigenous communication specialist, passionate about building narratives for grassroots storytelling. With her MSc degree in journalism and mass communication, she has been helping the Northeast Slow Food and Agrobiodiversity Society (NESFAS) to create a new way of communication strongly involving the local communities. She has done so using various documentation approaches (photography, filmography, audiography, reporting) and sharing via digital media platforms (WordPress, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin). Currently, she coordinates the communication work of NESFAS, and she also trains young video-makers from the local communities.
Roba Bulga Jilo, Karrayyu People, Ethiopia
Roba is from the pastoralist tribe Karrayyu-Oromo. He is a food activist and social entrepreneur who studied sustainable international development and food anthropology. His MA thesis focused on environmental injustices affecting pastoralism as a way of life. Roba has worked with small scale producers of coffee, beekeepers, and dairy (focusing on camel milk). He also supported a school gardening program that taught kids how to plant crops and appreciate local foods. Roba was the country director of Slow Food Ethiopia. He is a founding member of NGO LaFO, working with the Indigenous Karrayyu pastoralists. He and his team won the Heller Startup Challenge in 2017, aiming to improve the processing and transportation of camel milk from grazing lands to Addis Abeba. Roba´s overall goal is to create a sustainable economic future for the Indigenous pastoralists in Ethiopia and elsewhere.
Nutdanai Trakansuphakon, Karen People, Thailand
Nutdanai, called “Jump“ among friends, hails from the Karen community in Northern Thailand. Jump is a chef, entrepreneur and development agent. Over the years of project implementation and enterprise building, he has gained extensive experience in management, capacity building and communication strategies. In the partnership with Karen communities, Jump has created a brand named “Hostbeehive“ which is based on the local honey production and sustainable trade of honey products and NTFPs. Jump and the Pgakenyaw Association for Sustainable Development (PASD) are campaigning for the recognition of traditional rotational farming. Jump was also involved in the establishment of the Indigenous Slow Food Youth Network in Thailand. As of now, he is the Assistant Director of PASD.