Pius Ranee, Associate, NESFAS, and Fellow at the TIP Youth Fellowship Programme 2017, shares his experiences from the pilot Programme of the TIP Youth Fellowship in 2017. Through this interview, he highlights what he gained from the Fellowship Programme and what future Fellows and youth can look forward to.
What in your eyes is the significance of the Fellowship for the indigenous youth?
The Fellowship Programme that TIP has initiated is quite unique in its approach. This is because it allows young indigenous minds like us to carry forth our indigenous food systems in a creative way for the well being of the community at large.
How did the program help you as a professional?
The Fellowship Programme has become a platform for exchange of ideas among indigenous peoples; it provides deep insight on local food systems. It has also become a tool of empowerment for us young people. In a nutshell, it has built the confidence for my professional growth.
How did the experience gained at the Fellowship tune you to indigenous issues?
Personally, the learning that I got from the Fellowship Programme was beyond my expectation. Through this Fellowship Programme, I have come to understand the importance of agrobiodiversity, soil fertility and seeds in addition to agroecology. I have also understood the principles of project planning and project management, although I would like to learn more. It also allows me to help in bridging the gap between traditional knowledge and modern knowledge.
How did you translate the training into actual execution in your community?
I am glad that together with Bah Phrang Roy, I was able to work with Jump in Chiang Mai to develop a proposal for possible funding by an IFAD Grant for indigenous communities. I found the training on Visualization in Participatory Programme to be a useful instrument and I have been applying it in most of my field work. Currently, I am working on the manual of Agroecology Learning Circles and setting up of community seed banks. Regarding the community seed banks, I have been able to help our communities with the support of LI-BIRD from Nepal. Through this Fellowship programme, I have also understood the basic principles of nutritional security that NESFAS is currently working on. I am using methods like Dietary Diversity Score, mapping of nutrient rich species, etc.
After interacting with Fellows and mentors from different communities, what new practices did you learn that can be used to develop agroecology in your region?
New practices that I learnt:
Using of VIPP for the promotion of agroecological principles
Agroecology learning circles
Technical knowledge on soil and seed and project management
Pius Ranee with Phrang Roy and other Fellows at the Fellowship Programme
Who were the people who made an impression on you and how?
The first person that really inspires me is Phrang Roy. His willingness to share his vast experiences, particularly on indigenous issues, has helped me to expand my organisation’s mandate within the framework of agroecology.