August 2017 saw the initiation of the TIP- International Youth Fellowship Programme 2017 in Rome, Italy. Supported by The Christensen Fund (TCF), the fellowship aimed at creating a platform for intercultural knowledge exchange among the youth of different indigenous communities and syncing them to global views, while sustaining their identities.
The Fellowship programme was designed for four months and was hosted with TIP partner Bioversity International, an international agricultural research institution with a focus on scientific evidence. The program prepared the fellows through training, professional development, networking, management practices and policy options to use and safeguard agrobiodiversity issues, and also to develop exposure through different Rome-based UN Agencies.
Bah Phrang Roy with the Fellows at the 2017 Fellowship Programme
The Fellows selected for this programme represented three different indigenous communities: Karen, Khasi and Karrayyu from Thailand, North East India and Ethiopia respectively. They included Pius Ranee and Alethea Kordor Lyngdoh from Meghalaya, Nutdanai Trakansuphakon from Thailand and Roba Bulga Jilo from Ethiopia. From the 27th of August, 2017 to 1st of September 2017, the group was trained by the Advanced Creative Training of VIPP (Visualisation in Participatory Programs) Facilitators in the Training Centre of Monastery St. Ulrich, SW Germany. This training of Facilitators was a specialised workshop for experienced facilitators and trainers, who wanted to engage in global or local institutional work. They also had sessions and trainings with Slow Food International team at the headquarters in Bra, Italy.
The fellowship addressed two core areas of TIP work, firstly, agroecology, which has increasingly emerged as the connecting thread of all their agendas. The second was communications, which was essential to share the grassroot stories on a global platform. The time spent in Europe allowed each of the Fellows to be exposed to best minds at related organisations like Bioversity International, iFAD, FAO, Slow food and many more.
Phrang Roy, Coordinator, TIP, said, “While each of the Fellows has individually shown dedicated efforts in their home communities, the time at the TIP fellowship allowed them concentrated exposure of working within a system and its work orders. This tuned them to a professional code of conduct and functioning in a global organisation. At the same time, as the fellows travelled on field visits with experts, they learnt technical terminology, observation, scientific analytics and their social connections.”