By: I Gede Sudarma, EBPP Youth Empowerment Coordinator
Friday, 10th February 2023 was a milestone for the 22 Ban Village Photovoices Expansion Project participants when they held the photo-discussion and exhibition with the village leaders and government officials at a large meetings venue in Tianyar to deliver their findings regarding several issues of Ban Village illustrated through photography.
Ban Village Photovoices Expansion is a program developed by EBPP and Photovoices International partnership, sponsored by EMpower Foundation, to enable the community to deliver their voices through photographs. In this exhibition, 22 participants, comprising young people and adults, male and female, from 19 customary villages in Ban Village, excitedly presented four topics: Child Early Marriage (CEFM), access to education, parents’ role in children’s education, and youth and women involvement in customary village government. It was also a great opportunity for 55 EBPP senior high student participants of EMpower-sponsored ‘Creative Projects’ to present their topics of: tree planting on Mount Abang slopes, CEFM, damaged roads, and education, using PowerPoint presentations, posters, infographics, bulletin, documentary videos, film and music videos.
To clarify the CEFM issues, we used a rope game to illustrate how all sectors of the government departments, village leaders and the community were linked to each other to create and perpetuate the issues and to overcome them through the collaboration of all sectors. The heads of Ban and Darmaji Customary Villages also had an opportunity to show their achievements in the creation of new pararem (customary law), which hopefully will inspire the other customary villages to do the same.
It was heart-warming when the government officials and village leaders showed their positive feedback. During the presentation, one of the communities appealed for a Vocational Senior High School in Ban Village and luckily, the Ban Village Head said that one hectare of land was available for whenever the government is ready to build it, and, he added that the roads from Temakung - Jatituhu and Bunga to Daya would be upgraded to asphalt within two years. CEFM prevention would also be included in the community consultations on development planning; and, in addition, some of the customary village leaders committed to start involving the youth and women in the community meeting as well, and others needed to be followed up.
We were all relieved when the Photovoices Expansion participants and EBPP students successfully deliver their voices, illustrating their role as Agents of Change and their developing capacity to help themselves and their village. •