Being surrounded by so much ethnic diversity results in such an influx of information into our minds, that it’s sometimes hard to imagine that not every culture and language is thriving; in fact, many are endangered. Societies are living entities, susceptible to erosion, low self-esteem, and even extinction. Many governments provide initiatives to preserve minority cultures and languages- these can prove to be effective in protecting the communities from discrimination, etc, but unfortunately not every group that’s under threat in the world receives state-sanctioned protection. However, several NGOs in various countries have taken it upon themselves to work with minorities and educate the children there to restore confidence in their culture.
One such organization is the Prop Roots Center in the Jingpo village of China, founded by Dr. Anton Lustig, who happens to be a linguist and has spent over 20 years studying the Jingpo language and community. The slogan of Prop Roots is this: Empower Jingpo children with their own culture, their own creativity! Members of center conduct classes in language and creativity, which serve to make the children proud of their Jingpo heritage. The children also present their work to visitors. Through this kind of education, Lustig and his colleagues hope to reduce the problems caused by AIDS and drug use. The current venture is being carried out to finish one of Prop Root’s major goals: constructing their project center, right in the middle of the Jingpo village. Due to the nature of the organization, work would be much easier and more efficient if the volunteers, researchers, guest artists, and anyone else who’d like to help out, could perform their tasks from inside the village itself. Additionally, activities would be more accessible to the children. The proposed building will have 2 stories, of which the first story will be made of brick, while the walls of the second floor will be bamboo. It has also been designed so that guests can reside there during their stay. At the moment the first floor is nearly done, but the second one still needs its walls and roof. The project needs more funding, as the cost of labour and materials is quite high. On top of that, there’s the extra cost of earthquake-proofing the place, which is a requirement.
Already $1,435 have been raised (only $565 away from the tipping point of $2,000,) and the project has 6 backers. If the tipping point is reached, the bamboo walls can be implemented, along with a temporary canvas roof; this will let Prop Roots conduct their activities for one season. If the total funding goal of $7,500 is obtained, the center can be completed with a permanent wooden roof, furniture, and other basic facilities. There are 15 days left in the campaign, so help Prop Roots realize its dream by getting the word out about this project! Inform your friends, family, business partners- anyone who wants to change the world, and be sure to spread the message through social media! Let’s hope to hear the Jingpo language more often in the future.