Individual Paper: “Towards a Sustainable Society: Social and Environmental Transformations in Kumbo, Cameroon”
“Towards a Sustainable Society: Social and Environmental Transformations in Kumbo, Cameroon”
My research project focuses on indigenous community in Kumbo, Cameroon, where I am going to do service work in June and July of 2018. I will study the humanitarian program, organized by the Himalayan Institute in Pennsylvania, which has been designed to fight poverty, illiteracy, and inequality through education and jb creation. This program offers a range of rural empowerment projects, such as teaching health, organic farming, carpentry, and jewelry making classes, as well as building libraries.
I will explore how the community of Kumbo serves as a model of resistance against modern forms of economic colonialism and how it offers a new system of ethics: a decisive challenge to a paradigm based on economic expansion. Specifically, I will demonstrate how the aforementioned educational projects help to eradicate poverty and promote environmental regeneration. These initiatives allow the members of community to become self-reliant, and also provide a source of dignity, confidence, and joy. I will analyze how the program reflects and interacts with the concept of degrowth.
In Kumbo, degrowth is reflected in strengthening local food systems, health awareness, and vocational training. All these efforts aim for a society that has global potential despite the impact of colonialization. My project analyzes the process of decolonization, which entails solidarity, cooperation, and respect for nature. The community in Kumbo offers values that are central to degrowth: a strong sense of belonging to a place and a small-scale management of the environment. This approach to nature is deeply rooted in indigenous traditions, in which there is an intimate connection between human beings and their environment. Degrowth promotes a revival of traditional and spiritual awareness, however, it does not imply a nostalgic return to the indigenous past. I will demonstrate that the community in Kumbo is fully engaged in contemporary global issues (for example the international trade), and focused on innovative environmental solutions, such as solar energy and rainwater collection systems. Finally, I will examine how degrowth is manifested in the quality of human relationships – with family and community.
Start time: 11:00
Room: Moriskan (Stora Salongen)
Track: Indigenous Movements