Brunei Darussalam

PLIGHT OF THE PENAN. EDUCATION THE KEY TO SURVIVAL.

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Nov 4 2008 Just an update to let you know that the PENAN charity aid Christmas cards are now available and feature a selection of new landscape and bird photographs along with a mix of previous featured pictures. These cards along with a variety of merchandise will be available at the FESTIVE FAYRE bazaar at the Orchid Garden Hotel ballroom tomorrow (Nov 5 2008) from 9.00am to 4.00pm. Entrance fee is $5.00 per person. Proceeds from sales go to charity. These cards are now available at STATION 8 at Manggis Hua Ho Mall as of today.

penan-xmascards
© Jan Shim Photography

Original post: Oct 15, 2008 at 4:35 pm
The dictionary defines the word tribe as “a social division in a traditional society consisting of linked families or communities with a common culture and dialect.” The PENAN people, Borneo’s nomadic hunter-gatherers, are one of the few remaining tribesmen and tribeswomen whose existence and survival are threatened by modernization. The tropical rainforest in which they dwell is disappearing and I am honoured to have been asked if I could help out in some way. Prior to this, my only association with them was through Geography in school and to think we tend to take education for granted not knowing then and even now just how fragile the Penan people’s future are. I recently met with Violette Tan, one of a number of active volunteers whose efforts and dedication ensures the Penan kids (the tribe’s future) receive EDUCATION—a key ingredient for a nation that aspires growth and development and more importantly sustain it.


© Jan Shim Photography

The timing could not have been better as I have in my archive a growing collection of nature-themed photographs which I feel have the broadest appeal to buyers and happen to be in-line with my personal direction having produced mostly corporate events and commercial images for a few years. So when Violette approached me for my pictures to help raise funds to help the PENAN people, making these pictures available in 3R prints a worthy cause while promoting The Abode of Peace, Brunei Darussalam. Scroll to the bottom of this post for sales and contact information.


© Jan Shim Photography


© Jan Shim Photography


© Jan Shim Photography


© Jan Shim Photography


© Jan Shim Photography


© Jan Shim Photography


© Jan Shim Photography

Check out the official blog of PENAN TONG TANA for more information about what’s at stake and what’s being done by the generous contributors who have gone beyond their normal duties to lend a helping hand.

Price of each card with a photo and envelope is B$3.00 and are available at:

BRUNEI CAPITAL
JERUDONG INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL (JIS) BOOKSHOP | RAINFOREST GALLERY (KIULAP) | ALLY FRAMING (KIULAP) | EXPRESSION MUSIC (KIULAP) | STATION 8 SERVICES (HUA HO MANGGIS)

BELAIT DISTRICT
BRITISH GARRISON HIVES | LINDA & LYDIA FLORIST | NAAFI | PANAGA CLUB LIBRARY

CONTACT
For all matters pertaining to the availability and distribution of the cards including how you can contribute to the cause, please contact:

Violette Tan | (673) 8747168 | E-mail: violettetan@NOSPAMgmail.com (remove “NOSPAM”)

12 thoughts on “PLIGHT OF THE PENAN. EDUCATION THE KEY TO SURVIVAL.

  1. Dear Jan,

    What can I say? Thank you so much for your support. These photos look lovely, and the words you have chosen match their intensions well. Thank you too, Violette, for having the foresight to make this happen. I will see if I can cut and paste this onto the school website to help with card sales.

    Aroha,

    Jacky.

    Like

  2. `THANK YOU’- which I can’t seem to say enough of it. Your contribution to this worthy cause is much appreciated and invaluable in helping us to raise the much needed fund. I have several inquiries and help coming in for the cards.

    I am sure your wonderful photos and inexhaustible ideas has again made this post such an interesting read for many. Mos of all, it helps to spread awareness of the plight of the Penan. It has its ripple effect reaching far and near.

    `Syabas’ to you.

    Like

  3. hi Steven,
    Your intense response and interest in the cause is very much appreciated. Thank you for your kind offer to help. I took a look at your website and read about your post on `Kids’ Click’ – a worthy cause and help us see the world through the eyes of kids. As for the Penan cause, there are just so many things we could do but with limited resources. Moreover, we are hampered by the distance to the settlements which are deep in the forests. A trip to their settlements in the forest will be effective in understanding their plight and their needs (which are aplenty).

    My group’s contact is with those who have settled in the Rumah Sakai in Limbang and those who came for medical treatment and stay for a short period. The condition in rumah Sakai is appalling, hygiene level is down to zero. It needs a huge ‘Spring cleaning’. We got help to put on a fresh coat of paint and provide linoleum for the platform whre they eat, sleep and cook on ! We try to help them in their basics of everyday life, but careful as not to make them reliant. We bought their craft and sell them.

    Website like SHIMWORLD and yours are powerful medium in spreading awareness and generate interest. At least what others can do is to buy their craft and the cards. The proceeds from the card sale will be channeled to their education fund.

    Glad to be in contact with you …. Thank you again.

    Like

  4. Violette,

    I believe I can do something similar in Malaysia or more specifically in and around Kuala Lumpur.

    Honestly, I think there is very little awareness in Malaysia about the Penans condition and such; the least we can do is to raise some awareness, hope someone somewhere notices it and starts to help them as well.

    Do send me an email and let’s discuss how we can proceed.

    Like

  5. What can I say? Thank you so much for your support. These photos look lovely, and the words you have chosen match their intensions well.

    Thanks Jacky! I do what I can while I can. The collective efforts of our individual contribution goes a long way in helping the cause.

    Thank you too, Violette, for having the foresight to make this happen. I will see if I can cut and paste this onto the school website to help with card sales.

    “Cut and paste”—Ouch! Your webmaster should be able to hotlink the images (right-click | properties) from this blog post without resorting to rehosting them individually on your site. When doing so, please add © Jan Shim Photography or © Shimworld under each picture.

    A slight OT here. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of respecting the intellectual property rights of photographs and their creators. As a proponent of copyright protection, I have through the efforts of COPYRIGHT. LOST IN TRANSLATION and SOFTWARE PIRACY. IGNORANCE IS NOT BLISS help educate the masses. So while we’re helping the needy through our kindness and generosity let’s not get carried away and overlook the legal matters.

    Like

  6. Steven,

    Honestly, I think there is very little awareness in Malaysia about the Penans condition and such; the least we can do is to raise some awareness, hope someone somewhere notices it and starts to help them as well.

    There’s no platform more effective to raise awareness than the one you’re currently on, PhotoMalaysia Forum. You can help by posting in a suitable forum asking members how they can contribute or help in ways they feel beneficial to the cause. I am confident it’ll be effective.

    Like

  7. Beautiful cards, Jan – a great idea. It may be a good idea to update the information on the cards, as there do not appear to be any truly nomadic Penan in Sarawak or Brunei any more. ‘Once nomadic’ may be a more accurate description as it now appears that even those Penan who were most averse to settling are now growing crops.

    I have Penan friends who have been most embarrassed to find themselves described as nomadic when they have been settled for many years.

    Collections of research papers like those in “Beyond the Green Myth” (eds Sercombe and Sellato) strongly suggest that the idea of Penan living in harmony with nature may be a notion that appeals to many people but in fact is not necessarily based on fact. In fact, hunter-gatherers did not always harvest resources in a sustainable way and did exhaust resources at times – probably inevitable in a situation where there was not enough information to enable a wider conservation perspective.

    To support Penan education is a wonderful idea, but it is important to base fundraising on accurate information, rather than an idealised view. People will still support this very worthy cause and applaud your efforts to help.

    Like

  8. Hi Libby, thank you for your invaluable comment. Suggestion like yours is very much welcome and appreciated as we constantly endevour to improve ourselves by seeking help and advice from people who are in the know and truly interested in the welfare of the Penan. I am happy that you finally spoke, regrettably on this blog although we had emailed you on seperate occasions in the early stage of our effort to seek help or at least work together on this worthy cause for the benefit of the Penan. However, we did not hear from you until now.

    We went forth anyway and thankfully we obtain lots of help from friends and total strangers and those who have been much involved with helping the Penan. We gained invaluable info and help to have the little results we have today.

    As you very well know there’s much work to be done and we can’t do it alone.

    A group of eight of my freinds had just returned from an 8-day expedition to the jungle last Sunday and they are able to tell you that there is an unaccountable number of Penan who still live as nomads and rely on hunting and gathering the porduce from the jungle. Even those settled on the jungle fringe do return to the deep jungle often.

    Please feel free to contact me or any of my group as you have all our emails and telephone numbers.

    Thank you and I wish you well and every success in your work with the Penan.

    Like

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