Yayasan Merah Putih
|Key people||Amran Tambaru|
|Method(s)||Lobbying, research, field work|
The Merah Putih Foundation (YMP – Yayasan Merah Putih) is a non-governmental, non-profit organization first established on December 14, 1989 in Palu, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. Since 1992, YMP has focused on advocacy work and on efforts to empower local communities in Central Sulawesi, both indigenous peoples and peasant societies.
Yayasan Merah Putih strives to be an independent, trustworthy and capable organization in order to propel a strong civil society movement, especially among local communities in Central Sulawesi, providing them both with the skill and ability to manage their natural resources and sustain their environment, based on all local resources, including economic, political, social and cultural aspects, to ensure good circumstances of life, justice and non-violence. Today YMP's efforts are focused on two groups of people: helping the Tau Taa Wana deal with the process of social change which is engulfing them and working with local farmers in the Luwuk district to get access to justice.
To carry out its mission, program and strategy, YMP consistently upholds nine “principles and ethical values”. These are:
- Democracy and equality for all
- Respect of Human Rights and Gender Equality
- Participation and engagement of affected people
- Prioritization of local resources
- Orientation in the process of every activity, ensuring a learning process
- Group Work and assurance of transparency in every activity
- Avoidance of violence in solving problems
- Rejection of programs or projects financed through loans
- Preparation in order to face all risks, both political and economic.
Support for indigenous tribes
In 1999 a group of the Tau Taa Wana tribe people in Central Sulawesi, Bulang, near Ampana wrote a letter to YMP expressing their concern over the Indonesian governments transmigration departments plans of extension. This appeal brought YMP to the Wana area and since then, with long term support from the Rainforest Foundation Norway, YMP has provided continuous assistance to the Wana tribe.
In order to help, YMP got hold of official documents concerning the governments planned transmigration extensions, enabling the organisation of the Wana. YMP also set up numerous community meetings. This has checked the extension of transmigration but there are still cases of trans-migrants extending their fields into Wana land.
A newer policy of YMP, since 2007, has been the implementation of 'sekolah lipu' or village schools into nine Tau Taa Wana villages. The hope of this is to educate the Wana people in order that they can have more of a say- by teaching Bahasa Indonesian, and so that they can get a fair price for their products- by teaching mathematics.