Indigenous lessons for UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Nicol David

Native knowledge: Weaving is one of the skills that the learning centre will teach to orang asli children to ensure its preservation. Datuk Nicol David (left) tries her hand at weaving.

UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Nicol David visited an orang asli community to find out their needs.

Orang Asli children at the Semai settlement in Kampung Ulu Tual, Pahang, walk 10km to school every morning, going uphill and downhill through the lush forest terrain. Sometimes, they don’t make it all the way, especially during the rainy season when the muddy tracks prove too dangerous to traverse. With school being so inaccessible, it is not unusual for these children to stop their schooling. Formal learning is not of high priority to the orang asli, who prefers to invest in activities that uphold the culture, customs and lifestyle of their community. Instead of learning to read and write, children learn skills to enable them to find their living from the land.

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