Nyae Nyae Village Schools Project: Alternative Mother-Tongue Education
KPF was the principal founder of the well-known Nyae Nyae Village Schools Project in Namibia. This project provides for the Ju/'hoan San a genunely alternative challenge to the authoritative national school system they had tried and refused. Twenty years ago KPF provided expertise in Ju/'hoansi, a click language of the Kalahari, and knowledge of the Ju/'hoan Bushmen (San) communities to respond to these people's request for a literate form of their language and appropriate schooling to go with it. At present, two subsequent classes of local teachers have been trained to teach the Ju/'hoan language to students in grades 1-4. This project provides a bridge to the English while teaching and respecting traditional knowledge, and has been a pilot for other such projects in Africa.
Community Water and Resource Development
KPF has provided major funding and consultation to a group of projects in Namibia and Botswana that fall under the heading of Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM). Funding has supported borehole drilling so that water and land rights coud be established; geneological work and land use mapping to support land claims; local community development liaison officers to consult for and monitor collective action projects; the provision of professional environmental information to support sustainable development; and the protection of community water supplies against elephant depradation.
Kalahari Healing Narratives, Folklore and Oral History
KPF has been asked to provide training so that the San and other peoples of the Kalahari can themselves produce texts and visual materials for their community schools and archives. To fulfill this request, KPF members who are professional linguists and anthropologists are calling on over three decades of informed knowledge of the languages and traditions of these peoples. Computer literacy and training in digital recording technology began in 2001 and will continue for as long as there is a community desire for this assistence. Construction has begun on a high speed internet connection in Nyae Nyae, Namibia to facilitate materials produciton, archiving and access. To read more about folklore and oral history, please visit our Resources page.
For almost 40 years, KPF's projects have been carried out with the volunteer labor of professional anthropologists, linguists, educators and writers. Though our overhead costs are minimal, KPF relies on your donations for the administrative expenses necessary to support all of our projects. We appreciate your help!