Mental health project kicks off in Guyana

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Over one billion people globally struggle with issues related to mental health, including depression, substance abuse and self-harm. Lack of research in implementation and policy change is further impeded by stigma, capacity shortages, and fragmented service delivery. In collaboration with Guyanese communities and stakeholders, and funded by the British Academy, the Cobra Collective is participating in ARCLIGHT (‘Action Research Community Led Initiative Guyana Health Team’), an ambitious new research project which will develop, implement and evaluate a capacity building and … Read More

Parikwarunawa – Land of the heavy breeze!

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Continuing our trip, we moved from Maruranau to Parikwarunawa. Just after concluding the video screening, the team began packing to make an early departure the next day. Sigh! But it was not time for home and more so Christmas yet! But it was on my mind as we packed. We left on the 11th December for the next village clear back across the savanna to the south central district of the Rupununi. Close to Lethem that you could almost touch … Read More

Pantani Book – 33 Amerindian Tales from the North Rupununi, Guyana

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If you happen to visit the Rupununi region of Guyana, and take a hike with a local guide, it is likely you will hear plenty of fascinating stories and legends, as it happened to me. At the end of January 2014, I travelled to the south of Guyana with a group of researchers and had an opportunity to visit a place called ‘Skull Mountain’. During the trip, our local guide shared many tales and stories about the rivers, and valleys … Read More

Kaimen! Working with the Wapichan from the South Rupununi

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A team consisting of three – Ryan Benjamin, Rebecca Xavier and I (Grace Albert) – departed the north savannas for our journey to the south savannas on the 1st December, 2018. Driving through the North Rupununi Wetlands left the feeling of going away for a while. Bearing in mind, we were indeed going to be away for about 20 days.  The team overnighted in the township of Lethem to do our grocery shopping. The next day, after lunch, we were … Read More

Participatory video empowering Indigenous youth

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Celebrating the United Nations International Youth Day Read our article in the latest Darwin Initiative Newsletter which features how our on-going project activities are seeking to empower youth in Indigenous communities. The article shows how the project is engaging young people through participatory video to explore how traditional knowledge contributes to conservation and the relationship between Indigenous communities and protected areas. It highlights the benefits of participatory video in providing skills and confidence to young people to research their own … Read More

Screening community videos with policymakers

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Phase 2 – analysing films and collating information http://projectcobra.org/wp-content/uploads/Integrating-traditional-knowledge-02.mp4 Over the past year of the project, Indigenous communities in the protected areas of Guyana have begun making videos on the importance of traditional knowledge to these places. This video showcases the next phase of the project which involves analysing the videos and collating the information into short videos to be screened to policymakers in Georgetown.

Photostory: Engaging Indigenous villages around the Kanuku Mountains Protected Area

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  http://projectcobra.org/wp-content/uploads/Photostory-_-Outreach-to-KMPA-associated-Villages2.pdf In the month of May, a team conducted an outreach to Villages associated with another Protected Area in Guyana. The main goal was to share information about the project regarding its scope and benefits in relation to the aim of better recognition of and practical applications of traditional knowledge to local conservation efforts. This photo-story gives you some insight into the team’s recent journey to some of the Indigenous Villages in the South Rupununi who have a vested … Read More

Masakanarî Village: The Unexpected

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Engaging with Guyana’s only ‘Community-Owned’ Conservation Area The Darwin field team recently visited the Wai Wai indigenous community of Masakanari in the Kanashen District. Full support for the TK project was evident as community members participated in training and had a chance to engage their fellow community members through interviews as they practiced what they were learning about participatory video. Author – Bernie Robertson It was decided! We were going to the end of Guyana, Konashen – Wai Wai Territory … Read More

Virtual reality – the future of participation

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Virtual reality, also known with the acronym VR, is not just a new technology, but represents a game changer and a real chance to experience an event in a very immersive way. The concept of VR started in the 1950s and was for decades only a dream of science fiction movies. It became a concrete media with the birth of the new generation of headsets in 2010 released by American technology company Oculus. A VR headset is a head-mounted device … Read More

Community engagement in the North Rupununi, Guyana

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http://projectcobra.org/wp-content/uploads/Integrating-Traditional-Knowledge_low.mp4   This video shows the first phase of community engagement in the Darwin Initiative funded project “Integrating Traditional Knowledge into Conservation in Guyana”. Focused on the North Rupununi communities associated with the Iwokrama Forest protected area, it highlights how involving young people as researchers in their own communities can increase understanding and value for the role and importance of traditional knowledge for conservation.

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