Meet Sev Pach and Khouy Nherm, the hosts of the @AsiaLangsOnline Twitter account from December 24 – 30, 2019

Khouy Nherm (left) and Sev Pach (right). Photo provided by Conserve Indigenous People Languages Organization.

As part of a new social media campaign to celebrate linguistic diversity online throughout Asia, every week a different language activist and advocate will be taking turns managing the @AsiaLangsOnline Twitter account to share their experiences with the revitalization and promotion of their native languages. This campaign is a collaboration between Rising Voices, the Digital Empowerment Foundation, and the O Foundation.

Each week, the upcoming host will answer several questions about their background and will give a brief overview of their language. This Q&A is with Sev Pach and Khouy Nherm of @ConservePeople who will provide a sneak preview of what they will be discussing during the week as hosts.

Rising Voices: Please tell us about yourself.

Conserve Indigenous Peoples Language (CIPL) is a local organization created and led by indigenous people who have become staff and advisory board members.

Seeing the difficulty of getting proper information, neutral news, and a way to voice concerns and issues of the community, CIPL was created in order to support indigenous youth and for them to produce news content and spread information, under their community's representative.

Main roles of CIPL in supporting community news:

  • Coordinate free space for indigenous community in voicing their concerns to the public
  • Help the community to evaluate and differentiate outside news as real or fake
  • Add value to NGO partners and other developmental institutions
  • Help community to understand the role of media ( Eg: media helps in spreading messages from one place to another, and share with relevant stakeholders etc.)
  • Act as capacity development facilitator for indigenous people to produce and share their own news

CIPL’s vision is for the Indigenous people is for them to live peacefully, with prosperity, freedom and dignity.

Mission: Promote and support indigenous people’s access to information, knowledge, cultural identity and rights by working in collaboration with them and other relevant stakeholders, to provide communication and media services.

Purpose: Indigenous youth have the capacity to produce and use high quality media with the participation and encouragement of their elders. They use media to raise awareness in their communities about important issues and relevant stakeholders so as to strengthen their cultural identity and protect their natural resources and environment.

CIPL value: 5 values that we believe will lead to success

  • Teamwork: We are patient in working, we listen and respect each other’s opinion. We cooperate and believe that teamwork leads to positive results.
  • Honesty and Righteousness: We are open-minded, polite, responsible and trustworthy.
  • Accountability and Transparency: We are collectively responsible in supporting the community to be effective and being trustworthy to relevant stakeholders. We try our best to be a role model and build confidence.
  • Gender: We work inclusively with equal value and help raise everyone’s voice and rights on making decision. We are also against any form of discrimination.
  • Independent: We work with collective responsibility in trying to create new ideas and are proud of being independent along with our results.

RV: What is the current status of your language on the internet and offline?

Even though CIPL is an indigenous organization, the main language used on the internet is Khmer (Cambodian) and English is the second choice. However, we also work on producing videos on social media using indigenous languages such as Tampuan, Kreung, Jarai, Kachak etc.

RV: On what topics do you plan to focus during the week that you’ll manage the @AsiaLangsOnline Twitter account?

The topics are daily conversations in indigenous languages – Tampuan and Jarai.

RV: What are the main motivations for your digital activism for your language? What are your hopes and dreams for your language?

The main motivation is for the campaign to spread indigenous languages in Rattanakiri in order for them to understand more about the indigenous people there.

Our dream is to openly spread out and protect our languages through collection via digital for the next generation and onward.

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