Agustinus Mahuze is from Menggey Merauke in Papua, Indonesia. He is a teacher and researcher with an interest and focus on researching and documenting the Indigenous languages of Merauke – Marori and Kanum. These languages are struggling to survive. They hold important culture and knowledge, including traditional knowledge of how plants are used in cooking and traditional medicine. If these languages are lost, then the knowledge that they hold could be lost also.
Agustinus participated in DTP’s 2017 Indigenous peoples program in Sabah, Malaysia. Since then he reports that “the activities in Malaysia are very beneficial.” He has been able to apply the training to discussions with the district education department in Meruake. The head of the education department responded positively, providing budget allocations for the printing of textbook materials that Agustinus and colleagues are preparing.
In February 2018 he wrote to DTP to say, “In the middle of this year, we plan to open a mother-tongue based Kindergarten. I think this is a good progress for our advocacy work.”
Agustinus Mahuze is looking for advice and experience sharing from DTP alumni regarding mother-tongue education.