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They are called the fish-people because of their extraordinary diving skills and the fact that they hardly ever leave the sea. The life of the Badjao people, residing the costs of Borneo and nearby islands of the Philippines, has been changing in a dramatic and irreversible way. 

Dominika Kulczyk and the crew of TVN will present a story of a 12-member family of Mahlinan and Sofina that lives traditionally on a boat. You will see the life in shanty towns which more and more “sea nomads” are moving to when they are unable to sustain their maritime lifestyle. In the film, also people involved in helping the Badjao community will be shown, as well as the ones who are in dire need of help, i.e. street children, whose parents are not able to sustain them and look after them.

Every year, the Badjao population of about 500,000 persons, has ever fewer opportunities to live in a traditional way, that is to spend their lives on long boats, in close harmony with nature, and living off fishing. The places inhabited by the populations for centuries, are giving way to the blossoming tourist industry and modern fisheries.

As a result of political transition, stringent anti-immigration laws have been imposed. The representatives of the Badjao people hold no citizenship. Deportation resulting in being devoid of the possibility to fish, which is the only form of earning money they know, is a true tragedy. As they are not adapted to living in “the normal world”, they frequently end up in shanty towns, suffering from hunger and living on the street. The progress of civilization cannot be reversed. Yet, one could help the people of Badjao better prepare to this new reality. The means to this end is through education. However, in order to provide education to those who are not entitled to it by law, special schools need to be created in line with appropriate regulations.

Kulczyk Foundation will fund the construction of mobile floating MTUs. Also, it will support the construction of a new school at Kampung Halo and will secure the salaries of teachers, including the ones who individually visit Badjao families on their floating houses. The foundation led by Dominika Kulczyk donates funds to conscientiously selected non-governmental organizations that know best what local communities needs and are capable of efficient utilization of the funds. In this case, it will provide funding to a Malaysian organization called Persatuan Kebajikan Pendidikan Kanak-Kanak Miskin (Society for Education of Unprivileged Children). The main character of this episode will be Jerry Abbas, a teacher at PKPKM, who himself is one of the Badjao people, greatly committed to the education of his countrymen.

where we are

Malaysia

    im warto pomóc

    Case title
    Torben Vening Founder of PKPKM

    Together with his wife, he established PKPKM and has been involved in providing assistance to stateless children since 1991. In that year he carried out his first project, mainly at palm plantations. 5 y ears ago Torben and his wife saw for the first time the living conditions of Badjao children, much worse than the ones experienced by children from the plantations. Therefore, they started to help the most vulnerable members of the community, i.e. children. The organization embarked on building simple schools on an islands and in other places where they were able to get a proper permit. The demand was enormous.

    Case title
    Jerry Abbas Teacher

    One of the teachers at PKPKM, a husband and a father of six. For the recent 3 years he has been cooperating with the organization and teaching Badjao children. In Semporna he teaches at 4 schools, as well as at a school on Kampung Halo, Palengbang and Labuan Haji. His main role is to oversee the teachers and training the new-comers. In 2012 there were only 200 pupils at schools led by PKPKM, whereas right now, this number has gone up to 1,800.

    Case title
    Sofina Sea Gypsy

    She lives with her family on a boat she never leaves and can’t imagine living on land. She is afraid of disembarking the boat because of her beliefs but also because she has no papers.
    On her boat she does all the chores: washing, cooking and caring for children. They eat mainly fish, and if they catch a big one they sail to the fish market to sell it. But she never sets her foot on land. Normally they sail on their own, sometimes they are joined by others. Their boat is 10 years old and in need of mending. Yet, she has no money for repairs. The dream of Arbaiya and her family is to have a new, safe boat.

    Case title
    Malinhan Sea Gypsy

    Arbaiya’s husband. He learnt to swim at the age of one. His father thought him how to fish, first using a hook, then by deep-water diving. Fishing is no longer as easy as it used to be in those days. Now, Malinhan needs twice more time for fishing, and when he is unable to catch fish, the family goes to bed hungry.

    Case title
    Biboy Pupil at a school of PKPKM

    He is 12 years old and lives with his 20-member family in a stilt house. He and his siblings have been attending a school run by PKPKM for 3 years. They can learn reading and writing there, as well as play with other kids. At home, he helps his mom prepare meals. He also eagerly goes fishing with his dad.

    Nahara Jainari Daughter-in-law of head of Dindama family

    With her husband and children, she lives in a stilt house with the parents and siblings of her spouse. Her husbands is a fisher. Out of health concerns, only three persons in the family can dive to provide food for all of them. Her father-in-law is longer able to do that. Nahara Jainari Nne works as she cannot read and write. Besides she has no papers. That’s why they live in constant fear of being arrested by the police. One day her husband was seized by the police and spent 4 months in custody, after which he was deported to the Philippines.

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    Our account number: PL92 1090 1362 0000 0001 2274 9213. SWIFT: WBKPPLPP

    Kulczyk Foundation will allocate 100% of collected funds to supported educational projects.

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