Projects

Schools – Language and Cultural PreservationWorldwide Model

Our Golden Hour Projects

To help indigenous communities whose language and culture are under siege, Our Golden Hour focuses on education. Educating the children of these communities helps the children succeed, and in turn they can strengthen their communities. In support of the communities, the children, and the languages and cultures, the non-profit supports the following:

Schools 

  • Local Schools: We work with local communities to build and support local schools. In the Chittagong Hill Tracts, the children learn within their communities and in their native language, instead of traveling to distant boarding schools where they are taught in the majority language, which they do not know. 
  • Curriculum and Teacher Professional Development: We create a curriculum based on the illustrated books we publish that retell the ancient folk tales of the indigenous group. We then train teachers in contemporary educational methods and use these books in the classroom. Using the books in this way engages children in learning. The stories serve as a springboard, introducing ethics, history, civics, ecology, and an entire range of subject matter. The debate, discussion, and analysis the children engage in are rooted in their native culture and give them a sense that they have a voice in the world. This approach is fresh and very different from the lecture and rote memorization that are by-and-large the educational standard in under-served areas.
  • Instruction in Multiple Languages.The majority language is also taught alongside the native language to open access to opportunities that may require fluency in the majority language. Children are also introduced to English.

Language and Cultural Preservation

  • Oral History Preservation: Through Our Golden Hour‘s Oral History Project, we preserve ancient folk tales, told by community elders and retold by school children. The emphasizes the important role elder play in their communities.
  • Children’s Books: We retell the ancient stories in multiple languages, creating bilingual picture books in indigenous languages from the Chittagong Hill Tracts and in English and other languages. These books are used in the local communities and are among the only books for these children in their native languages. They are also available for purchase in our shop, to support our efforts.

Global Model

  • Model: The nonprofit is building on the results of our work to develop a universal model that can be used in minority-based communities around the world, using education to help preserve and enliven native languages and cultures that are under threat of extinction.
  • Translations: Our group is working to make available the wisdom and stories of the ancient cultures to children and classrooms worldwide. Our books are being translated into many languages, and will be available as ebooks in our shop soon.
  • Harvard’s Project Eden: Connecting with schools around the world through Project Eden.