No, its not what you’re thinking. Minga (pronounced meen-gah) is a Quechua (Inca language) word which, very bascially, means ‘an obligatory work party for the benefit of the community.’ But dont stop reading! It gets better…
It is where the community comes together and works towards something, like fixing somebody’s roof, or building a new canoe… This is what the International English Minga is all about.
In a pilot project that will become a revolutionary tool of education, teachers from America, Asia, Africa and local Amazonian communities are spending time deep in the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest – one that is under threat from its own government due to unsustainable methods of mining and logging.
These teachers are introducing the English language to an Amazonian community, but not in a shove-it-down-your-throat kind of way. And not in a Stolen Generation kind of way either.
“Our immediate goal is to create an English language curriculum for Achuar students growing up in the heart of the Amazon. Doing so in a way that is divorced entirely from the historically colonizing force of European language.
“Our experience as students and teachers in Achuar territory has taught us that even in contested spaces such as the Amazonian frontier, where Indigenous leaders and their allies are standing up and demanding their rights to land and resources and way of life, the arrival of formal education has the potential to undermine all their efforts,” says co-founder of the project Kyle Solomon.
“Imagine a diverse group of teachers coming together from America, Asia, Africa, and local Achuar communities to define what multicultural education means, how it works, and what it can do for humanity.
Imagine them gathered around a small fire at dawn in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest, envisioning a way to teach our children not only how to dream of a just and sustainable world, but how to create it.
As the sun rises up over the lush jungle canopy they collaboratively design and implement a cutting-edge methodology which puts the power squarely in the hands & hearts & minds of local elders and their sons, daughters and grandchildren.
Drawing on all available resources, from the latest innovations in information technology to ancient indigenous knowledge and wisdom, they reconcile two distinct worlds and conceive of a way to prepare the next generation for the complex challenges we are facing as a species.”
-taken from the website hyperlinked below.