Dayak NGOs to organise more webinars in future

(Clockwise from top left) Florianna moderating the webinar session witnessed by SIDS chairperson Alice with speakers Jayum, Madeline and Fiona.

KUCHING, July 22: More webinar series will be organised to empower and educate the Dayak community, especially Dayak women, in various areas such as economics, social, education, and entrepreneurship.

This was following the successful organisation of a webinar entitled ‘Community Resilience in the Midst of Covid-19 Pandemic’, which was the first-ever live interactive event by two prominent Dayak NGOs, Sarakup Indu Dayak Sarawak (SIDS) and with Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association (SDGA), on July 18.

According to SIDS and SDGA in a media release, more than 200 participants from local and overseas registered for the online webinar, which gathered three prominent speakers of different expertise in sharing their thoughts, lessons learned and key takeaways in times of crisis.

The speakers were Professor Dr Jayum Jawan, (Tan Sri Empiang Jabu Research Chair and Dean, Faculty of Humanity, Management and Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia Bintulu Campus), Associate Professor Dr Madeline Berma (Fellow Academy of Sciences Malaysia), and Fiona Marcus Raja, (Managing Director of Borneo International Exhibition and Founder of Tenun).

The webinar was also live-streamed via SDGA’s Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/SarawakDGA/ and recorded more than 6,000 views.


The two-hour webinar session was moderated by SDGA vice president Dr Florianna Lendai.

SIDS chairperson Datuk Ir Alice Jawan, in her closing remarks, emphasised that SIDS and SDGA Women Group would continue to collaborate in bringing dynamic Dayak women professionals together as part of community engagement and networking programme.

Meanwhile, Jayum who shared about ‘Governance: Navigating Through the Pandemic’ highlighted that the Dayak community leaders have always shown great governance and can always do more for the people, especially in times of crisis.

“The Dayak have always been a close-knit community and that is the strength we need to have in order to move forward.”

Jayum, who is also the first elected chair of the Tan Sri Empiang Jabu Chair for Dayak Women Studies, also called for more Dayak philanthropists to come forward and help other Dayaks to have a better and promising future.

Second speaker Madeline in her session on ‘Rebuilding Resilient Communities Economic Environment in Sarawak’ shed some light on the impact of the pandemic on the economy especially in terms of production and consumption.

“Despite the inevitable situation due to the pandemic, there are many lessons learned. Among the initiatives that can be done in rebuilding resilient communities include promoting financial literacy in the Dayak community as well as strengthening our policies on economic and social health.”

Madeline further emphasised that one of the most important areas to focus on now was to develop the community’s assets in human capital, political, financial, environment, and social.

“Access to utilities is a top priority in times of pandemic besides the poverty issues in the state.

“It is important for Dayak leaders to engage with the community to get input on how to move forward and in this case, a bottom-up approach is highly critical and if that is being implemented, then only things can recover and together we can spur the growth of the economy.”

Third speaker Fiona shared her experiences sustaining her business via producing online content during the MCO, especially in view of Sarawak promoting domestic tourism.

When asked about ways to get more Dayaks to be involved in entrepreneurship, Fiona said the community should not fear making the first step towards being an entrepreneur.

“It is timely to call for a platform for all Dayaks to have effective mentoring sessions and guidance to promote the concept through conferences and talks.”—DayakDaily