Chinese Name: Ibu原鄉兒少生涯教育協會
Location: Taitung County (Eastern Taiwan)
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Ibuorganization/
Did You Know?
Founder of the Ibu Indigenous Children & Youth's Career Education Association Kuo Kung-ning (郭孔寧) formed a connection with the locals of Buklava Village in Yanping Township (延平鄉), Taitung County while on a working vacation there. Witnessing the career development challenges faced by the indigenous Bunun children in the village, she decided to establish an association to help them have more opportunities to explore their interests. After years of effort, they collaborated with local children to create a youth hub which not only provides them with more possibilities but is also open to the public, allowing the children to share their own stories with society in their own way.
Kuo Kung-ning, who graduated from the Department of Special Education at National Taipei University of Education, first encountered Buklava Village in Yanping Township through a work exchange program during high school. However, as a newcomer to the Bunun people, she was considered an outsider by the locals, with a completely different culture. She learned to become a local in the village, living with them and integrating into this indigenous community, gradually developing a mindset of mutual learning.
Kuo Kung-ning observed that children in these remote mountainous tribal areas may lack the ability to explore and develop their interests due to economic difficulties or a lack of educational resources. Most of these children's parents work far away, leaving them without anyone to help them discover their talents. As a result, their future aspirations are often limited to replicating the lives of the tribal elders.
Kuo Kung-ning asked herself why many children grow up without goals. This is because when the entire village or society expects them to focus on making money as soon as they enter junior high school, the choices for these children's future careers are mostly limited to becoming soldiers, police officers, or nurses. When they have not yet fully understood themselves, how can they distinguish between "what they want" and "making money"?
After deep communication with this group of children, Kuo discovered that indigenous teenagers growing up in the village lack opportunities for career guidance and self-exploration, with family influence being particularly common. To help improve the current living conditions of these children, she founded the Ibu Indigenous Children & Youth’s Career Education Association in 2016, focusing on addressing the educational issues faced by rural children and attempting to solve the career development challenges of indigenous youth, giving them more courage and ability to choose their desired future.
After years of effort, Kuo Kung-ning and the children from the village have built a youth hub that provides more opportunities for them to explore their interests and create more possibilities. Externally, it will be a space combining a restaurant and an exhibition, allowing the children to share their stories with the public in their own way.
With a background in special education, Kuo values the needs of children. She assesses their physical and mental conditions and learning abilities to design individualized education and counseling plans. She starts with personal self-awareness, personal values, skill enhancement, and group roles, and extends to family aspects like psychological companionship, growth concepts, development support, and environmental intervention, influencing or guiding them through cultural concepts, system improvements, and social interactions in the community.
Ibu have been deeply involved in Buklava Village for six years, operating the youth hub and providing professional career counseling and assistance in resource development. Through a curriculum that passes down cultural knowledge, they accompany children in exploring their roots. They offer professional vocational training courses for indigenous youth to learn and apply practical skills. They also provide individualized academic tutoring and problem-solving courses, guiding children to explore the unknown through experiential education.
The association’s courses also incorporate practical life experiences and gradually resonate with the children through time and interaction, not limiting their thinking, breaking through frameworks, and enhancing the children's abilities in five aspects: learning skills, workplace literacy, community engagement, self-discipline, and cultivating cooperation and trust.