"We believe that like the roots of the pandanus tree the next generation of Marshallese must also be rooted in the land."- Jo-Jikum
Jo-Jikum, which was co-founded by Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner, is a non-profit organisation that educates youth on environmental issues. Jo-Jikum means "your home" or "your place" in Marshallese, and fosters a sense of responsibility and love for the Marshall Islands. It stands for "Jodrikdrik in Jipan̄ Ene Eo Ekutok Maroro" which loosely translates to "Youth helping the land that is green and lush."
Jo-Jikum gives islanders the tools they need to respond to climate change by organising island-wide cleanups, climate change workshops, community movie nights and other activities. The organization also helps families cover the cost of rebuilding their homes after climate-related damage through its Climate Disaster Relief Fund.
In her heartfelt speech at the United Nations COP Climate Summit in New York, co-founder Kathy made a personal plea for the world to act on climate change and brought UN delegates to their feet.
“Climate change affects not only us islanders, it threatens the entire world,” says Kathy. “To tackle it we need a radical change of course…It means ending carbon pollution within my lifetime, it means supporting those of us most affected to prepare for unavoidable climate impacts, and it means taking responsibility for irreversible loss and damage caused by greenhouse gas emissions.”
Watch Kathy's plea here
Our mission is to support the next generation of Marshallese to navigate and develop solutions to environmental issues impacting their islands such as pollution, climate change, and nuclear legacies.
A wave of empowered Marshallese youth who rise to meet the challenges of a climate threatened future as leaders, change makers, and creators.
"L̗iok tūt bok"
"Liok tūt bok" is a Marshallese proverb. From the collection Jabōnkōnaan in M̗ajel̗ compiled by Stone, Kowata and Joash: "Pandanus roots grab deep through sand to hold firmly...The understanding is that once the roots are penetrated deeply into the coral, they will remain for an indefinite time. Traditionally, this term signifies strong footings of a beginning."