Juha Laukkanen
Puh/Tel +358 41 708 5055 laukkanensytkyt@gmail.com

Sytkyjen Aasian kiertue 2013

thailand2013_300pix.jpgSytkyt teki marraskuussa 2013 orpokotiesityksen Burman ja Thaimaan rajalle. Yhden päivän aikana 780 km Nop-kuljettajan kyydissa. Santhna Burissa italialainen rouva Didi pitaa orpokotia yli 120 lapselle.

Katso valokuvat Thaimaan esityksestä tästä linkistä.

Sytkyt vieraili Borneon Sabahanissa 2013. Plantaasilastenluona järjestettiin 13 esitystä.
Nämä kuvat ovat rantalasten esityksestä. Lapset asuvat rannalla roskien seassa ja elävät kerjäämällä päivät pitkät.

Katso valokuvat Borneon Sabahissa esitys rantalapsille!


borneo_esitys2012.jpgSytkyt vieraili lokakuussa 2012 Borneon Sabahin sademetsäkouluissa. Nukkenäyttelijä Juha Laukkanen esiintyi 10 päivän ajan  koululaisille. Lisäksi Juha kertoi nukketeatterin mahdollisuuksista opetuksessa opettajille.

Katso valokuvat Borneon esityksistä tästä linkistä...

Lisäksi vierailimme Thaimaassa ja Singaporessa.

Bangkokin ensimmaisen esityksen kiitoskirje:

The Early Years students and teachers would like to thank you for the lovely Finnish Puppet Show we enjoyed this afternoon. The show was very sweet, perfect for EY students and had a lovely old fashioned feeling to it. The students really enjoyed it and it was the perfect level of intrigue and wonder, simplicity, familiarity and also length.

Thanks for sponsoring this and grabbing the opportunity to allow our students to enjoy something special like this.

Kate LynchEarly, Years Coordinator, NIST, International School of Thailand

Yle Kultakuumeen kuuntelijat pääsivät seuraamaan Sytkyjen matkaa Aasiassa. Juha Laukkanen raportoi paikan päältä Yle Radio 1:n Kultakuume-ohjelmassa lokakuussa:

Ajatuksia Aasian maiden kulttuurista, lasten oloista, elämästä.
9.10. Thaimaa, kuuntele http://areena.yle.fi/radio/1699450
16.10. Malesia, kuuntele http://areena.yle.fi/radio/1708374
23.10  Borneon sademetsälapset, kuuntele http://areena.yle.fi/radio/1715840
30.10. Singapore http://areena.yle.fi/radio/1725732
Borneo Child Aid Society is a Malaysian Non-Profit social NGO providing education for thousands of children, who live in plantations and other remote areas often far from schools in the state Sabah on Borneo.

These children are without access to basic education because of distance, poverty or legal status.

We are presently providing education for more than 9000 underprivileged children.  Without education many of these children would be child labourers or confined to a life as street children.
Lue lisää:

Nukketeatteri Sytkyjen perinteinen Aasian kiertue vuonna 2010 oli 24.10-3.12. Vierailumaat olivat Thaimaa, Singapore ja Malesia.

Ksiam_museo2010.jpgiertuenäytelmänä oli LUMIUKKO JA TULIAISLAHJAT.
Presidentti Tarja Halonen lahjoitti Sytkyille matkamuistoesineistöä, joista Sytkyt valmisti 25-vuotisjuhlaproduktion. Kesällä Presidentti on lahjoittanut lisää esineitä. Nyt mukana on myös suomalaisia esineitä, joista Sytkyt lisää
suomalaisen tarinan.

Sytkyjen vastaava Juha Laukkanen tuottaa SUOMALAINEN MARRASKUU tapahtuman Bangkokin SIAM museoon, http://en.museumsiam.com/visitor
thailand2010_juha_ukot.jpgMarraskuun ajan thaimaalaiset pystyivät tutustumaan suomalaisiin joulupostikortteihin (Outi Vuorikarin kotiarkisto 1950-2010), leipoa pipareita (leipojatonttuna Riitta Tuderman), tavata joulupukkia ja tutustua pääkaupunkiimme Helsinkiin.
Tietysti myös Sytkyjen esityksiä.
Samalla tutustuimme thaimaalaisiin osaajiin.
Marraskuun tapahtumat tästä linkistä...

Katso valokuvat Siam Museon avajaisista tästä linkistä...

Juttu Sytkyistä thaimaalaisessa VoiceTV-julkaisussa. Linkki...

Katso kuvat Sytkyjen Aasian 2010 kiertueesta tästä...

Malesian suurimmassa englanninkielisessä sanomalehdessä STAR
ollut juttu joulukuussa 2012 jossa maininta myös Sytkyistä:

 The Bajau Laut have been born and raised at sea, and do not possess
any legal documents.

Education paves the way for stateless children to rise above their
circumstance. With this in mind, Humana Child Aid Society Sabah has
been working relentlessly to bring hope to a community of sea gypsies.

BAJAU Laut (sea gypsies) Abduhan and his wife Siti Lorina have never
even heard about schools, much less received any form of education
throughout their lives.

It was the same for their forefathers. As nomadic seafarers, the Bajau
Laut have been born and raised on boats at sea and it is the only life
they know. They roam the waters between Malaysia and the Philippines,
unperturbed by official boundaries.

The sea is their home and they have never had any legal documents
owing to their indeterminate status.

“They may or may not have a right to Malaysian citizenship, which
cannot be determined since there is no proof to show if they were born
on the Malaysian side of the sea,” says Torben Venning, CEO of
non-governmental organisation Humana Child Aid Society Sabah. “It’s
unfortunate that they are stuck between two countries because of their
unique lifestyle.

“Being stateless, they have no access to government schools.
Traditionally, the parents have no idea how education can benefit
their children. Other immigrants have a strong desire to see their
children in school, but it’s different for the Bajau Laut,” says

He understands the predicament of the Bajau Laut all too well. His
organisation which he describes as humanitarian, apolitical, and
without religious affliations, has been providing education for the
Bajau Laut children in Lahad Datu and Semporna since 2004.

Today, there are 128 Humana learning centres with an enrolment of
12,000. These include the children of foreign plantation workers. All
Humana learning centres are licensed and approved by the Education

“The Ministry sees us as a partner in providing education to children
who, for different reasons, cannot go to government schools. We are
happy to take up this role, and our projects are regarded as part of
the Education For All (EFA) policy of the Government,” says Venning,
who hails from Denmark.

Venning first arrived in Sabah in 1991, to work on some cash crop
projects. He could not help but notice the many children roaming the
plantations. They did not attend school, and helped their parents in
the field as labourers.
  Eager to learn: Bajau Laut children can now enrol in any of the 128
Humana learning centres which provide some basic education for
children who have no access to government schools. – Photos courtesy
of Humana Child Aid Society Sabah

When the cash crop projects failed because of the low price of cocoa –
their main crop – at that time, Venning and his friends decided to do
something for the children.

The pioneer batch of informal classrooms had only 70 students, back in
1991. The education project was a big success, and Venning managed to
secure funding for the children.

From the early focus on plantation children, it soon expanded to
include children staying in towns who have no access to education, and
the Bajau Laut children.

Venning later went back to Denmark for some years before returning to
Lahad Datu in 2004 when one of his co-founder friends, Peter Mathisen,
decided to relinquish his charge at Humana and returned to Denmark for

Since 2004, Venning has been key in running the organisation together
with his wife, Rosalyn. Humana is now chaired by John Madsen, an
honorary consul of Denmark, who resides in Kuala Lumpur, and has been
a major sponsor for many years.

“When I first approached the Bajau Laut, I asked them if they wanted
to see their children in school. One of the old ladies told me they
knew nothing about school, and that it was not for them,” recalls
Venning. “But when the children mastered literacy skills, their
parents realised that education is good, and that it offers a beacon
of hope.”

Venning shares his plans to build more schools for the Bajau Laut, but
there is the issue of land and getting the necessary permits from the
Education Department.
  In recent years, some Bajau Laut have moved into shacks built on
stilts along the coast. Once in a while, they may get a visitor or two
from overseas.

“We encountered problems in Semporna when some projects were put on
hold due to licensing issues; it’s a pity because the buildings were
ready for use.”

 Early days

It was no bed of roses in the early days, when they were trying to
convince the Bajau Laut community about the importance of education.
“We had to instil some rules just like a school would; the students
had to take baths and trim their nails. This was a cultural shock for
them,” recalls Venning.

“There were hiccups when the school first started. Only half the
children turned up for school. They had heard that their heads would
be chopped off if they followed outsiders.

“While that was a crazy story to tell the children, we thought perhaps
there was some historic background to it. A century or so ago, a
person who stayed at sea and went inland might risk losing his head.
These were part of sacrificial and headhunting practices by enemy
tribes,” explains Venning.

Rosalyn, a Bajau herself, remembers how the children threw up on board
the air-conditioned Humana bus while on their way to class for the
first time.

“Because they have lived at sea all their lives, some of them became
nauseous and seasick when they went on land. They had to stick their
heads out of the bus window to get some fresh air.

“Once inside the classroom, the children behaved oddly; some hid
underneath the tables. We had quite a hard time getting them to sit
properly. You need lots of patience when dealing with the Bajau Laut,”
says Rosalyn.

These days you can easily find 60 to 70 Bajau Laut children eagerly
waiting for the Humana bus in the morning. Owing to its limited
seating capacity, the bus has to make a few trips to fetch all the
children to school.

“In the past, people would tell us that it’s impossible to teach the
Bajau Laut anything and that they won’t go to school. We’ve discovered
that it isn’t true. In fact, the children are fast and eager learners,
and a talented and intelligent lot, too!” says Venning.

Rosalyn relates how thrilled she was to hear the children call her
“Cikgu” and say “I love you” to her. These were among the earliest
Malay and English words which the children had picked up. Prior to
that, they knew no Bahasa Melayu and English.

“When they gave a performance in front of thousands of people for the
first time, I cried! Shy, socially detached and looked down upon by
people because they are dirty, you can imagine their transformation
into people with dignity,” says Rosalyn.

Yet the couple realises the stark reality that awaits these children
after class, when they return to the five foot way to beg or scavenge
for recyclables at a rubbish dump whenever their boats dock at the

The sea, which has sustained the Bajau Laut for centuries, can no
longer provide for them like it used to. The plight of the Bajau Laut
is compounded by the rising cost of living as they need basic
commodities such as fresh water, rice and petrol to run their boats.


“The Bajau Laut have endured hardship without electricity, water, and
a house until now,” says Abduhan. “Despite us being the poorest in
Lahad Datu or even Semporna, we don’t run after money. What we are
grateful for is the basic education made available to our children by
Humana, something we never had before.

“The illiteracy should stop at our generation; we don’t want our
children to stay on boats like us. When they know how to read and
write, we hope they can find employment and have a better future,”
says Abduhan. Four of his five children are now attending classes
conducted by Humana.

Abduhan points out that the Bajau Laut, as Muslims, want to be
familiar with Islamic matters as well as government policies so that
they would not get chased away by the authorities, now and then.

“We hope aid can be extended to us directly to eliminate the need for
middlemen,” he says.

Venning says that while they hope to do more to meet the medical and
housing needs of the community, their present focus is on education.

Illiterate and impoverished, the Bajau Laut are vulnerable to
exploitation by local gangs which recruit them to use bombs and
cyanide for fishing, thus ravaging the coral reefs.

Juha from Finland

During this writer’s visit, puppeteer Juha Laukkanen from Finland was
present to regale the wide-eyed children with the life story of famed
author Hans Christian Andersen.

Using puppets, he transported them to a fantasy land which he says is
vital for children to just be children.

“As a goodwill ambassador with Unicef, I have played in many places
for street children and orphans,” says Laukkanen, who is currently on
an Asian tour to introduce children to the magical world of puppets.

“Since 2006, I’ve been coming to Lahad Datu year after year. A lot of
children have never seen a puppet show before, and I want them to
enjoy it as part of their childhood,” says Laukkanen who has been
performing for 26 years.

“Seeing for myself the children’s situation in different parts of the
world allows me to discuss it at length with Unicef in Finland.”

The Embassy of Finland has been a pivotal contributor to Humana’s
projects since 2004, along with several main sponsors such as the
European Union with its three-year grant for the education of
immigrant children, HSBC Bank, EAC Foundation of Denmark, and Unicef


The Star Online