Culture includes everything from language, traditions, history, heritage, beliefs, food and cuisine, social habits, music, dance, drama, storytelling, poetry plays, films, arts and craft.

Culture is important for sustainable development as it connects the past, the present and the future. Without a transformation of the past, there can be no development.

Culture is the bond that brings people together and provides a framework that shapes people’s standards, ways of living and behaviour. In doing so culture impacts on business opportunities, job creation, integration, health and wellbeing, education, technologies, creativity and much more. Culture enables people and societies to build an identity and to develop active citizenship. It can contribute to conflict prevention as well as to reconciliation processes and is therefore a vital ingredient for post-war rebuilding and healing process. The connecting power of culture is essential for creating open, inclusive and democratic societies.

Challenges in the cultural sector are related to documentation, information and research as well as resource improvement in management, technical expertise and funding.

Our work aims to strengthen the cultural dimension of development, preserving cultural diversity and enhancing the creative interaction between different cultural actors and stakeholders. JLOF initiates and supports cultural expression and interaction that empowers people to realise a shared future. We enable voices that are too often unheard to be heard. Instilling pride within rural ethnic communities and empowering them to actively manage their cultural heritage is crucial to ensuring cultural vitality and sustainable development. This is done through a comprehensive livelihoods development program, supporting rural ethnic artisans, primarily youth and women, to earn income using their traditional handicraft skills.

Activities include:

• Advancement of culture, heritage and history.

• Holding the annual JLOF Cultural and Scholarship Award Day with films, music, song and dance performances as well as support for other cultural activities that are necessary to support implementation of related programs.

• Establishing a Community Resource Centre to facilitate documentation and structured management of cultural expressions and heritage as well as for language and culture preservation.

• Providing a platform and forum that brings and binds together actors and stakeholders in the cultural sector and for discussing historical and modern directions for development of culture, the problems and opportunities of heritage preservation as well as the policy and practice of the states.

• Holding exhibitions and workshops for reflection and exchange between cultural stakeholders and raising awareness.

• Training to stimulate creativity, to improve the quality of products and enhance socio-economic impact.

• Promotion of human rights, equality and diversity.

• Documentation of oral history