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Makashi Research Unit/Merisin Sepo (MRU), Region 9.

Makashi Research Unit/Merisin Sepo (MRU), Region 9 is a legally registered trust. The Makashi Research Unit (MRU) comprises of skilled indigenous women researchers from 13 villages in the North Rupununi, Region 9. This programme was originally facilitated by the Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation and Development. The Makashi Research Unit originally comprised of representatives from three communities namely Annai, Surama and Kurupukari (Fairview).

The Makashi Research Unit was formally established in May 15, 1995 with nine researchers to study the Makashi biodiversity, ethno-medicine and culture, within a project sponsored by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), and administered by the Iwokrama project.


Ms. Paulette Allicock
Makashi Research Unit/Merisin Sepo (MRU)
Bina Hill Institute, Annai Village, North Rupununi, Region 9
Email: pauletteallicock@yahoo.com



The MRU is involved in teaching oral Makashi language in schools, promoting awareness of domestic violence, educational programme and promoting traditional culture. The MRU represents 16 communities in the North Rupununi. The MRU is trying to ensure that their traditional knowledge, language and culture be maintained. The MRU has achieved success by promoting awareness of social issues such as HIV/AIDS education and domestic violence in the communities.

The main objective of the MRU is to study while reviving, the traditional way of life/lifestyle of the Makashi people focusing on their language, food, craft and biodiversity (ethno-medicine, hunting, fishing and farming). This is a first for any such programmes for Amerindian women within Guyana. There are no other comparable programmes for Amerindian women within Guyana, which combines culture, gender, traditional knowledge and skills to provide broad-based benefits for the entire Makashi people including raising funds from the products produced by the MRU. The Makashi Research Unit produced an important publication on Makusipe Komanto Iseru (Sustaining Makashi culture/way of life)and many other booklets and educational and social awareness materials on birds, cassava, fishes, wildlife, domestic violence and alcohol. The Makashi Researchers recorded Makashi knowledge of their homeland and ecosystems to benefit the present and future generations. 

Ms. Benita Robert
Assistant Coordinator
Makashi Research Unit/Merisin Sepo (MRU)
Email: mrruroberts@yahoo.com

Ms. Emily Allicock
Administrator, Bina Hill Institute  (BHI):

Email: binahill@yahoo.co.uk or emilyallicock@gmail.com

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