The idea to kickstart The Tuyang Initiative sparked in 2016 by Kenyah father-daughter team, John Wan Usang and Juvita Tatan Wan from Long San, upper Baram.
As the “lucky ones” who broke out, had a chance at tertiary education and experiences working with multinationals in various industries in Kuala Lumpur, they feel that it is their honour and responsibility to the next generation to ensure that the community and culture, thrives.
About the founding team members:
JOHN WAN USANG
Born and raised in the village of Long San, upper Baram (Sarawak), John studied Zoology & Botany in 6th Form and has a degree in Agricultural Science from Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (now known as Universiti Putra Malaysia). John has more than 30 years experience in sales and retail with Malaysian oil & gas giant, Petronas. He also formerly taught in villages across Sarawak, is an avid golfer and have green thumb. He is a father of 5 adult children (one daughter and four sons) and is married to Josephine Ting, a wonderful lady from Sibu (Sarawak).
JUVITA TATAN WAN
Born in Sibu (Sarawak) and raised in various cities throughout Malaysia, Juvita thinks she lives for challenges and problem solving. She has a degree in Media Innovation from Multimedia University (Cyberjaya, Malaysia). She also has more than 10 years experience in production, marketing and business development across various industries including telecommunications, music/entertainment and advertising in Kuala Lumpur. She’s an avid music fan who enjoys live gigs and the occasional karaoke, loves to eat, read (sometimes write), has a love/hate relationship with running, is a curious traveler, and is John’s eldest and feisty only daughter out of 5 kids. She’s married to sino-Kadazan Sabahan, Aaron Simon who works in travel.
In 2017, armed with nothing more than her enthusiasm and belief for this effort, she packed up her life, left her family and corporate job in Kuala Lumpur to relocate to Miri, the closest hub to upper Baram. You can follow her self-discovering journey of culture and tradition, life in a new city, or just general ramblings here.
She also occasionally consults for music, live entertainment and small businesses. Details here.