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January 15, 2007

Great Prospects

2006 was a year full of great accomplishments. Thanks to your involvement, we were able to guarantee the medical treatment, and with this, the life of the Suruwahan children, Tititu and Iganani, who were previously condemned to death due to tribal rituals. We got to the end of the year and the Suruwahan families were able to let out sighs of relief, knowing that their children wouldn't need to be sacrificed. There is hope for them!

We got to know and help other indigenous children who managed to escape the terror of infanticide. We put together food parcels and accompanied the medical consultations of Amalé Kamayurá, a young boy who was buried alive in Xingu (in the state of Mato Grosso)... We offered our legal support in certain cases when the adoption of survivors was facing difficulties, like with the case of the two girls, Harani Suruwahá and Maitá Yanomami, and the process of Maitá's adoption was finally concluded! We met and are currently helping twin girls from the Kuikuro tribe, who are being adopted by Pajé and Diva Kayabi's family. At our new year's party here at ATINI, which was both multilingual and multicultural, we witnessed the joy of each one of these children during the giving out of presents and toys!

Outside of the direct work with the children, ATINI also managed to increase nationwide, awareness of the problem of indigenous child homicides due to cultural reasons. ATINI's voice was present in the COP8 (a conference of various different Parties held by the UN in Curitiba); in the Public Act in Defence of Life, in the Chamber of the Deputies in Brasília; in the Brazilian Meeting of Human Rights, in Curitiba; at the Human Rights of Indigenous Children and Adolescents Conference - The Rights of "Invisible people"; at the CONPLEI (National Council of Indigenous Pastors and Evangelical Leaders) in Porto Velho; and in cultural events like the Open Studio in Curitiba and in The Pátio Shopping Centre, in Brasília. This is without even counting the numerous talks given in churches in various parts of the country.

One of ATINI's main achievements in 2006 was the production of the booklet "The Right to Live", which has already been distributed to more than 50 indigenous ethnic groups. This booklet has brought about much thought on the subject, not only in the tribes, but in some of the most diverse areas amongst other groups. More than 4 thousand copies have already been distributed; ensuring that this 'voice' becomes more heard. We've already been mentioned twice in Ultimato magazine. We were present in the media in programs broadcasted on TV Cultura and The Ministry of Justice and on TV Record here in Brazil; and also, further away, in Norway and Holland. In the month of October, more than 2,000 people were took part in the "12 hours of silence" campaign, promoted through our website. The Jubilee Campaign, in Holland, led a great movement that called attention to the Brazilian government regarding the question of infanticide in the tribes.

We wish to thank the everyone who has supported ATINI; and we also wish to thank the federal deputies, parliamentary secretaries, indigenous leaders, lawyers, doctors, therapists, dentists, artists, anthropologists, FUNAI and FUNASA representatives, the Indigenous Health Council of Lábrea, the leadership of SIL (Summer Institute of Linguistics), the missionaries from YWAM (Youth With A Mission), pastors and so many others who have fought for the lives of these children.

2007 begins with new prospects for ATINI. Challenges, opportunities and a lot of work waits for us. Many smiles, outstretched hands, children escaping from certain death, mothers and fathers breathing sighs of relief. It is for this that we are working and fighting for. We want the right to life to be guaranteed to more and more indigenous children in this new year. Let's work together so that the reality, that shows that over 100 indigenous children are sacrificed every year in the tribes, would be transformed; so that health, education, dignity and citizenship would be rights achieved by every indigenous tribe in our nation. Continue with us in 2007. Let's continue making a difference. Let's keep on saving children from death.

Marcia Suzuki

January 13, 2007

Muwaji's journey

Muwaji is living days of great expectations; she is counting the days, ready to return to the tribe with her family. After a difficult year in the urban world, she is preparing to return to the Suruwahá tribe with her family. There were moments in which she had lost all hope and was almost forced to return to the tribe and sacrifice her daughter, Iganani, or give up her fight and give her up for adoption. But, nothing was in vain. Muwaji overcame obstacles, won the right to come and go as she pleases, regained her dignity and, most importantly - she got the medical treatment for Iganani!

After eight months of rehabilitation in the Sarah Hospital, in Brasília, her daughter made progress and can already walk a few steps with the help of a support. The joy of both of them is contagious.... They are missing the rest of their family a lot, as well as missing meat from hunts, hammocks, the lighted campfire at night and bathing in the river. Also, the medical team decided that now is the right time to let the family go for a short visit. Despite the risks of rejection from the tribe, this return is important, not only for the emotional situation of the family, but also so that the tribe may have a chance to accompany Iganani's rehabilitation process and triumph over their own prejudices.

Little by little, "different" children are being accepted and valued as the human beings that they are, and the practice of infanticide will become a thing of the past for the Suruwahá people.

Uma voz pela vida

Fale conosco

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