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December 31, 2007

The next 365 days

So many things have happened this year and it will be difficult to tell them all. One of the best things that happened was the possibility to help several families from the Xingu Indigenous Reserve. Today, in Brasilia, we are helping Amalé, Kamila, Kaká, Pipi, Lulu and Kanhu, this last one, a sweet little girl, who lived for 4 years in total darkness, hidden inside her house due to having muscular dystrophy. Besides them, Iganani and Tititu Suruwahá, the Ikpeng triplets, the twins Kuikuro and Kawana Kayabi remain a part of the ATINI family.

In spite of all of the dificulties, and within less than a year of creation, Atini’s fight for the lives of indigenous children in risk has been taken to several places and events, such as:

  • The headquarters of the UN in New York,
  • A public hearing in the Chamber of Deputies (Congress),
  • A meeting with CONANDA (National Council for the Rights of Children and Adolescents),
  • The Bioethics seminary at the UNIFESP (Federal University of São Paulo – School of Medicine),
  • The AMTB (Brazilian Transcultural Missions Association) Conference, from RENAS (National Evangelical Network for Social Action),
  • The AAA (American Anthropological Association) Conference, in Washington, giving a lecture on infanticide, together with Isabel Murphy from SIL International.
Even in the media, both national and international, approached the theme in a positive way,
  • on Dutch TV (Netwerk) in a documentary about rescuing children in risk,
  • on local TV news programs in the Brasilia area,
  • in The Daily Telegraph, one of the main broadsheet newspapers in the United Kingdom,
  • in the Brazilian Problems magazine, from the SESC (Social Service for Commerce),
  • in VEJA Magazine,
  • in the Brasilia Post newspaper (Jornal Correio Brasiliense),
  • and in the magazines: Ultimato, Cristianismo Hoje, Graça, Eclésia and also in a spiritualist magazine.

New volunteers have come to work with those who already worked for Atini, in this fight for life. In Brasilia, we had the help of Maryangela, Eli and Anita, Vanilda, Rose, Margaret, Rogério, Sarah, Cris and several other volunteers from YWAM (Youth with a Mission) – Porto Velho who have helped us temporarily. As well as volunteers in the of health and education, Live Community Church, SIL International, ALEM (Evangelical Missionary Linguistic Association), Asas de Socorro (Wings of Mercy), Congressman Nilson Mourão, as well as many others who help us day by day with the children. A team of photographers from the University of the Nations documented our work, with much talent and sensitivity. The Mercado Infantil (Children’s Market) retail chain, who adopted us as an NGO to benefit from the Solidary Children’s Market Campaign. Along with several other professionals who have helped us to dream and design the Indigenous Village project.

Out of Brasilia, we had the help of André and Cristina, Tim and Dene. We also had help from the Eighth Presbyterian Church of Belo Horizonte, and from the Amanjé project (by Ronaldo Lidório), we published the Breaking The Silence magazine, which has been largely distributed in all of Brazil and will soon be published in English.

“The time of burying children has passed”, was what Kotok Kamayurá said, on of the most known leaders of the Xingu people. The Right to Live booklet, by ATINI, continues to be distributed among diverse ethnicities, and we can already see a movement happening within the tribal villages, of fathers, mothers, leaders, teachers and indigenous health workers, reflecting together with their communities, seeking solutions to be able to work with rejected children. Also, as an alternative to protect children in risk, the Muwaji Law Project was created, and Atini served as a consultant on the topic.

But not everything is happiness…
Our desire is that more indigenous children escape from death and come out of the darkness. However, due to lack of resources, mainly financial, we weren’t able to help some children this year, and it is this that hurts most in our hearts. One of the leaders of the Xingu people asked us if we could take care of five children that had escaped from being buried alive, but who were living as recluses in the tribal village, a Guarani chief told us about two abandoned girls, a five year old and a two year old, a baby in Amazonas who was in serious risk of being taken out into the forest and abandoned there by order of the tribal priest – the mother even stopped feeding her child due to social pressure. Maitá Yanomami and Cláudia Kaiabí are far away from us and we’ve not heard much about them recently.

Through all of this, we have arrived to the end of 2007 with immense gratitude for everything that we have already achieved. But at the same time, we feel a great sense of responsibility – there is still a lot to be done until all Brazilian indigenous children have their right to life guaranteed. It is precisely because of this that we will be working during the next 365 days. Stand together with us in this battle. Have a happy 2008!

ATINI – Voice For Life

Western Union:
CNPJ 08.580.772/0001-51

Brazilian Bank: Banco do Brasil
Agency (Agência): 2727-8 Asa Norte 116
Type of Account: Conta Corrente
Account Number: 13645 - X

Uma voz pela vida

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