Sue Cunningham's exhibition 'In The Heart of Brazil' runs from the 4th to the 24th March at the Brazilian Embassy, just off Trafalgar Square. Full address 14-16 Cockspur Street, London SW1Y 5BL, open Monday to Friday 11am to 6pm. Admission is free. The exhibition centres on the first ever International Indigenous Games, which took place in Brazil during October last year - more information here. There will also be workshops for school students, 'A Journey Through the Brazilian Amazon', but these must be arranged in advace through the Brazilian Embassy. The photographs are of Indigenous People from Brazil and over twenty other countries. They came from all over the world to participate; not just compete, but to celebrate their traditions and to exchange information about their common experiences and the threats that they all share.
Komomoyea Kovoero Indigenous Secondary SchoolWe have a target: just £3,500 will provide a comfortable and secure place to stay for students. Here's the Just Giving Link: As we walked down the path three pairs of squawking macaws flew over us. Bright blue giant morpho butterflies took to the air, disturbed by our approach. To the side the forest sighed with a gentle breeze. We were on our way to visit a unique secondary school, located within the indigenous reserve, in response to a request for help from the community. Our counterpart organisation Instituto Raoni, which represents the Kayapó of Mato Grosso and southern Pará, have approached us for funding for the school. Until recently, any Kayapó teenagers who wanted to progress beyond the basic level of education had to leave their village and move to a town to attend a mainstream secondary school. This put them under immense stress. Torn away from their traditional villages, they were cast adrift in an unfamiliar environment where they faced vicious discrimination. They became victims of bullying and targets for drug dealers and people encouraging them to drink alcohol. They suffered badly, and many of them dropped out. Now there is an alternative. Cirenio and Cisera Terena are teachers. They have established the Komomoyea Kovoero Secondary School in the indigenous territory, where Kayapo students can go for more advanced education, away from the pressures and distractions of the school in town. There are now over twenty Kayapó pupils at the school. They come from villages spread out across the Kayapó territory, which is the size of England. But they live in a dilapidated and very basic building, which desperately needs to be replaced. It is overcrowded and does not provide adequate facilities for the students to study. And that is where we come in. The money we raise will provide showers, lavatories, bedrooms and study areas. The students will have kitchen and dining facilities to help them to learn additional life skills. Beside the school is a vegetable garden, where the students help to grow most of the food for the school. They also tend banana plantations which help to raise the money to pay for daily expenses. The school strives to be financially independent, but the new accommodation block will enhance the opportunities for study and help the students to acquire the training and skills so vital if they are to help their people to maintain their traditions and cultures in future years. These are the future tribal leaders. They work hard at their studies. They merit our help. Donating is easy - please help us. Simply click this button to donate by credit/debit card or PayPal: or text KYAP55 £10 to 70070 from your mobile phone - you can substitute a different amount. You are also welcome to email us to ask about making a direct transfer.
The programme of visits to schools by Sue and Patrick Cunningham continues to grow. They are now being invited back to some schools for the third time to present their illustrated talk, which is continuously updated to reflect the changing situation. The talks are lively and generate sustained question and answer sessions, cramming a huge amount of information into a short time in an exciting and accessible format. Audiences value the personal connection to the rain forest which they get from the talks. You can follow on Facebook the growing list of schools, colleges and universities across Britain which they have visited. Sue and Patrick would very much like to extend their visits to reach more schools, especially in the public sector. They work as volunteers for Tribes Alive, so they need to be paid for the talks. They are looking for sponsorship to fill the gap in resources which makes it difficult for public sector schools to take advantage of the talks.
It is good news that the English AQA examination board is focusing on Belo Monte in the Geography 4B GCSE unit. On this website we have a section specifically for schools (More Information>For Schools) which includes general information about the Amazon, highlighting the position of and threats to indigenous people. Under More Information>Threats there is original material about hydroelectric dams, focusing heavily on Belo Monte: Hydroelectric Dams. Don't stop at the end of the section, there is relevant material under the next heading - Mineral Extraction - and there are some links related to Belo Monte at the bottom of the page. There is a film about Belo Monte (with English subtitles) and other video resources on our Videos page and on our YouTube Channel Please let us know if you find this interesting. If there is more information you would like to know or if you have questions, either go on our Facebook page and post your enquiry there, or send us an email. You will be in direct contact with people who have long personal experience of the Xingu River and a profound understanding of the issues involved. You should of course also explore the views of other people who hold different views! There is plenty of additional information on the Heart of Brazil Expedition blog. The following posts are relevant to your studies about Belo Monte: No Belo Monte Dam blog also has plenty of information about the scheme Indigenous People's Cultural Support Trust, the registered charity behind Tribes Alive, put out this press release at the time of the huge demonstration in Altamira in 2008. It includes useful historic, scientific, legal and social background, but remember that it was written four years ago! Finally, you can see galleries of our photos from the Xingu in our photos page. Although you can't download them from the galleries, if you have a specific request we will grant you a restricted license and send you a download link. Belo Monte is a very complex issue, It can be covered in a quite superficial way, but if you mine the resources presented or linked to here you will gain a profound understanding. Good luck!