Back in September 2019, GEN was involved in supporting the Flourishing Diversity Series (FDS). During the series, I was blessed to meet Benki and Moises Piyako – leaders and shamans from the Ashaninka community of Apiwtxa, State of Acre, in Brazil. They are world-renowned for their work through Apiwtxa to regenerate, restore and protect Amazon forest ecosystems, and in support of forest people struggles for their rights.
Benki and Moises shared their stories at a Flourishing Diversity listening Session, where their conviction and determination for protecting and maintaining their ancestral lands and local communities wellbeing was palpable. Almost ten months on, as COVID-19 rapidly advances in their region, the community has created the Ashaninka for the Forest Peoples’ campaign, in partnership with Yorenka Tasorentsi Institute.
I fully endorse this campaign and encourage you to help spread the word, and support in whatever capacity you can. Please join the launch event on 2 July!
Nessie Reid, GEN Director
LETTER FROM THE Ashaninka People of the Amônia River – Apiwtxa
The urgency of the fight against COVID-19 in our region has led us, the Ashaninka People of the Amônia River (Apiwtxa community), to create the Ashaninka for the Forest Peoples’ campaign, in partnership with Yorenka Tasorentsi Institute. Concerned with the rapid advance of the pandemic in our region, and building on our history of support and work with the neighboring indigenous and non-indigenous communities of our land, we decided to collect donations to help the Forest Peoples of the municipality of Marechal Thaumaturgo, Acre state, Brazil.
The campaign Ashaninka for the Forest Peoples will be launched through a live event on July 2nd at 2pm UTC-3 (6pm UK & Portugal, 7pm Europe) and will count on the presence of some of our leaders. The live event will take place on the Apiwtxa Association’s YouTube and Facebook platforms and will start to be announced today, June 22nd, on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
With the money raised, we will benefit indigenous and other traditional communities in our municipality. Special kits will be distributed to meet both the immediate basic needs of the local people, as well as provide items and tools, such as hoes, scoops and machetes, to enable the development of local productive activities.
With the distribution of the kits, we will contribute to reducing the risk of new COVID-19 infections in the distant forest communities of the region, preventing families from having to travel, during the peak of contagion, to the headquarters of the municipality to buy food and other necessities.
For this reason, we ask you kindly for support by donating and/or sharing the campaign in your networks, in solidarity with the People of the Upper Juruá region. Help to protect the lives of those who take care of the Amazon forest. Together we will be able to rise to the challenge we now face.
Pasonki! Thank you in advance for all your support!