Thursday, March 16, 2006

A Violation of Indigenous Rights

A Violation of Indigenous Rights, originally uploaded by carf.

A Violation of Indigenous Rights

For the sake of survival, selling their handcrafts to visitors in the town, Guarani Indians spend their nights sleeping on the streets of Paraty in Rio de Janeiro.

As I conversed with this young Guarani woman from the village of approx. 400 Indians in Brakui, Angra dos Reis, I noticed her elderly grandmother in the background seated proudly upright and looking around at her sleeping people.
I could feel her humiliation and her pain and I felt very small indeed.
I did not take her photo because she did not wish me to.
The other Guarani in this photo series from Paraty will be receiving copies of their photos on my return trip to their village, where my organization is supporting some of the youth with their artisan efforts.

The indigenous women of our planet had their lands stolen, their cultures and spiritual beliefs lacerated, their lives sheared and then generations and generations of their children discriminated in the urban and agricultural society, rejected by politicians and businessmen alike. They had their cultures hung in Museums or demonstrated in Carnival parades, as beings of the past, or something folkloric, serving as jesters begging for alms in citadels. The men get drunk and turn weak or go crazy. Their children become fragile and a wave of destruction covers entire tribes, until strong women and men, like the many leaders to come, listen to the voice of their ancestry, seeing the marks of genipap set in the ethnic faces as a mark imposed by Me - NHENDIRU, the Creator - and then feel the eternal call of their INDIGENOUS IDENTITY to be respected and accepted as an example for the planet Earth. Example of a humane cultural society that bled, then recovered their ancestral voice and ethics, surviving the process of slavery of the past and the present so that it could really teach the philosophy of equality and fraternity. Because the indigenous peoples are my first-born children of the five continents, being the first ones whom I placed in this planet, for knowing the principle ethics of the balance of nature. Indigenous people should be examples of GOOD CONVIVIALITY WITH SOCIETY AND WITH NATURE. An example of ethical and spiritual prosperity.
Text by: Eliane Potiguara
GRUMIN – Indigenous Communication Network

A violação aos Direitos Indígenas

As mulheres indígenas do planeta terão suas terras roubadas, suas culturas e espiritualidades dilaceradas, suas vidas ceifadas e gerações e gerações de filhos discriminados na sociedade urbana e rural e desprezados pelos políticos e empresários. Terão suas culturas penduradas em Museus ou demonstradas em desfiles de Carnaval, como seres do passado, ou do folclore. Servirão de chacotas em cidadelas e pedirão esmolas. Os homens se embriagarão e ficarão fracos ou loucos. Seus filhos serão frágeis e uma onda de extermínio acobertará tribos inteiras, até que mulheres e homens fortes, como muitos líderes que virão ouçam a voz da ancestralidade, vejam as marcas de jenipapo cravadas nas caras étnicas como uma marca imposta por Mim - NHENDIRU, o Criador - e que sintam a chama eterna da IDENTIDADE INDÍGENA para ser respeitada e aceita, como um exemplo para o planeta terra. Exemplo de uma etnia humana que sangrou, retomou a voz ancestral e ética e sobreviveu a todo o processo de escravidão do passado e do presente e que realmente possa ensinar a filosofia da igualdade e fraternidade. Porque os povos indígenas são meus filhos primogênitos dos cinco continentes, foram os primeiros que Eu coloquei neste planeta, por conhecerem o princípio ético do equilíbrio na natureza. Povos indígenas devem ser exemplo do BOM CONVÍVIO COM A SOCIEDADE E A NATUREZA. Exemplo de prosperidade ética e espiritual.
Texto de: Eliane Potiguara
GRUMIN - Rede de Comunicação Indígena

Photo by Gregory J. Smith - CARF, São Paulo - BRAZIL.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Anandwan Logo + Leper

Anandwan Logo + Leper, originally uploaded by Meanest Indian.

A resident of the Anandwan Leper Community.

Photo by Meena Kadri, Ahmedabad - INDIA.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Watching the pigeons

Photo by Rod, FRANCE.

Monday, March 13, 2006


AIDS, originally uploaded by camera_rwanda.

This little boy stands in the doorway of his compound where he lives with several brothers and sisters and two other families.
Gitarama, Rwanda. Afrika.
June, 2005.

"When it's my turn and God takes me, who will look after my children?"

Aids ravages Rwanda
By Jane Elliott
BBC News Online health staff

Selafina is just 39-years-old, but she is already preparing to die.

A refugee from the Rwandan genocide, the mother-of-two has Aids.

During the war she was captured by the militia and locked up in a house where the soldier repeatedly raped her.

After the war she began to get sick and, when she was tested, she was found to be HIV positive.


Now her arms are covered in scabs, which cause her great pain.

She finds chores almost impossible to carry out and even washing a plate is agony.

She cannot afford the medicine needed to prolong her life and knows she will die soon.

But her greatest worry is for her children Rose and Patrick and their two cousins for whom she is the sole carer.

The home they live in is rented and Selafina knows she and her family could end up on the streets.

"The most serious worry I have is dying and leaving them behind, where will I leave them?", she said.

"I have no-one else to turn to. When it's my turn and God takes me, who will look after my children."


Every 14 seconds, Aids turns children like Rose and Patrick into orphans.

The average life expectancy in Rwanda, one of the least developed countries, is only 49 years and almost one in six children die before they reach the age of five.

About a million people were massacred in the genocide in 1994 and now over 11% of the population are living with HIV or Aids.

Teenager Herana became the head of her household at just 14 after her mother died from Aids.

She had no relatives to care for her and her sister Rose, aged eight, and brother Jean Paul, aged two.


So each day Herana has to cultivate the land outside their home, leaving Rose to cook and care for Jean Paul.

Soon the vegetables left by their mother will run out and Herana is worried the family will starve as none of the neighbours are helping them.

"No-one came to help us with her dead body, they showed no concern.

"I gathered my sister and brother together and told them they had to be brave because we had been left alone."

Now a charity called Hope and Homes for Children has set up a project to help support the orphan of war and Aids.

They work to keep family units like Selafina's and Herana's together, sending the children to school and providing them with food and shelter.


Helen Harper, director of fundraising at Hope and Homes for Children said Aids was ravaging Rwanda.

"Genocide in Rwanda left thousands of orphan children in Rwanda, and now Aids is creating a new generation of children without hope.

"The scale of the problem could be overwhelming but our work is based on the belief that complacency in the face of statistics is not acceptable.

"Hope and Homes for Children must contribute to bringing hope back to the children of this wonderful and beautiful country and we work with the individual child, not the statistics to provide each with the love of a family, hope for their future and an opportunity to contribute to the future of Rwanda.

"In 2003 we will be working with 452 children in Rwanda and our plans are to grow the number of children helped significantly in the next few years.

"We are passionate about doing as much as we can without losing sight of the very individual needs of each child."
Story from BBC NEWS

For statistics on Rwanda:

Photo by Kresta King Cutcher