Blumenthal, Januar 2023
Dear friends of the Yanomami,
this time the annual report of 2022 appears rather belated because at the begin of ’22 I was with the Yanomami for 3 months and immediatley afterwards I was lecturing in Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony and South Tyrol. Together with the Yanomi and a competent work team I was able last year to renovate our second health station in Papiu Kayanau completely. An unexpected large support I received from the Brazilian ministry of health SESAI, who took over the expenes for transport flights from Boa Vista to Papiu.
It took a few days to bring together the proper work team in Boa Vista which are Flávio the lumberjack, Senna the bricklayer, Michel and Gessivaldo the help-hands.
Despite previous vaccination against Corona in Germany I was tested positive in Boa Vista and had to postpone my flight to the Yanomami by 10 days.
In Boa Vista I met my longstanding freinds Anna, Loretta, Alessandra and Edna. They all helped with the preparations of the projects and the purchase of the building material for the renovation. With a pickup – lent from Anna – it took me merely a few days to get my purchases done.
In Papiu we were warmly welcomed by the Yanomami. At the end of the runway a few armed gold diggers wwere watching us suspiciously so I quickly explained I wasn’t a foreign journalist but only here to renovate our 22-year old health station.
In the year before last I had already visited a nearly gold digger camp. The gold diggers in the woods had everything: well working internet including satellite dish, solar electricity weth batteries for fridge and TV, a well filled kitchen, a small shop as well as a dance bar supplied with prostitutes from Manaus.
In our health station I had to – bitterly – observe malaria infected gold diggers looking for and getting treatment there. But for nurse Arisson there was no alternative. He explained, “I’ve got to treat every patient, that’s my duty.“
We started the renovation by building a sewage for the health station and a new cement floor for its terrace.
5 Yanomami together with lumberjack Flávio were going upriver in a canoe and cut down some trees and cut them into boards and beans. The Yanomami carried then through the woods to the bank of the river and were then taken by canoe down to the health station. It had a veranda at first floor level going around the whole building and all rotten boards and beans were being replaced by the new ones. 2 high scaffoldings for 500 l water tanks – one for the kitchen, one for the bath – completed our timber works.
Successful renovation of our health station
Due to mercury used for gold digging several rivers are being polluted and hardly drinkable.
So we built gutter along the long-sides of the roof of the health station to lead the rain water into th new tanks. Those were being filled quickly after the first heavy rain so we had good water in the surgery, the kitchen and the bath. Beautiful!
For 3 days the Yanomami cleaned and sandpapered all outside walls of the health station and gave them a new fresh green coat of paint. Reginaldo and Kuata were working the benches, tables and doors. Everybody was happy when the health station was shining in its new glamour and I was happy when everything worked out fast and without problems.
In the health station new cables had to be laid everywhere and being connected up with the solar panels and batteries. Our microscopist for malaria examination Robertson is very grateful for the letter light through solar batteries. It makes examinations easier and is easier on the eyes as well.
The political situation of the indigenous in the rain forest
President Lula da Silva was being elected last year for the third time. He had promised to strengthen protection for climate as well as environment. He actually did by a large deployment of military and police. He banned gold diggers out of the rain forest and had their tools and machines destroyed and their planes burned.
He installed an action plan for protection of the Amazonian rain forest. He intends to confiscate half of the area used illegally for clearing. An additional 3 million ha of conservations area will be created. The rain forest will be closer watched and higher penalties for illegal clearing introduced.
2 indigenous women in Lulas new government
In december 2022 Sonja Guajajara was announced Minister of the new ministry of Indigenous population. Her engagement is for the portection of the indigenous areas. She said: “We will not allow any steps backswards“
43 members of the National Indigenous Authority wre being dismissed and the indigenous lawyer Joenia Wapichana put in charge of this authority. All vacant offices will be giben to inidgenous persons. Lula also sismissed 11 local coordinators of the ministry of health.
The new schooling project in Bisho Acu
At the end of the year the Yanomami asked me in a letter for a school project in Bisho Acu. Their wish is a school for maintaining their cultural identity and defence and protection of their enviroment.
Otávio further states in this letter:
“We do not need the school in order to become Nape (Non-Yanomami). We have to understand the world of the Nape and to use that knowledge to give us the capabilities for our rights.“
So in the beginning of this year I went to the village Bisho Acu at the river Marauia and participated in a large gathering.
I visited the school in the Yanomami village Raiter, which was the idea of Daniel and Thiago from Sao Paulo and built by Carlinho from Santa Isabel do Rio Negro. It’s simple and very beautiful.
In this style out of wood I would like to build this school in the beginning of next year for the village of Otavio in Bisho Acu.
A big thank you to all supporters
Foundations and organizations
Oswald-Stiftung aus Pfarrkirchen
Lebensraum Regenwald e.V. von Roland Zeh
Sonnenwasser e.V. von Fritz Strohecker aus Strande
Kollekte des Ev.-Luth. Kirchenkreises von Plön
Eine Welt Kreis aus Mehring
Wortwechsel Verlag, Ulrike Steffen
Individual donors and supporters
Elisabeth Albert, Perihan Atug, Wolfgang Baumüller und Regine Häusler, Kathrin Beutin, Martin Binz, Hermann Birschel, Christine Bischoff, Hans Bornefeld, Petra und Jörg Bonin, Dr.Andrea Bräuning, Marlen Breitinger, Rudolf Brunner, Christina Chang, Michaela Freudenberger, Monika Gernert, Ferdinand Guttenberg, Monika Hagemann, Angelika Heinsen, Wolfgang und Isolde Hofer, Veronica Huber, Hans Hinrich Kahrs, Antje Kalbe, Stefan Kiehl, Monika Kienass, Karl-Heinz Klöckner, Henning Köhlert, Christhard Kotte, Dagmar und Bodo Kuhnhenn, Hilmar Lampert, Vilas Boas Lessa, Elfi und Volker Lindner, Alexander Mater, Rosi Mauer-Bittlinger und Geburtstagsgäste, Julia Melzner, Karen Knutzen-Mies und Herbert Mies,Toivo und Chris Miller, Hermine Mittermeier, David Muchau, Michael und Marianne Müller, Michael Müller-Andersson, Brigitte Ohm, Kathrina Ott, Markus Pfeifer, Blanche Piper, Hans Christian Plagmann, Dr. Roland Psenner, Ricarda Quick, Christina Chang Rudolph, Katinka Sauer, Giesela Schmieder, Silke Schöne, Ellen Schröter, Dr. Christian Schumacher, Hanna Severin, Alessandro Rocco Silvestri und Fatma, Dr. Florian Steiner, Marion und Herbert Strauss-Barthel und Geburtstagsgäste, Dieter und Elisabeth Untermann, Ulrich Wandt, Ralf Warnholz, Gundula und Sophie Weber, Wolfgang Weyer, Irina Wiessner, Wolfgang Zierke, Beate Ziethen.
Dear members and supporters
of Yanomami-Hilfe e.V. Only through your regular contributions and many donations planning and implementation of further Yanomami aid projects are possible. Muito obrigada!
also to all the teachers who repeatedly invite me to their schools to give a lecture to the students about the Yanomami and the rainforest.
Perhaps there’s someone who would like to accompany me and participate in the school project? It’s planned for 3 months and starts early January 2024 beginnen. Anyone interested (but no “dreamer“, please) apply until middle of November: email@example.com Sufficient knowledge in Portuguese is needed.
The improved political situation is a huge success, but we still realize that the pressure from gold diggers, mining, corrupt politicians etc will never stop. Our work for human right must be continued.
I’m very grateful for your loyal support. I wish us all a relaxing summer!
With sunny greetings
Final final word: This report was written as usual by me without support of artificial intelligence (AI).
Final final final word: The English version of this report was written without support of AI. By Ferdinand Guttenberg.
Yanomami-Hilfe e.V., Hökerberg 1, 24241 Blumenthal, Telefon 0 43 47 – 70 81 34
E-Mail: office[at]yanomami-hilfe.de, Internet: www.yanomami-hilfe.de
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