~ "Education is the most powerful weapon to change our world." attributed to Nelson Mandela ~
Indigenous Tribes in Ecuador's Yasuni National Park are facing the loss of their ancestral rainforest lands in the face of all kinds of oil company tactics to acquire the land to drill on. The tribes realise they are going to have to engage with the Modern World, but they wish to do so in partnership, rather than giving up their lands to the oil companies, and losing their culture at the same time. .
Shaman Patricio Jipa said recently, whilst speaking at the London Permaculture Festival (July 2014) “In our left hands – we have our children, their education, and our families. In our right hands, the rainforest. How do we choose? What would you choose? “
They have decided to focus on their children's education above all, but wish to do so without having to give up their ancestral lands to Chinese and Ecuadorian Oil Companies. Hence this project. They consider that if they can repair their two schools they can train their younger members to be ready to work in partnership with the Modern World.
Given my own experience and connections in politics, the environment, and engaging with Indigenous People around the world, I was asked if I would 1. motivate the tribal leaders, 2. act as independent witness to what is happening in the rainforest, 3. help them to repair their broken school facilities; and 4. assist them in a venture which they are developing with other tribes to share their age-old skills, knowledge and wisdom with the Modern World (akin to an Indigenous Research Centre)
WHO AM I ?
I am Christopher Le Breton. I am a Passionate Campaigner for the Environment, for Social Justice and Thriving Communities, and have been for nearly 30 years.
I used to work as an European Union development consultant, and I stood as an outsider for UK + European Parliament (Westminster 2005, and Europe 2009).
I decided to cycle around the world, helping to connect people, and inspire them to act to create a thriving world in harmony. I sold my house to enable me to do this. I have led 80 workshops in 10 countries helping to inspire a new partnership across the world between the best of Indigenous wisdom and the creative genius of the Modern World. As my own funds are now finished, I am seeking partnerships to make this project in Ecuador happen.
WHAT IS THE PROJECT?
2 Shaman Tribal Elders visited the UK in July 2014 and asked for help to find a way to share their knowledge and wisdom with the modern world rather than being forced to sell out to the oil companies and lose their pristine ancestral lands and culture.
Ecuadorian Amazon Tribes in the biodiversity-rich Yasuni National Park have almost given up hope. But not quite...
They need our help. Can you join me to help them save their home and their culture, so that we can learn from it too? We in the modern western world have so trashed the planet (and each other) I think we too can learn from others about how to live in balance and harmony.
The indigenous leaders have asked for assistance to motivate them that the modern world really does care. For instance they are already suffering from the detritus and waste that comes with so-called "modern" society: products are consumed in packaging that is non compostable and non-recylable. In addition, the main focus of this project is to get money to repair two school buildings: At present the roofs of their two schools leak when it rains and the classes have to be cancelled, and there is no compost toilet or solar power, or anywhere to store books or equipment, or even give a visiting teacher a place to stay.
Can you help? Can you redirect some of your spending from ways that pollute the planet to this cause? Can you forego a coffee or tea and donate the money to this project? Could you donate GBP £3 to help make this project happen and enable Indigenous tribes to share their medicinal, botanical and spiritual knowledge with the world, and keep their ancient biodiversity rainforest intact and out of reach of oil drilling? Who knows. but maybe the next miracle food, antibiotic, anti-cancer drug, or other is in the rainforest.
WHY AM I CROWDFUNDING?
£4000 gets me out to the heart of the Amazon, pays for my food and accommodation, interpretation, logistics and equipment (, so that on your behalf, we can motivate the Indigenous People not to give up hope). It will enable me to take the lead on making a start on the schools immediately, plus advise on setting up the Indigenous Research Centre.
I am foregoing all income. I am not earning a penny from this project.
The budget is broken down into two broad areas:
A. £2500 covering my costs of transport, food and accomodation and other costs of getting there.
B. £1500 to get started on the school repairs
A is broken down as follows: £975-1300 to cover international transport to Ecuador/Amazon from London (If we save money on the flights, and it changes every day, we will put the savings into the school);
£100 to cover local flights in Ecuador
£1000 to pay for 3-4 weeks of local food and accommodation, local canoe expenses, electricity to recharge equipment and upload to videoblog; filtered water, interpreting etc
£100 to cover Ecuadorian Government taxes.
B covers funds to make a start on repairs to the school, and a compost toilet and/or solar panels. (I will give you more information about this on the videoblog once I have ascertained the problems, and I shall present my suggested options for how best to spend the money to upgrade the schools. If you wish to be involved in this discussion, please let me know in a message when you pledge a donation. What I have learned is that it is important that I am there in the Amazon to evaluate how the money is best spent, to stretch it as far as we can. And to ascertain next steps.
In addition, if we raise over £4000, into what Crowdfunder calls the "Stretchzone", there are additional tasks to be carried out to take the project forward. This is where there is major work to ensure that both schools are properly resourced with solar panels, compost toilets, a separate place for and to set up a permaculture forest garden to feed the kids there. In addition, we will need to explore at the political and legal level what is required to ensure that Indigenous People can continue to live on their lands in perpetuity and retain their culture. This will no doubt involve making partnerships with other stakeholders both inside Ecuador and outside. Imagine what a difference we could make if just 1% of the world gave the cost of a cup of coffee each week in support of the Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon sharing their knowledge with the Modern World's people!
REWARDS OFFERED FOR YOUR PARTNERSHIP AND SUPPORT
Your donation and support will enable this project to happen. If you were able to re-allocate the amount of your donation from activities that keep the current oil-supported economy operational, this would be even more effective!
donate £3 you get to make a difference to the rainforest's peoples and their lands and resources. Feel really groovy and great that you are making a difference, allowing Indigenous People to live in their Lands and maintain their culture and wisdom to share with us. Your money is making a difference. Plus you get to follow the videoblog when I am out in the Amazon, seeing where you money goes.
donate £9 - all of the above, and your name gets mentioned as a supporter on the website, plus you get a postcard from me in Ecuador, thanking you for your help.
donate £18 – all of the above, and you get mentioned in the VideoBlog credits as a Supporter, and receive a special “I am an Earth Partner, are you? Baseball cap.
donate £27 all of the above, and be invited to an exclusive party before I head off to the Amazon
donate £54 all of the above, and be invited to an celebratory event when I get back from the Amazon, with a briefing to you about the expedition, and suggested next steps. Join a Question and Answer session.
donate £108 all of the above, and receive a personal “thank you” online from the Tribal Shamans in the Rainforest; also receive a special project T-shirt let us know your size; and be listed on both the videoblogs and the Project Report as a Key Sponsor.
CONVERSION TABLE FOR DONATIONS
Here is an indicative currency conversion listing for you: UK Pounds £3 = Australian $5.42 = Canadian $5.51 = NZ$5.95 = US$5.09 = Euro €3.79 = Georgian Lari 8.92 = 58,96 Indonesian Rupiah = 178.92 Russian Roubles = 441.760 Serbian Dinars = 663.19 Sri Lankan Rupees.
– taken from http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/ on 25 July 2014.
Have you got other skills you would like to offer? Are you an IT guru? Or would you love editing film that I take in the rainforest ? Are you passionate about what can be achieved and the assistance we can bring to indigenous peoples? To help create a new partnership between the modern world and indigenous peoples?
This is the 11th hour for the tribes living in the Yasuni National Park on the Ecuador/Peru border.
The Oil companies are using every trick they can to bribe, kill and frighten the indigenous tribes to sign away their land rights. Already they have killed people directly, and with their larger boats speeding down rivers so fast that indigenous canoes have capsized kiling a whole family. Success in this project could inspire indigenous people across the world whose lands are in danger of being taken over. In addition, it would send a signal to Governments (like Ecuador) that people power around the world is a reality and can make a difference - win win win for everybody.
Join me to make this happen.
RISKS AND CHALLENGES
This could be hard work in difficult, hot conditions. It might be dangerous territory – with fast rivers and small canoes. And the oil companies have hired PR firms to frighten the Indigenous People, and say that the rest of the world doesn't care (really).
I will listen to the Leaders and meditate on what they say, and what comes to me from my heart and spirit. And then re-consult online with those of you who are able and interested, and then help the Leaders to find a way forward that draws on a marriage of the spirit and the creative intellect.
OTHER WAYS TO HELP
If you can’t donate, or reallocate resources, can you get the word out and make some noise about this campaign?Let me know if you have other ideas or suggestions and how you'd like to help make this work!
THANK YOU FOR READING THIS FAR, AND YOUR INTEREST!