Monday, February 26, 2007

My future is at risk...

My future is at risk...
Originally uploaded by carf.

Please don’t let your actions today jeopardize my tomorrow...

Let Amazon live: A Global Priority.

The Amazon is not only the world’s largest tropical rain forest, its stock of biodiversity goes unrivalled in the entire planet, with various animal and plant species still waiting to be discovered.

It is also the place where 20 million people have their homes.

Therefore, any solutions serving the Amazon need primarily, to be economically and environmentally viable ones.

Between August/2003 and August/2004, the annual rate of deforestation in the Amazon – was an alarming 26.130 km2 – the second largest in history and equivilent to more than 8.600 football pitches per day. According to estimates by the National Institute of Space Research (Inpe), one year’s destruction of the planet’s most bio-diverse forest was equivalent to the entire area of the State of Sergipe and slightly less than the whole of Belgium.

During the last three years, deforestation of the Amazon has stayed above the level of 23.000 km2, a higher number than during the Military dictatorship.

The protection of the Amazon rain forest and the search for satisfactory solutions that can help towards a more positive development of the region is a Global priority for Greenpeace.

- Text freely translated from:

NB! This is not an indigenous warrior from the Amazon, but 11-year old Jefferson, one of our conscious young community warriors from the AfroBreak dance group during one of their presentations. See AfroBreak’s Blog.

In Portuguese – em português.

Amazônia viva: Prioridade global

A Amazônia não é apenas a maior floresta tropical do mundo, mas um estoque de biodiversidade sem igual em todo o planeta, com várias espécies animais e vegetais ainda desconhecidas.

É também o local escolhido por 20 milhões de pessoas para viver.

Portanto, qualquer solução para a Amazônia precisa passar necessariamente pela busca por soluções economicamente e ecologicamente viáveis.

A taxa anual de desmatamento na Amazônia Legal no período agosto/2003-agosto/2004 - alarmantes 26.130 km2 – foi a segunda maior da história e equivale a mais de 8,6 mil campos de futebol por dia. De acordo com estimativas do Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (Inpe), a destruição em apenas um ano da floresta com a maior biodiversidade do planeta foi maior do que a área total do Estado de Sergipe e pouco menor do que a Bélgica.

Nos últimos três anos, os índices de desmatamento têm se mantido acima de 23 mil km2, número superior aos da época da ditadura militar.

A proteção da floresta e a busca por soluções para o desenvolvimento da região é uma prioridade global do Greenpeace.

- Texto:

Saturday, February 24, 2007

...and they call us the future?

...and they call us the future?
Originally uploaded by carf.

Expectations for positive social change are few and far between...

Whilst our governing politicians fight to defend their heavily criticized wage increases of more than 90%, Christmas and every other day of the year is a plight for survival for families such as this one in Brazil, where each day is merely just another one in a long line of monotonous days and where expectations for positive social change are few and far between.

For brothers and sisters like 12-year old Kennedy, 4-year old Vitor, 10-year old Gustavo and 5-year old Jessica, little has changed since they were born in absolute poverty, in the shanty where they still live, in a simple wooden shack, which floods with water each time it rains heavily, common at this time of the year. The older boys risk their lives playing with their kites alongside the main motorway that runs close-by their home, whilst observing the more than a million cars with privileged families leaving São Paulo and heading for the coast to enjoy a long Christmas weekend on the beach.

Their dignity as proud human beings was already stolen from them generations ago when their indigenous forefathers struggled to keep their land safe from the greedy hands of their white conquerors. Human egoism has robbed them of their natural balance with Mother Nature, to the point that they no longer remember which tribe their great grandparents belonged to.

With their father in prison these last three years, mother has her hands full trying to make ends meet. Putting rice and beans on the table each day is her main priority, so this year’s Christmas turkey from the Reaching for a Star Group was such a blessing that little Vitor couldn’t even wait for his mother to finish preparing it for the oven before he pulled away at some of the excess raw fat with his teeth and swallowed it all up in such a speed that I realized there would be no leftovers from this particular Christmas dinner.

Next year we will need to get Kennedy and Gustavo back into school as they gave up on it this year due to the long walking distance and the fact that neither can read nor write yet.

So whilst our politicians argue to defend their monthly pay rise of 91% to the astronomical value of 24.500 Brazilian reais (8.750 euros), in contrast to the 7,1% rise of the minimum worker’s wage, causing it to reach the incredible sum of 375 reais (134 euros) by April next year, - the father of these kids sits in prison, wondering how he’ll make ends meet when he gets out next year........

If the Brazilian society doesn’t wake up soon and begin preventing against the negative effects of all this human absurdity, what more can they expect from this father once he gets out of a failing prison system?
With six children to fend for under such difficult conditions, ...I ask you?

PS! If I remember correctly, it was armed robbery the last time he was sentenced…

....and the next time?

Basic Scholarships – USD$40.00 - $50.00 per month

Aimed at impoverished younger children participating in our Street Migration Prevention Programme, normally aged between 11 and 14 years of age. This scholarship guarantees their active participation at the Hummingbird Activity Center alongside their essential attendance in public schools. The scholarship helps combat child labor in high-risk families by preventing these children becoming new victims. The scholarship is awarded to those in particularly difficult life situations where survival often becomes a more important factor than the child’s educational needs and mental and physical health. As a regular sponsor you will have the opportunity to stay in contact with your scholarship holder and to follow the changes your sponsorship will be making in this child's life.

Intermediate Scholarships - USD$60.00 - $70.00 per month

This youth scholarship is aimed at developing vocational interests in young people as they grow with our programme, guaranteeing their commitment and eventually leading them on towards an advanced scholarship. A firmer step towards their personal life project. As a regular sponsor you will have the opportunity to stay in contact with your scholarship holder and to follow the changes your sponsorship will be making in this young person's life.

Advanced Scholarship - USD$80.00 - $100.00 per month

Aimed to inspire older youth reach their potential in whatever area they are developing natural or acquired abilities in programmes at the Hummingbird Activity Centre. The scholarship can be used to cover costs for supplementary, external educational courses or for extra training sessions and materials. Such funds would otherwise be an impossible priority for them to obtain within an impoverished family situation. As a regular sponsor you will have the opportunity to stay in contact with your scholarship holder and to follow the changes your sponsorship will be making in this young person's life.