3 June 2015
From: Sarah Shenker, Brazil Campaigner
To: Survival Supporters
I’ve recently returned from a visit to the Awá tribe in Brazil. You may remember the unprecedented victory last year when Survival's global campaign pushed Brazil into kicking illegal loggers off Awá land. When I last visited the community of Juriti, the Awá were too afraid to hunt and gather and couldn't find game in their forest. Now, two years on, the improvements on the ground are incredible. I found them healthy and happy, once again living off their ancestral lands. Your money, energy and enthusiasm for the campaign made it happen!
For uncontacted Awá however, the news is not so good. In a village on the edge of one territory, I met Jakarewyj Awá, her sister Amakaria and her son, Irahoa. They are the latest Awá forced to abandon their nomadic way of life. Irahoa told me that they had been on the run for years, hiding from the loggers whose "screaming" chainsaws terrified them. "We were scared", he said. "We were trapped." The rest of their group has been wiped out.
But a few days ago, I received a call from Brazil. Jakarewyj’s condition deteriorated and she and her sister were airlifted to a hospital in the state capital. Their chance of survival, in a city far from their forest homeland, is slim.
Jakarewyj was critically ill, and fighting for her life. She lay motionless in her hammock, emaciated and too weak to eat or speak. She has tuberculosis – a common killer of recently contacted tribespeople. After Survival demanded action, Brazil sent a team of medical experts to intervene and by the time I left Brazil she seemed to be picking up…
I am writing today to ask you to help. As if being chased from her land were not tragic enough, the neglect Jakarewyj has endured is heartbreaking and unacceptable... but it doesn’t have to be like this. A donation from you can help us ensure that this story is not repeated. Protect their land and they will have a future. For Jakarewyj, and for all uncontacted peoples, please stand with us to fight this urgent and horrific humanitarian crisis - no amount is too small.