The ancient Altai culture is being lost, overwhelmed by ethnic Russian culture. As traditional Altai pasture lands are being sold out from under them, Altai families are forced into the city to survive and their children have no experience of their sacred way of life.
Project leader Svetlana Katynova has an audacious plan to save her culture: build a traditional village at the edge of the capital city of Gorno-Altaisk, where schoolchildren can be immersed in their traditional culture. Svetlana has the land and the volunteer residents to build and the village and teach the children, but she still needs the funds required to actually build the village.
Summers in the Altai Mountains of Siberia are short and Svetlana dared not let another summer pass, so she has borrowed the $5000 needed for this summer and is counting on your help to pay the bank.
TODAY for the next few hours, your generous donation will be matched at 50% by GlobalGiving. What is it worth to save a culture?
Siberian spring has arrived and Altai project leader Svetlana Katynova is already hard at work in Tyungur Village. Your donations have already provided seed funding for a land cooperative for the indigenous Altai people in Tyungur, but the people of nearby Katanda Village are asking for help, too.
In the rest of Russia, the lands owned by indigenous peoples were surveyed and registered with government funds---but not in Altai. Even when these subsistence herders/farmers band together in cooperatives, the costs are several thousand dollars per family. And if they do not register their land, they will certainly lose it as the land rush continues in the Altai Republic, which is experiencing a large influx of ethnic Russian residents.
Svetlana pays her own costs in addition to providing volunteer labor, but the villagers we help are the widows and disabled, who have no possibility to pay for registration of their land.
TODAY, for the next few hours, GlobalGiving will increase your generous donation by 50%. Please do what you can to prevent this priceless legacy from being lost. Thank you!
Today is GlobalGiving "Matching Day" and we are excited to be fund-raising for an innovative model Altai village that will immerse city kids of Altai descent in their culture -- which may be their only access to their heritage. Your donation this morning will get an extra 30% matching bonus.
The sash around my waist in the photo is a traditional way of honoring people. I had just brought English-language primers to her small village library so her students could practice reading English -- a necessary skill, unfortunately, for articulately protecting their traditional culture.
The matching starts at 9am ET and goes until the matching funds are all allocated, which usually takes not more than half a day. So please donate immediately if you can.
Your donation not only enables this project, but it also is a significant step toward the preservation of ancient indigenous wisdom that our world cannot afford to lose. Thank you for both previous and future donations!!!
The donation link is below.