Amazing progress was made last summer toward the development of the planned cultural revival center in the village of Tyungur in Altai. Local volunteers installed about 1000 feet of fencing (to keep the cows out and the young children in), dug and constructed an outhouse, and built an outdoor kitchen and sheltered dining area, as well as two traditional summer a’ils for sleeping.
All this was immediately used to host a month-long summer camp for children from nearby villages, teaching them traditional Altai arts and freeing their parents for their critically important herding and subsistence farming activities.
The vision is the construction of an incubation center to foster the revival of traditional “cottage industry,” which was suppressed during Communist times. Only the few elders still have the know-how. The funds to purchase the building materials were donated during the previous winter. Next summer’s construction on the site is dependent on further donations this winter. Please donate generously!
The new Altai Cultural Center in Tyungur, Altai Republic, (which this project supports) started the summer off with a huge contribution to the local community -- a pro bono kids' camp for local children.
The month-long camp specialized in teaching the children about Altai throat-singing, as the counselors were all professional musicians-in-training.
In the future, this camp will organize professional cooperatives in other culturally important activities, such as bee-keeping and animal husbandry.
Your contributions support the development of these cooperatives.
Herodotus called this place "the pastures of heaven." And its all at risk!
The Altai people are working feverishly to protect the ancient and fragile sacred cultural heritage of global importance, including mummies preserved in permafrost, from being laid waste by a gas pipeline that, according to independent assessments, provides no net economic benefit to Russia, but immeasurable loss of human heritage in one of the last truly pristine environments on Earth.
Your donation, large or small, funds the preventive efforts of Altai leaders who are dedicated to protecting the ancient Altai cultural/environmental heritage for future generations.
With average temperatures of -30C. at this time of year, we can hardly wait for next summer! With donations made during the winter, village volunteers will continue with the construction of the cultural center in Tyungur Village that will not only provide training in sustainable livelihoods to indigenous villagers from all over Altai, but it will also accommodate and inform the large numbers of tourists that trek from Tyungur to sacred Mt. Belukha every summer -- enriching the tourists' experience while incubating village businesses.
We are so grateful for your support with this project, which is well leveraged to enable the Altai people to recover their traditional livelihoods, which were forbidden during the Communist era.
Thank you for your continuing support of sustainable traditional livelihoods. 100% of donations received are now supporting the construction/establishment of two indigenous cultural centers in the village of Tyungur, the trailhead for pilgrimages to sacred Mt. Belukha. One is a sound-healing center to enable throat-singers to serve the community as well as pilgrims. The other is a more public center where traditional livelihoods such as wool processing and bee-keeping will be taught.
The funds from the recent GlobalGiving matching campaign are being used to procure wood now, so it will be seasoned before construction next summer. Our Altai partner Svetlana Katynova sends you her most heart-felt thanks!
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