Aug 25, 2020

Announcing The Javari Project

Beto Marubo and the COVID response team
Beto Marubo and the COVID response team

Over the past few months a tremendous amount has been written about the COVID crisis and the impact of the pandemic in the Amazon region of Brazil. Sadly, Covid-19 has now reached the Vale do Javari.   

Céline Cousteau's documentary film, Tribes on the Edge, was the catalyst for the impact campaign which has grown into The Javari Project (TJP) and the land mapping drones and her documentary are now a component of this much larger project.  While TJP is not focused on rapid response relief but rather long-term impact, TJP has supported the work of organizations bringing relief to indigenous communities in the territory via the social media outreach by request of Beto Marúbo.

Beto Marúbo continues to be a spokesperson for the indigenous people and was featured in an August 22 National Geographic article about the close encroachment of the corona virus on the isolated Arrow people.  We are providing the link to this important article as part of this report for anyone that might be interested in reading more on the dangers faced by this uncontacted tribe.

The mapping drones, referenced above, are being utilised by locally trained people for not only environmental monitoring of the Javari region but health monitoring of the tribes. 

We are very pleased to share in this update that Céline has advanced the strategy and partnerships to further strengthen TJP.  TJP now focuses on the livelihood of the Indigenous Peoples of the Vale do Javari by strengthening cultural integrity, creating economic self-determination, and offering media instruction starting in the border town of Atalaia do Norte. Though strategy building can begin, we must wait for a safe time to return to the region to elaborate on this initiative as it requires extensive meetings with the Indigenous Peoples themselves.

As for Céline's documentary, it has been nominated as a finalist for the 2020 Jackson Wild media awards that will be held virtually Thursday October 1 and was awarded the Impact Award by the 2020 Philadelphia Environmental Film Festival.  Our congratulations to Céline!

The images included in this report are courtesy of Beto Marubo. 

Aerial view of a village in the Javari region
Aerial view of a village in the Javari region

Links:

May 26, 2020

Some Welcome Rain & Visitors

Examining the Temporary Water Collection Tanks
Examining the Temporary Water Collection Tanks

While it hasn't been that long since the last update, we wanted to share some exciting news that is a follow-up to our previous report.

As many know Thailand has been in the middle of one of its most severe droughts in decades, but Mother Nature finally cooperated and two large rainfalls occurred on April 22 and 23, 2020 providing much needed relief for the crops and fruit tree saplings on the Thai Child Development Foundation (TCDF) farm.

As we write this update at the end of May, the rainy season is expected to start in June and traditionally lasts until approximately mid-October. 

In addition, the Thai irrigation company who have stepped in to support the implementation stages of the water management system applied and were given special permission by the authorities to travel into the region to visit TCDF.  The purpose of their visit was to walk through the project against the proposed system and in particular take a careful look at the tiered mountainside land and the uphill water pumping solution that has been developed to ensure feasibility.  We wish to thank the local authorities for recognising the importance of this project and approving the travel request during the COVID restrictions. 

At this time, we're incorporating the feedback from the team on the ground and once the COVID restrictions are lifted in the Pak Song region, the dates for the installation will be scheduled.

The special needs school that is supported by this project remains closed in accordance with the COVID-19 lockdown.  However Thailand is slowly reopening, and we hope that the children will be able to return in the next couple of months.  Once TCDF's school reopens, we will send a short follow-up with that news.

We'd like to thank again those that have given to this special project.  Your donation not only supports an group of incredible children but moves TCDF along its' path to be self-sustaining in the next five years.

Our very best wishes to all to remain safe and healthy.

View Across to the Water Collection Tanks
View Across to the Water Collection Tanks
May 5, 2020

The Work Has Started at NY DINA College in Madagascar

Leveling for the Garden is Underway!
Leveling for the Garden is Underway!

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we wanted to send a brief update regarding Madagascar and the current status of NY DINA College.

It is good news to share that Madagascar has under 200 reported COVID-19 cases nationwide and no deaths as of May 4, 2020.

Madagascan President Andry Rajoelina began easing the lockdown measures in the capital of Antananarivo as well as the other two major cities, Toamasina and Fianarantosa, on Monday April 20 with the resumption of public transport between the hours of 06:00 and 13:00. Schools, including NY DINA College, reopened on May 4 and in accordance with the new requirements all of the students have masks.

Work is also underway at NY DINA College with the leveling of the land for the school garden. The dirt collected from this process will be used to construct a perimeter wall around the school grounds to help keep wildlife out of the vegetable beds.  All of the donations that BBS receives are designated for the creation of the gardens as well as to kickstart their egg production.

On a related note, NY DINA College received further funding, separate from BBS, specifically for building a soccer field and outdoor activity area. The ground has been levelled for the sports area and the next step is building a small number of bleachers. As with the garden leveling process, the dirt collected from this activity will be used to build the perimeter wall.

Work continues on the perimeter wall and as we receive more updates and photographs from Madagascar we will continue to forward them to all of our supporters.

Thank you again for helping to make this project possible!

Where the Vegetable Garden Will Be
Where the Vegetable Garden Will Be
Another Look at the Leveled Garden Area
Another Look at the Leveled Garden Area
 
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