Viktor is a seventeen-year-old throat-singing phenomenon. He's also a joyful ambassador for Altai culture, as he works with the children in the Ust Koksa district. To reach his full potential, Viktor needs our financial help -- for traditional instruments and performance costuming, as well as for training.
He'll be working at children's camps this summer (but as a volunteer, because the village kids have no money). But he really needs to get to Altai's biennial national cultural festival in July, to compare notes with other young throat-singers and to be coached by the few throat-singing elders.
Optimally, he needs recurring donations, so he can attend university next fall. Your donations have already helped one group of talented young people get their educations. Please invest now in Viktor -- the most promising of the next wave of kids.
The Russian mega-business Gazprom is outside the law. Even without permits, it proceeded last summer with development of its boondoggle gas pipeline right straight through the pristine Ukok Plateau -- a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is sacred to the Altai people.
When our international expedition stayed in a little hotel near the plateau last summer, we shared it with five Gazprom geologists -- nice guys, but clueless. They reveled in their home-made videos of huge earth-moving machines trashing perma-frost tundra (which is what the Ukok Plateau is). Not exactly respectful behavior.
Facing down this "Goliath" mixture of greed and environmental recklessness are the villagers of Kosh Agach, using every possible resource to protect this sacred place. The only reason they are still in the game is because China and Russia can't agree on a price for gas. So, they are still plugging away, hoping that the world will shift to prevent this desecration.
All funds we receive for this project go straight through to the local Altai people working to protect this primeval sanctuary. You donation, whatever size, not only helps defray their costs; it also gives them hope. Thank you!