Prevent desecration of pristine Altai habitats

by Altai Mir University Vetted since 2008 Effective Nonprofit
Svetlana at the free children
Svetlana at the free children's camp she created

You and almost 400 other donors have made a significant difference for the Altai people. They are doing everything they can to preserve their sacred culture and steward the pristine Altai lands. You helped avert a crisis - the wholesale loss of traditional land. Now, local land cooperatives have been formed and the risk of land loss is greatly reduced. However, many traditional livelihoods were lost during the Communist period, so young people are unable to sustain themselves in the traditional ways. Our Altai partner Svetlana Katynova has been working for many years to set up a center where those skills can be revived and taught to both ethnic Altai and ethnic Russian youths. Therefore, Svetlana has shifted her focus toward ways to sustain the Altai culture, which is still slipping away. We are closing the GlobalGiving land project to focus on a broader one for which we request your continued to support: "Revive Altai cultural/environmental sustainability"

Svetlana (center) with villagers
Svetlana (center) with villagers

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!

Altai elder Danil Mamyev
Altai elder Danil Mamyev

Today is GlobalGiving "Matching Day" and your donation will pay for land surveying and registration for a model ethnic Altai village that will serve as a cultural hub for Altai children living in the city of Gorno-Altaisk. AND the project will get an extra 30% matching bonus with your donation.

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.

Our project leader, Altai elder Svetlana Katynova, has persuaded the local government to provide the land for the village for free. She has thirty volunteers who will build the village and live in it, but your donation is needed to secure the land.

Thank you hugely for both previous and future donations!!!

Tolunay Katynova -- the gold at the rainbow
Tolunay Katynova -- the gold at the rainbow's end

Svetlana Katynova's new initiative may be the last hope for the ancient Altai culture. Your support is urgently needed to prevent desecration of pristine Altai habitats by creating an eco-village to immerse ethnic Altai kids living in the city of Gorno-Altaisk in their indigenous culture.

We are very fortunate to have such capable local leaders as Svetlana, leveraging every kopek, persuading the local government to provide land. However, the Altai village needs a $20,000 jumpstart to move forward with land registration, access road repair, and drinking water management.

Please check out and sign up for the great new blog about saving Altai culture written by Svetlana's daughter Tolunay Mongush --

You have helped in the past with donations that have enabled the Altai people to get this far, and we are VERY grateful for your generosity. Please look for our e-mail tomorrow morning to see how your contribution can be substantially increased. 


Altai schoolchildren
Altai schoolchildren

You can make a BIG difference for Svetlana Katynova's new initiative to prevent desecration of pristine Altai habitats by creating an eco-village to immerse ethnic Altai kids living in the city of Gorno-Altaisk in their indigenous culture.

NOW, city kids only learn through history books how their people have been stewards to Altai for millennia. Svetlana aims to change that. She has procured land and volunteers for an ethnic “demonstration” village. Such a village is the last hope to keep the ancient Altai culture alive for these children.

However, the Altai village needs a $20,000 jumpstart. We, the global village, must grasp this opportunity.

Together, we can raise these funds. In 2009, we raised $40,000 that prevented the wholesale confiscation of traditional Altai lands. Watch for notice of an upcoming matching opportunity.


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Organization Information

Altai Mir University

Location: Shoreline, WA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Carol Hiltner
Seattle, WA United States

Funded Project!

Thanks to 372 donors like you, a total of $35,744 was raised for this project on GlobalGiving. Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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