By A. Kissajikian
I have decided to share my experience about a wonderful project called Ação Jovens Indigenas. I have been working with this amazing organization for quite some time now and I believe that it has to be promoted. The work they have accomplished is incredible.
Amongst so many different community service projects, AJI (AKA Ação Jovens Indigenas) stands out by helping many underprivileged indigenous tribes in Brazil; mainly Guarani-kaiowa-ñandeva and Aruak-Terena. These two tribes are located in Mato Grosso do Sul and were founded by the anthropologist Maria de Lourdes Beldi de Alcântara in 2001.
Their main headquarters are in the city Bororó, within the Reserva de indigenas Dourados. It is the biggest indigenous reserve in the country and is located between Dourados and Itaporã. The total population of the reserve is 18 thousand people per approximately 3.5 thousand hectares of land.
AJI provides opportunities through informal education for the young adults and children of these tribes. They steer the youngsters into the right direction, helping them grow intellectually, mentally and physically.
Many of them see this place as a safe-space for themselves, where they can be teenagers and socialize with others. There are many clubs and courses that AJI offers to teens, including capoeira, photography, circus lessons, a drawing/painting club and their own podcast (which I had the honor of participating in).
Unfortunately, during the pandemic, they have been going through a rough time. The headquarters and sites aren’t able to open anymore and they are in need of many supplies. It is very important that we do our best to help the natives in our country.
If anyone would like to help these incredible tribes or research more about the cause, feel free to contact me.
The Lion and I have set up a very special gallery of pictures taken by the tribe’s youth during their clubs. It is on the section of “Global print”. This is a great way to engage and try to educate yourself on the beauties of indigenous life. Do take a look! Here is the link: http://www.thelionstpauls.net/global-print.html
The project’s site is: https://jovensindigenas.org.br/ :)