August, 2020- As Covid-19 has got a foothold within the indigenous territories in the Amazon region, People’s Palace Projects expands its UK campaign and joins the Amazon Hopes Collective (AHC), a global effort to protect these communities in the Xingu region in Brazil amid coronavirus. Together we now turned our resources to respond to a surge of cases in the villages by hiring health professionals and buying hospital equipment for the Upper Xingu.
The initiative is led by AIKAX (Kuikuro Indigenous Association) and supported by a group of international scientists, public health and community experts who have a long history of research and engagement in this region of the Amazon. The Xingu Indigenous Territory is the first protected indigenous land in Brazil, an area the size of Belgium, and home to 16 ethnic groups.
As the Brazilian government under Jair Bolsonaro have expressly said they will not extend extra help to indigenous communities touched by the pandemic, they are left with little support. NGO’s, universities and civil society stepped up to deal with this situation that requires immediate action.
Amazon Hope Collective, which People’s Palace Projects is now associated with, are expanding its initial Covid-19 response for the next six months. After raising money, through two successful crowdfunding campaigns in the US and the UK, to secure the Kuikuro people with essential needs and support the community to remain in isolation (see below in phase 1), we are now covering the urgent expenses in medical equipment and personnel to avoid them seeking treatment and getting expose outside the territories.
AHC have just hired a private doctor and a hospital trained nurse to reside at the Ipatse village health clinic. They will serve around 600 villagers from 6 villages and will provide emergency aid to three other health posts in the Upper Xingu. The first oxygen cylinders were delivered to treat up to seven patients of Covid-19 continuously. This is essential to save indigenous lives through this pandemic and future outbreaks and we hope this new basic ] infra-structure will be beneficial to these population in a long term. The nearest hospital equipped with an intensive care unit is 370 miles (600 kilometres) away.
These funds will also help to expand the first indigenous contact tracing App developed by the team with direct input from the Kuikuro people. The digital platform can also monitors remotely the vital signs of those with Covid-19 symptoms.
Campaign Phase 1: In May 2020, the first phase of this joint effort, People’s Palace Projects and theatre company Complicité, raised over £30,000 in the UK.
In the US, Pennywise Foundation, responsible for establishing the Amazon Hope Collective, led a fundraising appeal in partnership with the William Talbott Hillman Foundation and leading Amazonian scientists. They raised over U$ 20,000.
In total the money could supply the Kuikuro people with food, gas, soap, masks, tools, fishing equipment and petrol for their local subsistence, fixing their tractor, and adapting village structures for quarantine., including the construction of an isolation traditional house for suspected and confirmed cases in the village.
Thank to generous donations, between May and July 2020, we purchased and distributed:
- 1,293 kg Food
- 440 Hygiene items
- 915 Litres of diesel
- 1,850 Litres of petrol
- 8,257 PPEs (gloves, face shields, masks, safety glasses, aprons, thermometers, oximeters)
- 650 reusable face masks
- 5,394 medicine
- 20 hammocks
- 84 litres of hand sanitisers
The wisdom of indigenous peoples is under threat and by helping them you are also saving the ultimate guardians of the forest during this global climate and health emergency.
Links for donation: (UK) https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/Kuikuroagainstcovid (US) https://www.flipcause.com/hosted_widget/hostedWidgetHome/ODkwOTQ=