In America, we take life for granted. It's something that just is. We live. We die. We have that choice. No - I'm not getting into an abortion rant or anything like that. If you try to make it one, I'll ignore you. But really - we have it really good. There are so many things going on in the world that simply don't affect us because they're not apart of "our world" or "our lives". The worlds are quote/unquote - different.
Uganda - 22 year long war that killed thousands, child soldiers, displacement camps with conditions that are killing people off faster than the rebels, etc.
Congo - Genocide
Cambodia - Child sex trafficking
and there's a lot of good being done to help stop these things. And that's why I am writing this. Since my first endeavor with Invisible Children, seeing the film then participating in the Global Night Commute, I have had a growing heart and compassion for International Justice. If there's injustice going on somewhere, I want to see it stopped. It happens everywhere, I know but sometimes there are ways to get involved - such as with Invisible Children. I adore the friends I have there and the people I've met and the opportunities I've had to help them. I'm not stopping my volunteer work for IC or anything like that - but rather - presenting something going on now that needs immediate attention, just as child soldiers in Uganda needed back when I saw the film. The area of interest is Brazil.
In Brazil there are over a hundred indigineous tribes. These tribes are people to and are to be protected. It's every human beings right to be protected when injustice is occuring against them, right? The Brazilian government thinks differently. What is happening in these tribes is extremely grave and terrible. It is believed, that if a child is born with a handicap, is born as a twin or triplet, or born to a single mother - that child has an evil spirit, has no soul and deserves to die. They kill the children by burying them alive. It is believed that the child must take it's last breath underground so that the demon inside of it will die in the ground as well. Because of this horrible infanticide, some of these tribes are nearly extinct.
A group of people affiliated with Youth With A Mission have been working with these tribes for over 20 years. Many people of come to these missionaries from the tribes asking them to take care of their children because the people in the tribes think it is wrong to kill your own child, and so to protect themselves and save their children, they take them to the missionaries to be cared for. One by one, tribespeople are coming forward from many of the tribes asking for help to stop this. They go to the government and ask for help. The government, however, is not responding. Key officials within the government would rather see these tribes kill themselves off (because the tribes land is valuable) then save them.
Currently, the government of Brazil is trying to pass a law that would require anyone in the Amazon who is a foreigner to have a special permit to be there, thus kicking out the missionaries that many of these tribes are relying on to save their children and ultimately, their tribes. The government has also threatened jail time to the missionaries for helping take care of these kids - which would in turn send the kids back to the tribes where most of them would, unfortunately and sadly be killed.
A movie has recently been filmed their by director, David Cunningham (To End All Wars, Path To 9/11, The Seeker) addressing this issue, in hopes to bring attention to the world of what is happening, including the US government. Those of us who have been working with Invisible Children for a long time know the power of a story and know what happens when the world takes attention to something that was previously unnoticed. Results happen, in favor of those who need help.
The film is about a little girl named Hakani, and it's a true story. Hakani was paralyzed from the waist down when she was born and was supposed to be killed, but her parents thought it was wrong and she was spared. Same with one of her brothers. However, due to circumstances - her parents died and the oldest brother, in accordance with what the tribe believes, buried his youngest brother alive and killed him, and also buried Hakani. Bibi, Hakani's 3rd brother, dug her out and took care of her by himself for 3 years. Finally - he took her to the missionaries when she was very sick and she was saved. Go to www.hakani.org for more information on this
Those filmmakers are leaving Saturday to present the film before congress in Washington D.C. - then flying to other areas in America to present the film. Please pray for them and help them however you can, the best way being to spread the word of what is happening in Brazil. Pray their film is seen by many and grips the hearts of the people that change can occur and these people can be saved. Spread the word, please.
And just so you know, most of you getting this know someone who has had direct contact with what is happening down there. I'm going to be down there, in Brazil in July and August, possibly helping with the documentary that is currently being prepared.
If you are interested in finding a way to help or a better way to spread the word and help these people, please go to www.hakani.org or email Sheena - firstname.lastname@example.org, and ask her how you can help. I'm not asking anyone to stop what they are currently doing, especially not IC people - but I am asking you to do what you can before these people are gone. If the Brazilian government passes their law which would outlaw these people being helped, it is estimated that they will die off in a matter of 10 years or less.
Thank you all for your time.