As a young boy I used to daydream about living as a tribal member in a rainforest. As is the case with most young boys, maybe? This obviously was never going to be the case for me in reality, but we can still have dreams! I have traveled a bit though and have had the opportunity to live in remote a village in Africa were there were no western amenities such as water and electricity. During this time I lived like a local and collected water from the well etc, this was an amazing time for me and really opened my eyes. It helped me to realise that the western way of life is not necessarily the best one.
However one thing that really struck me was how influenced by the western world the locals had become. How they were replacing their traditions to embrace western ones, with dreams to live in London and New York. I feel so sad when I see the Maassi Mara people with satellite dishes and mobiles, Indian villagers in a desert who had Facebook and an Indian who spent nearly six months wages to buy a mobile phone. Also seeing Aboriginal people in Australia treated as second rate citizens in their own country was just sickening. I know it’s their choice to embrace western ways, but it must be their choice and can’t be forced which unfortunately it all to often is.
With things like global warming and a rise of traditional medicine in the western world I believe we need to reassess our ways. Some of these tribes in places like the Amazon and Papa new Guinea have so much valuable knowledge about plants and herbal remedies that we have lost, which might just be the key. If we are not careful all this knowledge could be lost forever, which is why it is so important not to influence these tribes. This means leaving tribes to live in peace without our influences if they choose too. Everyone on this planet has the right to live the life they choose. These tribes are being forced from the land where they have lived for generations with the same traditions, just because we can not run companies sustainably and decide they need their land. These people have rights and they are being breached!
So when I came across ‘Survival International‘ I was so pleased that someone was doing something to stand up for the tribes of the worlds. The work ‘Survival’ do is incredible and they already have many success stories but there is still work to do. An extract from ‘Survival International’s’ vision follows;
“Our vision is for a world where tribal peoples are recognized and respected; an end to the unjust treatment tribal peoples are subjected to; and a world where tribal peoples are free to live on their own lands, safe from violence, oppression and exploitation.”
Please take a look at their site and do what you can. I really support them and their work where I can but the more people who support the bigger their voice becomes. Thank you.