A world-famous indigenous leader from Brazil recently met London school children to speak about the importance of protecting the Amazon and the power young people have in raising their voices on environmental and indigenous issues.
Davi Yanomami, leader and spokesperson for the Yanomami people, and his son Dario, met with pupils from Our Lady of Lourdes, Wanstead, and St Joseph Primary School, Putney, to answer their questions about their work in defending the Amazon rainforest and its people.
Some of the school children's questions included: "How is your life changed by climate change?" "What can we do in our everyday life to help the Yanomami people?" and "How does it feel to be an inspiration for the next generation?"
Davi Kopenawa, who lives in the Amazon rainforest and was recently awarded the 2019 Right Livelihood Award, known as the 'Alternative Nobel Prize' alongside Greta Thunberg, and his son Dario were pleased to answer the pupils' questions.
Davi's son, Dario, said: "Today you are students, but you will become future politicians, lawyers, important people and will have great power. You have power now as well. We need your support because there has been a lot of discrimination against indigenous people, not only Yanomami but all indigenous groups. We need you to put pressure on your government and the government of Brazil to protect indigenous people. You are the future and we have high hopes for you all."
Davi Kopenawa and Dario Yanomami, whose organisation is supported by the UK charity CAFOD, were visiting to present a letter to the UK government calling for their support following a rise in invasions of indigenous territories and violence against indigenous communities.
CAFOD has been supporting indigenous organisations in Brazil for over 30 years, empowering indigenous communities to demand their rights to land, education, and health, as enshrined in Brazil's constitution.
The charity works with Davi Kopenawa and his organisation the Hutukara Yanomami Association to promote the protection of Yanomami and Ye'kuana indigenous rights.
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Find out more about linking with global environmental defenders at: https://www.cafod.org.uk/campaign
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