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Intercultural & Bilingual Training

Need for Intercultural Schools in Yanomami territory

Many Yanomami communities are deeply connected to Venezuelan and Brazilian national cultures. They regularly interact with political officials, medical professionals, missionaries, educators, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and fellow indigenous groups. Recognizing the need to adapt, innovate, and collaborate internationally in the face of global threats, Yanomami leaders have spearheaded the call for programs to equip them with skills to navigate their evolving society. In a powerful display of unity and shared responsibility, the government, NGOs, and Yanomami leaders have established Intercultural and Bilingual Schools across the territory.

Yanomami Foundation

​Integrating traditional ancestral knowledge into the national curriculum has empowered communities to read and write in Spanish, Portuguese, and Yanomami dialects. These programs effectively prepare Yanomami individuals for roles as medics, school teachers, spokespersons, and government leaders. The Yanomami community takes immense pride in engaging with the broader world while preserving traditional values and customs. They value the joint effort to safeguard their lands, language, and culture while equipping themselves with innovative tools and skills to combat the detrimental impacts of environmental degradation, the emergence of new diseases, and cultural erosion.

Addressing Transculturation

Intercultural education, a powerful tool, plays a crucial role in helping Yanomami youth grasp the importance of preserving ancient knowledge, particularly in the face of emerging modern-day threats. However, it's essential to recognize the potential risk of transculturation and its consequence one cultural integrity.

The fading practice of passing down ancestral knowledge from elders to younger generations is not just a cause for concern, but a potential loss of cultural authenticity in specific communities. This trend could erode their cultural authenticity and traditional identity, a loss that we cannot afford. Additionally, once considered primary sources, the textbooks need to be more relevant in reflecting Yanomami's contemporary lifestyles, needs, and environment. The Yanomami school teachers have recognized this issue. They advocate for updated education programs, improved training, and interactive teaching methods incorporating audiovisual tools.

Yanomami Foundation

Role of the Yanomami Foundation

The Yanomami Foundation supports Yanomami education through partnerships with schools that integrate traditional knowledge with intercultural training. These educational initiatives aim to tackle communities' specific public health concerns, especially those impacted by introduced diseases and other health issues linked to their diet and environment. Moreover, these programs educate communities about the Amazon's current condition, the negative impacts of gold mining, and the significance of preserving the ancient knowledge and lifestyle of the Yanomami people.

David Good

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