A victory for Avaaz!

The Avaaz campaign to stop the eviction of Africa’s famous Maasai tribe from their land has paid off!

The intended plans

Government officials in Tanzania had planned to annex 1,500 sq km bordering the Serengeti national park for a “wildlife corridor” that would benefit a luxury hunting and safari company based in the United Arab Emirates. This would have resulted in the eviction of over 40,000 Masai pastoralists from their ancestral land to make way for this big game hunting reserve for Dubai’s royal family.

This controversial action has been attempted before — the last time this same corporation pushed the Maasai off their land to make way for rich hunters, people were beaten by the police, their homes were burnt to a cinder and their livestock died of starvation. But when a press controversy followed, Tanzanian President Kikwete reversed course and returned the Maasai to their land.

Avaaz takes action

This time round, Avaaz took action to create the media controversy that the Maasai needed. Now, after 18 months of co-ordinated protests that included a global petition signed by more than 1.7 million people, Avaaz and their activists claim victory! The ‘Stop the Serengeti Sell-off’ petition attracted over $1.7 million signatures and led to targeted email and Twitter protests. Avaaz rallied the international media, getting CNN and Al Jazeera to visit the area and break the story to the world, and Avaaz members funded hard-hitting adverts in local papers calling out the government. Finally, in late September, the Tanzanian Prime Minister visited the area and told the Maasai that the President had confirmed that they would not be evicted.

The Maasai are waiting to get this in writing, but the commitment to end the conflict is a huge breakthrough that many said would be impossible. You can read more about their story here: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/07/tanzania-maasai-serengeti-wildlife-corridor

Supporting Avaaz

The Wishing Well was established in 2010 to offer children in out-of-home care, such as foster care and residential care, a range of healing and treatment options usually not accessible as a free therapy in mainstream health.

The Wishing Well raises funds to enable children and young people to access developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed treatments shown to be highly effective in dealing with severe trauma and neglect. These therapies respond to the unique needs of each child and young person.

The Wishing Well is a not-for-profit incorporated charity organisation, established and managed by people seeking to improve outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care and their families.

The Wishing Well operates ethically, effectively and empathically with a view to achieving quality outcomes and a satisfying working environment, and as such we support such organisations as Avaaz as they encompass similar ideals.

The Wishing Well gratefully receives donations, funding and resources through bequests, corporate partnerships, fundraising events, grants, online donations and other fund raising activities. Please see our website for more information:

http://thewishingwell.org.au/

How can you support Avaaz?

“Avaaz empowers millions of people from all walks of life to take action on pressing global, regional and national issues, from corruption and poverty to conflict and climate change. Our model of internet organising allows thousands of individual efforts, however small, to be rapidly combined into a powerful collective force.” – Avaaz.org

Join with Avaaz and support their cause. http://www.avaaz.org/en/about.php

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