The Akha Heritage Foundation - www.akha.org
Akha Human Rights - Akha University
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How We Conduct Projects
Defend, Repair, Mobilize.
This is the basis of our work with the Akha. We are not involved in development work but rather focus on security. Villages which have been relocated or have had their water supply damaged by other people need it rebuilt. Villages without nutrition or human rights need these problems resolved. The presumption is that the Akha are plenty able to shift for themselves if they are protected from illegal predatorial behavior. This protection is best established side by side with the Akha, helping them to cope with outside forces which would take all that they have and exploit who they are.
The following forces exploit the Akha:
Imposed Medical Practices
The replacement of Akha education with a western model of education
Our work with the Akha people is to help protect their communities, and to deliver services as we ourselves would hope to have them.
We believe that understanding the needs of another is similar to understanding ones own needs as humanly universal.
Rather than take the children of Akha away from them based on flimsy justifications we would rather see the conditions addressed that would allow each Akha parent to be best able to provide for their own children such as we would want for ourselves.
We strongly condemn those who build wealthy institutions on the backs of the Akha by taking their children away and then using those very children for "bait" to get funding for more and more western facilities, all far removed from the villages. Those very same institutions seldom address the lack of human rights the Akha experience.
Our efforts are village centered, Akha centered.
In defense of culture, language, traditional knowledge, land, water and food security.
Reduction of infant mortality, village breakup and depletion of the Akha community.
Preventing exploitation for religious or other reasons.
Promoting self sufficiency in villages that have been forced to relocate into severe conditions.
Preventing the destruction of self sufficiency in long established villages.
The goals of the Akha Heritage Foundation can be broken down into five or six basic areas though these are not completely inclusive.
They are administered according to priority for the health of the villages as defined by the Akha people.
Promoting the protection of human rights for the Akha people according to accepted international standards.
These issues include arrest and imprisonment, murders, land rights, water rights and forced village relocations.
Protecting the right of the Akha to their traditional culture and religious beliefs in contrast to western christian hegemony.
First aid services to villages.
Taking people to clinics.
Arranging surgeries for things such as hernias, deformities, improperly healed injuries and internal illnesses.
Transport for Dental work.
Addressing issues of medical rights when patients are neglected, or when vaccines are imposed without consent of the individual.
Wells and Piping Systems
Protecting spring sources, laying pipe, digging wells and encasing them securely to prevent contamination.
Donation of vegetable seeds, fruit trees, tea, and coffee. Includes issues relating to land rights, water access and forestry.
Oral Histories and Publishing
In this area we promote literacy in Akha, particularly for displaced villages. We work to record and publish oral histories and records of the Akha Traditional religion and culture as currently practiced.
We work to establish a photographic, video and music archive.
How You Can Help:
Become a part of the effort to assist the Akha people. Join as a volunteer, donate time on research, help raise funds for specific projects.
Copyright 1991 The Akha Heritage Foundation