In April we launched our Urgent Coronavirus Appeal. We needed to make vital changes to our Spirit project, working with forest communities in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

Your generous response to this appeal has been absolutely overwhelming! Thank you!

LOSING LAND MEANS LOSING LIVELIHOODS

Indigenous communities have lived in the forests for generations. The forest isn’t just a home, it provides them with their food, their work – their livelihood. Over the last 20 years, many people have been forced from their home and have lost everything.

Over 627,000 households have been effected. This is because deforestation and illegal land-grabbing has increased. Huge areas of the forests have been destroyed.

Lots of money can be made by trading or smuggling timber and other natural resources.

The communities are not protected by laws or regulations which are weak across all three countries.

Tensions have grown between the communities, governments and businesses. In each country, over 70% of all complaints made to the government are about land disputes.

YOU’RE HELPING PROTECT LAND AND RIGHTS

Spirit – “Strengthening and Protecting Indigenous Rights to Traditional Land” – is a five year programme which began in 2019. Spirit helps those who have:

- Lost their land without compensation

- Been detained for voicing criticism

- Not been listened to because of their background, ethnicity or religion

The project has already worked with local groups and community representatives, governments and others in power, to become better at:

- communicating peacefully

- seeing where and why conflict happens

- overcoming obstacles to working together

- identifying shared aspirations and goals

BECAUSE OF YOU, THE PROJECT CONTINUES

Our appeal raised an incredible £20,148 which is being matched 5 to 1 by the European Union. Your wonderful gifts are already having an impact with over 1,000 human rights defenders and indigenous people receiving hygiene kits. In Cambodia for example, kits have already been received across 3 provinces, 27 villages, by 307 families, 10 communes and 27 local authority offices.

Your donations are increasing internet access for Human Rights Defenders so that they can safely continue their work and receive support online. They are reaching out to forest communities with vital messaging on Coronavirus prevention.

Our partners have moved quickly, efficiently and effectively to ensure that this brilliant programme can adapt and continue. And this has all happened because of you. Thank you once again for your wonderful love and generosity.

If you would like to support our ongoing projects, donate here today!