Indigenous Keila Jorge

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UNESCO produces COVID-19 videos with Brazil’s Indigenous groups

In an effort to promote the health and well-being of vulnerable Indigenous populations, the UN in Brazil and the UNESCO Brasilia Office recently released a series of short videos about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Made specifically for and by Indigenous people, the prevention videos use a pedagogical, multilingual and intercultural approach. The goal: to present clear, accurate, reassuring facts in each community’s mother tongue. The project involved seven ethnic groups – Wapichan, Ticuna, Yanomami, Ye'kwana, Macuxi, Taurepang and Warao – present in the Amazon and Roraima states (Brazil).

Health Education and Well-being

for Indigenous Peoples in Brazil

Testimonies of Brazil's indigenous people

Series of short videos on COVID-19

One video begins with a cheery greeting from Dario. We see him sitting outside his rural village home, and as he talks in his own language (with subtitles), he is attaching feathers to the traditional headdress he is making.

I am Ticuna, from the Nacao Urubu Rei (King Vulture Nation). COVID-19 is a very serious disease that is killing all over the world. It’s affecting everyone’s lives, including our culture. We’ve stopped all of our traditions, because of a disease. And today we wear masks, which is really weird for us. But you need to protect yourself. It’s for the greater good.’
Dario, from the Nacao Urubu Rei, gets to the point
Hello, my indigenous relatives, it’s time to get vaccinated. Do not be afraid!
Ana, a Wapichan
There are groups that deny the vaccine – but it is very important!
Enio, who is Yanomami

More videos have been produced to inform Indigenous communities on other crucial health issues. UNESCO has been helping Brazil provide preventive education on STDs, HIV/AIDS and viral hepatitis, as well as on teenage pregnancies. Indigenous peoples represent 5 per cent of the world's population and rank among the most disadvantaged. They face increasing migration, pressure to assimilate other cultural values, various forms of discrimination, gender-based violence and limited access to education, employment and health services. UNESCO is committed to championing the rights of Indigenous peoples.