ATINI – A VOICE FOR LIFE is a non-profit organization, based in Brasília – Brazil, internationally acknowledged for its pioneering role in defending the rights of indigenous children. Atini is made up of indigenous leaders, anthropologists, linguists, lawyers, religious representatives, politicians, and educators, and nurtures a deep respect for indigenous cultures.
Atini means “voice” in the Suruwahá language. Our movement was inspired by the struggle of an indigenous woman, Muwaji Suruwahá, who raised her voice with courage in favor of her daughter Iganani. The girl has cerebral palsy and was therefore sentenced to death by poisoning in her own community. Muwaji challenged the tradition of her people and even the bureaucracy of the outside world to keep her daughter alive and ensure her medical treatment.
Muwaji’s case had national repercussions when she was interviewed by the Globo TV program Fantástico in October 2005 – she stirred the country when she said, on a national network, that she would be willing to renounce living with her people to guarantee medical treatment for her daughter. Luckily that was not necessary and Iganani is now a patient in the Sarah Network of Hospitals. She and her mother alternate periods in the Suruwahá village with periods of rehabilitation in Brasília.
Our mission is to eradicate infanticide in indigenous communities by promoting awareness, fostering education, and providing assistance to children at risk and survivors of attempted infanticide.
Prioritization of children and defense of their inalienable right to life.
Participation of indigenous people in all stages of planning and implementation of the objectives.
Respect and appreciation of indigenous traditional culture and practices, provided they conform to the acknowledged human rights at national and international levels.
Respect and appreciation of the dignity of the individual, without discrimination of any kind.
Transparency in accountability in all areas of activity.