Xavante Education Fund - 19.4

The Xavante education fund seeks to assist individual Xavante who aspire to earn advanced degrees that directly benefit the Xavante and decrease their dependence on outsiders. The Fund currently supports Mr. Lino Tsere' ubudzi Moritu in his efforts to become a nurse practitioner.

Today, some 6,000 Xavante live on six reserves in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. Medical attention is deficient in most areas and in many reserves it is nonexistent. Salesian missionaries offer elementary education in two reserves. Lino will be one of a very small number of Xavante to complete a secondary education in Brazilian schools and the first to receive advanced training in Western medicine. Lino's education will enable him to combine knowledge of western style health care with his respect for Xavante traditional knowledge and healing.

Since the early 1980s, Lino has been interested in learning more about Western biomedicine so that he will be in a position to assess the advantages and disadvantages of Western medicine and compare these with traditional healing methods. During the 1980s, Lino attempted to complete his secondary education. His efforts were, however, repeatedly disrupted because of his dependence on the Brazilian Indian Foundation (FUNAI), which relocated him from city to city and caused him to work long hours that conflicted with his classes. Despite the fact that Lino is now the father of three small children and his studies require him to spend the majority of his time in a city hundreds of miles from his community, Lino is dedicated to his dream of providing health care to his people.

The Xavante Education Fund aims to provide Lino with financial independence so that he may devote himself to uninterrupted study. At the present time, Lino is completing his secondary degree in Goiânia, Goias. When he finishes he will begin a five-year post graduate program of nurse practitioner training. With funding from the Xavante Education Fund Lino's training will contribute to Xavante efforts to empower themselves by decreasing dependence on outside providers of Western health care. For more information, please contact: Laura Graham, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242-1322. Article copyright Cultural Survival, Inc.

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