One of Townshend’s core principles is that education helps unlock an individual's capacity to be of service to humanity.
We are therefore very happy to hear about the efforts of our 2012 Alumni Thomas Bodin, who has co-founded an NGO called Human Conet.
The belief and mission of the project is that indigenous communities are guardians of diversity and prime protectors of the environment. As such, the protection of their fundamental rights is directly linked to the preservation of the environment.
Currently, Thomas works as a legal assistant for the project Tierra - Aliwa in Colombia, and is currently working on a case concerning the indigenous community of Sikuanis people living in Vichada, Colombia. Below is a basic introduction to the project, written by Human Conet:
Tierra - Aliwa is a commitment to the protection of indigenous sacred lands and the biodiversity that lives within them.
It was designed by Human Conet in cooperation with the Autoridades Tradicionales Indígenas de Colombia Gobierno Mayor.
Alongside lawyers and cameramen we traveled to the ancestral lands of Aliwa, Vichada.
Our goal is to obtain the collective title to the ancestral lands of Aliwa that the Colombian constitutional court promised in 2013 to the Sikuani communities living there.
We are broadcasting photos and videos to build a bridge in between you and the people of Aliwa, so that we may unite our voices and demand as one the title to their territory.
At the end of 2018, the project submitted a legal petition for precautionary measures to the Interamerican Commission of Human Rights.
Adding to that a popular petition calling upon international solidarity was drafted and
can still be viewed here:
For those of you who are interested in learning more about the philosophy of the project, Thomas asked us to share the following link:
This film, ‘Terra Libre’ was produced by Gert-Peter Bruch, who has dedicated his life to the protection of culture and mother nature.
It is always a pleasure to see what our Alumni are doing with their life, and we wish Thomas all the best in his path of service.
(Townshend 2012 Alumni, Thomas Bodin with a Sikuani community in Vichada, Colombia (third from left)