Tag Archives: Growing towards Peace

Brazil: Football dads learn good parenting

I’m working hard to get the dads involved with our work in the community here in Peixinhos. The mothers had been coming for a while already. There were 30 mothers and just one or two fathers.

 This is the other side of the story.

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Brazil: Opening a new world to me

Children dancing at the new cultural centre "Nascedouro"

Children dancing at the new cultural centre "Nascedouro"

When I was young I was a member of a gang. I didn’t know that my mother worked at this community centre. Then a friend of mine who used to be involved in bad things got in trouble with a gang and they tried to kill him.

The only person who helped him was a lady who used to work at the community centre in Peixinhos.

 I was very impressed that although she didn’t know him, she tried to save his life. That was when I started getting involved with the centre. Seeing this lady help someone that wasn’t part of her family opened a new world to me.

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Brazil: Poems from Peixinhos

Oriosvaldo reciting poetry at Nascedouro

Oriosvaldo reciting poetry at Nascedouro

I started writing poems when I was 17. I produced a CD to celebrate my 40 years as a poet last year.

I get inspiration from many places but most importantly from the children, their naturalness,listening to music and seeing the beauty of the people, the women.

My favourite is called Two people who met and were enchanted with each other, “Dos que se encontram y se encantam”.  I wrote it in 1984 and read it every time I present my poems.  

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Brazil: Creating a culture of peace

Festa Juninha

Festa Juninha

At the cultural centre, Nascedouro, we hold cultural events. One of the big annual celebrations is Festa Juninha.

In Brazil there is a tradition that when St John was born Elisabeth cousin of Mary said that to announce the birth she would light a fire to let Mary know he was born.

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Brazil: The great river clean up scandal

We’ve been working a lot with a project run by the government to improve the community since 2000 – pushing for the river to be cleaned, streets paved, a cultural centre, regeneration of the area.

 The community centre brings people together and encourages them to work together to improve things. We had a meeting to clean up the river when it flooded this year. You can see the river in the video clip, which was made to promote our work. It explains the problems we are having with the river and at the end of the clip you can see us going into the town hall to lobby the councillors.

 When it rains people lose everything – televisions, furniture…

 The council is responsible for this. They haven’t been doing their job as agreed. They have money to compensate the families, deepen the river and remove rubbish.

Money was donated by the World Bank eight years ago but little has happened since. It’s a big project to remove families living on the banks of the river. The money was agreed in 2000 but little has been done. The project was planned to be finished in 2000 and now it’s 2008 and it’s hardly started.

We’ve had meetings with the councillors to find out what’s going on. We want answers. What they have to do is not complicated but there have been constant delays.

The problem is that the people are not politicised. The community leaders are linked to political parties. The leader of the neighbourhood association is affiliated to the same party as the mayor. The town councillors are all linked to those in power, too.

Find out more about the Growing towards Peace project

Posted by EdivaldoM

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