AVICRES is a non-governamental organization which is characterized by being a philanthropic association with no political bonds. AVICRES has titles of Public Utility from the Municipal, State and Federal governments, besides being registered in the Town Councils of Social Assistance and also in The Children and Teenagers Rights.
AVICRES was officially opened on the 23rd of August 1991, by the theologian Johannes Niggemeier, who started working at that time with children living in social vulnerability in the county of Mesquita, in the Community Lírio do Vale. Later on the counties of Nova Iguaçu and Belford Roxo, all in the State of Rio de Janeiro, were included. Throughout the years this work started to also include teenagers, adults and elderly in social vulnerability. The main purpose of Avicres is to promote the growth and integral development of the human being, offering educational, psychological, assistencial and health support.
All of AVICRES’ educational projects are completely free of charge, the families don’t pay any kind of monthly fee or have expenses with any costs concerning material that is used during the time the children and teenagers are enrolled. These projects, based on the Holistic Pedagogy, work so that children and teenagers may live with dignity, away from the streets and social risks.
AVICRES is not the result of our own will, but an answer to our vocation: our option for the poor and most in need.
Education for Peace
A Talk by João /Johannes, the founder of AVICRES
“Do not let us fall into resignation (in the face of all the violence), but deliver us from evil!”
Here in Baixada Fluminense violence has already become a plague and so today we are experiencing different ways, different types of resignation:
Almost everyone complains non-stop, or “have fun” even, complaining in everyday conversations, describing, painting brutal scenes on the wall. This is something that may, in a medium or long term, tire us out, it encourages us to give up. And, along with that, there’s also the habit we all have of accusing the “public authorities” of not doing anything - they actually never have done - in order to create circumstances or proper structures that may help to avoid the increasing violence. And the truth is: “Justice leads to Peace!” And poverty leads to hunger, living on the streets, lack of jobs. In the same way that corruption, practiced by public authorities, leads to fights, wars and... violence.
Nowadays, specially, we have been experiencing this. But if we just keep on complaining, accusing the other, making the powerful people responsible for all that is happening, this will only make us feel more incompetent, and think of ourselves incapabe of doing anything about it, of never being able to do anything about this plague which bestows upon us like an anonymous tragedy.
We believe in that popular saying:
“Kindness generates Kindness!”
And now we go into the realm of our private lives and of our everyday work:
EDUCATION: EDUCATION FOR PEACE
I wish to bring to light principles that are fundamental for an Education for Peace:
1) Only “Peace generates Peace”
Peace and the belief of working for Peace. Nobody can give what they do not have.
2) The example of the educator that Works for Peace.
This presupposes a peaceful behaviour/a struggle for an atmosphere of Peace:
In your own private life, outside of work
In your interaction/cooperation with fellow workers in the different projects (e.g. in the meetings)
3) “A NON-VIOLENT COMMUNICATION”
An interest to understand the children’s reality (facts, events, emotions...)
Have empathy for the child’s situation, put yourself in the child’s place
Understand/respect the child’s action... and not judge!
Affection/disposition in assisting and finding solutions
Accept, cherish your own emotions, don’t hide them, be transparent (!) in respect to your own feelings, of kindness, of love... LOVE – LOVE – LOVE
4) Listen – be gentle – act gradually – consider the child’s life events – take with you happiness and disposition
5) Learn with NATURE:
To take care
To live LIFE
6) Always work in accordance to the values of AVICRES
7) AN ENVIRONMENT OF PEACE
The most effective education against VIOLENCE, more effective than all our words, is an atmosphere of CREATIVE SILENCE (e.g. eliminating the noise and the stupidity of television).