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@2016 by Avicres Brasil. Desenvolvido por MayoDesign.

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A talk on the spirituality of AVICRES, according to the name of the organization

Dear friends!

I was asked to write about the identity of AVICRES in relation to its philosophy and practice. I see this as a great opportunity to reflect on the roots of our work according to our name AVICRES: Associação Vida no Crescimento e na Solidariedade. (Association Life in Growth and in Solidarity). In Latin there’s a proverb which says: Nomen est omen, nomen est personalpronomen, nomen est possesivpronomen, what does this mean in relation to our name? So, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll give a brief explanation.

 

Our name AVICRES asks from us to keep up the following philosophy:

 

 “Association”: means to work as a team, in cooperation, in colaboration. Everyone has to think, has to worry, about the objective and the way our work is going; may it be the employes or the leaders, once the leaders are also associate members, everyone is a member of the Organization. In this way we’re all requested to do and maintain a good teamwork, may it be amongst us or amongst the different sectors of “AVICRES”, however different we may be, as we are all aware. But, besides this, the philosophy of our Association also includes a good relationship with those outside of AVICRES: we cooperate having a good relationship with the neighbourhood, the community and with other institutions close by that develop a similar work to ours. In this way, we manage to maintain the public and political dimension of our work. We’re concerned with an intensive communication, internal and external.

In our daily practice, to sum all this up, this principle demands of us to value to the utmost our information, participation, transparency, presence and representation; for those that do not listen or speak, those that are not present, that do not know anything, it’s impossible do a good work for any of the parts involved, may it be the beneficiaries, the organization or the external politics we practice. People that can only think of themselves can never work in association. 

 

“Life”: that is, the COMMOM GOOD, it’s fundamental that we take care of our work in all senses, in all kinds of relations.

At the root of everything, our main concern, is to make sure that life is lived in its plenitude. As Jesus said: “I came so that everyone may live life, may live a life in plenitude.” This begins with a concern for life, for nature in general: to cherish the plants, trees, grass, seeds, food, nutrition, water, etc... This demands from us a concern with healthy eating, which all of our beneficiaries deserve. And, in our Organization, it’s also necessary to be concerned with the garbage disposal, with the earth, the animals, in all the areas it occupies.

As AVICRES we can never be an industrial agriculture. We are based on a living nature, a natural life, I see our work for the human life. Let us never forget that we are not owners of life. Life is a mystical and misterious gift. None of us knows “how” to make life, it’s a privilege to live, and it’s for free. It began before we were here. It requires from us, as AVICRES, a work that respects, cherishes and reinforces a life with dignity. The modern concept “sustainability” includes all this.

Life comes from the bud, the seed, because of this our work involves, preferably, women and children, the children and their parents and all of those that need and suffer in life. Life comes from the ground, it doesn’t fall from the sky or the clouds, so we have to constantly be aware of our roots, we need to think and work in small steps, with small things, simple things. Grandiose things, big buildings, luxurious things have no space in AVICRES, nor glorious things or people, this can’t be esteemed by us nor can the salaries be overvalued. Let’s keep our feet on the ground, just as the African proverb says: “Simple people doing simple things, in places of no importance, achieve extraordinary things!”

 Life is vulnerable and weak, it’s violated and dominated by dreadful people and awful structures, that’s why AVICRES began its work and has to continue it amongst the “miserable”, amongst those whose lives have been destroyed: people from shantytowns, children and adults living in the streets, opressed cultures, in other words, all those that live in social vulnerability. We can never loose track of what our work is about, “preferential option for the poor”, according to the key element of the LIBERATION THEOLOGY. If we ever lost sight of this principle I’d be the first to leave AVICRES behind.

 

“In the Growth”: life always wishes for the future. Life can never stop, life when alive lives from progress, life lives itself. It is never possible to plan life, organize it, put it completely in order, life lives itself. It doesn’t allow an order or an organization to control it. So as AVICRES we have to help this progress in each and everyone of our beneficiaries, of our organization, and also of situations and social structures beyond us. We need to accompany our beneficiaries, our employees and the communities for a more fulfilling life, a more independent and more dignified life. This is part of our objective and it requires from us a good atmosphere at work so that our lives may not wither and die before its natural cycle is due. The general objective of our work, and not only of some of the projects, is to go on TRANSFORMING LIFE.

“And in Solidarity”: no association, no person, can live and survive without solidarity. No one can live on their own or just for themselves. There can be no teamwork without cooperation, without colaboration, without that fundamental attitude which we call solidarity. We need solidarity amongst us, solidarity towards the weak, may them be our beneficiaries or our employees because, each and everyone of us, undergoes times of sufferings, necessities, fragilities, one has to help the other to carry the heavy load at times. Solidarity means that none of us can be left alone in their suffering, in their precarious situation. If someone suffers, the others have to help them carry their suffering.

This atitude, this behaviour, has to be a part of the people of AVICRES, beneficiaries and employees, the communities and also the people of the region. Besides, this solidarity has the following mutual and international meaning: no one can assume the other’s responsabilities. A true solidarity respects the dignity of the other, their capacity to deal with their responsabilities, it’s important to respect the other’s own strenght to resolve their matters. We can’t keep the other person in a fragile, childish and helpless position. So a true and humane solidarity automatically includes the presence of a subsidiary adult. This fundamental principle of solidarity together with a subsidiary adult, helps us to not fall in an atitude of pity, which just reinforces a self-indulgence – for AVICRES a very interesting aspect in an international dimension???

For one thing is fundamental, not just in relation to solidarity, but also in respect to our organization in general: no one can take away from the other their own responsability, they can’t keep the other in an imature and childish position. So having said that, I’d like to continue with one last and fundamental thing in regard to the mutual solidarity:

Here, for us as AVICRES, there is a hidden danger: AVICRES, right from the beginning has been, and needs to continue to be, a brazilian initiative. Although today we depend on financial help from abroad, we have to fight for our autonomy. In respect to our partnership with “Brasilieninitiative AVICRES” from Germany, for example: we do depend on them, we can not deny, but it has to be a dependence with autonomy in regards to how we administrate and think where best to invest the money they donate to us.

Conclusion: let’s walk on our own legs, as an Association of Life in Growth and in Solidarity.

Here, for us as AVICRES, there is a hidden danger: AVICRES, right from the beginning has been, and needs to continue to be, a brazilian initiative. Although today we depend on financial help from abroad, we have to fight for our autonomy. In respect to our partnership with “Brasilieninitiative AVICRES” from Germany, for example: we do depend on them, we can not deny, but it has to be a dependence with autonomy in regards to how we administrate and think where best to invest the money they donate to us.

Conclusion: let’s walk on our own legs, as an Association of Life in Growth and in Solidarity.

Best wishes,

João

FUNDADOR DA AVICRES:

Johannes Niggemeier - João

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