1 – Who we are:
The BRAZILIAN RÖERICH INSTITUTE FOR PEACE THROUTH CULTURE is a non-profit civil association which was established on October 9, 1999 in order to promote Peace by way of Educational, Cultural and Arts programs, as well as to implement actions for the protection and preservation of Cultural and Natural Heritages.
The work is maintained with spontaneous contributions, monthly contributions from its 25 members as well as sponsorships. In addition, the BRAZILIAN RÖERICH INSTITUTE has articulated with other Non-Governmental Organizations – NGOs – and with governmental organs for implementing its programs and projects in the states of Bahia and São Paulo, Brazil.
2 – Brief Background:
In October of 1993, a group of admirers of the works of Nicholas Roerich created the “Peace and Culture Circle” with the aim of fostering the study of the books of Agni Yoga and the letters of Helena Roerich, and also triggering the reflection about Live Ethics. In this way, the forming of a group of Agni Yoga was begun through weekly meetings and weekend seminars in Salvador, capital of the state of Bahia, and in São Paulo, capital of the state of São Paulo.
On April 15, 1998, a second step was taken. The Peace and Culture Circle released the “Friends of the Roerich Pact Movement and the Banner of Peace through Culture” with the objective to divulge the Roerich Pact and the Banner of Peace and Culture and to put into action the ideas of Nicholas Roerich. On October 9, 1999, the BRAZILIAN RÖERICH INSTITUTE was formalized as a civil organization, thus, broadening its capacity to articulate with other organizations and to implement the proposals of the Roerich International Pact of Peace and Culture in Brazil.
3 – Objectives:
- Disseminate and contribute to the fulfillment of the basic principles of the International Roerich Pact of Peace through Culture in Brazil, which was signed on April 15,1935 by twenty-one nations of Americas in the White House, in the presence of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt;
- Establish and maintain partnership with governments and international organizations that have related arms and objectives ;
- Promote and develop the alliance between artists, scientists, educators, representatives of religions and spiritual organizations as well as other segments of society to create a network around the Culture of Peace;
- Disseminate the meaning of the Banner of Peace and Culture as well as preserve its the history by the ceremony of hoisting this Banner in places which have scientific, historic and cultural significance;
- Develop and implement projects, and perform actions that promote sustainable, social and human development;
- Propose and implement actions to strengthen the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as support national and international documents that provide the building of the Culture of Peace in the world;
4 – Organizational Structure:
The BRAZILIAN RÖERICH INSTITUTE has the following organizational structure:
Executive Board: organ that defines, elaborates, coordinates and evaluates the actions and projects of the Institute. It is made up the president, vice-president, and directors of Education for Peace, Arts, Culture, Heritage and International Relations, Science, Financial Management and Sustainable Economy, Edu-Communication and Development of Institutional Management.
- Director – President: Raimundo Crispim dos Santos
- Director – Vice-President: Ana Maria dos Santos Silva
- Director of Sciences: Edilton Passos Tourinho
- Director of Arts: Denise Noronha de Oliveira
- Director of Culture, Heritage and International Relations: Heloisa Helena F. G. Costa
- Director of Education for Peace: Josenilda Noronha de Oliveira
- Director of Development of Institutional Management:: Roberto de Araújo Correia
- Director of Financial and Sustainable Economy Management: Joílson Silva da Cruz
- Director of Edu-communication: Genilson Conceição da Silva
Deliberative Board: organ of collegiate deliberation and internal consultation that acts as the supervisor of the deeds and actions of the Institute and of the executive board; made up of a president, vice-president, and counselors.
- President of the Deliberative Board: Roberto Emílio Bailly Andersen Cavalcanti
- Vice – President of the Deliberative Board: Marly de Almeida Pedra
- Counselor: Isabel Alice Jesus de Pinho
- Counselor: Paulo César dos Santos
- Counselor: Paulo Lauro Nascimento Dourado
- Counselor: Luiz Henrique de Jesus Almeida
- Counselor: Paulo Sérgio Viana de Oliva
- Counselor: Margarida Maria Andrea Jambeiro
- Counselor: Silvia Simões Alves Cordeiro
General Assembly: supreme organ of the Institute, made up of all the active members.
Advisor on International Relations: Andrea Ruf
Communication Advisor: Cássia Maria Alves Nunes
- Member: Denise Dinigre
- Member: Ivana Maria Oliveira Maciel
- Member: Carla Oliveira de Carvalho
- Member: Aline Manuela V. S. Carvalho
- Member: Heliana Mettig
5 – Periodic activities scheduled at the Röerich Institute:
5.1. Day Celebrations.
- The International Day of Peace Celebration (declared by the United Nations) on September, 21.
- Nicholas Roerich’s Birth Anniversary Celebration on October, 09.
- The day of the International Roerich Pact signature on April, 15.
5.2. Groups for research, study and action
In Salvador, State of Bahia: The National Headquarter
- Roerich Nucleus – studies for Culture, Peace and Agni Yoga. The group carries out research on the work and life of Nicholas and Helena Roerich in order to develop Culture Peace through art and education. Fortnightly on Tuesdays from 20pm to 21:30pm.
- GAIA Education Course – Design in Sustainability: Started on July,31, getting two weekends a month. The course runs until November.
- Meeting of the Econeighborhood Coordination: the Econeighborhood aims to promote sustainable lifestyle in the city’s neighborhoods which is inspired by experiences of Ecovillage. For this, the activities are designed to develop the sense of community in the neighborhood, strengthen the bond with the place and wake up care among all beings. The meeting occurs every Monday at 7:30pm.
- Meeting of the “Aldeia Bahia” Project team: The goal of Aldeia Bahia Project is the promotion environmental awareness and education through cultural activities and entertainment. The launch of the “Aldeia Bahia” was held at Salvador City, Bahia, on June, 5, 2010. The choice of this city as the core of the project is due to the peculiar characteristics
of its people, their songs, dances and rich artistic expressions, which promote a conducive environment to unity in diversity. The meeting occurs every Wednesday at 7:30pm.
In Sao Paulo, State of Sao Paulo, at the Urusvati House: the Nucleus Sao Paulo.
- Agni Yoga Group –meeting for meditation, reading and reflection of the Agni Yoga teachings (Agni Yoga Series and Letters of Helena Roerich). Every Wednesday from 7:30 pm to 9pm. Free admission
- Taoist alchemy –practicing of Healing Tao system of Qi Gong. Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7am to 9am.
- Choral – choral singing as a way to built harmony and balance in our lives.
- Free Moulding Course– Wednesdays from 9:00am to 11:30 and from 7pm to 9:30pm.
- “Ecovillage UR” at Sao Roque, Sao Paulo –culture for sustainability and Living Ethic with the Nature.
- Meetings with Sophia –
6 – Activities have been done:
We believe in the importance of education as a whole, involving the arts and ethical values, for the construction of a Culture of Peace. Our work methodology is based on 3 basic values: LOVE – ACTION – BEAUTY. Thus, we have promoted over the past 10 years of functioning, the following activities:
In the year of 1999:
First Assembly of Peace and Culture Lovers: it was held on April 15, 1999 with the aim of proposing actions of peace to the participating countries of the Roerich International Pact and the United Nations, including the Solicitation for the activation of the Pact in their countries.
Education for Media and Peace Project: Capacity-building course on video elaboration, script and production for 30 young people between 16 and 21 years of age, in the outskirts of Salvador, Bahia. Period of 6 months.
Workshop on peace: The workshop was held with the participation of 50 residents of the “Alto das Pombas” community (district with a high rate of violence in the city of Salvador). This work was carried out in partnership with the Community Forum of Combat against Violence of the Federal University of Bahia. Period of 6 months.
In the year of 2000:
Project for Broadening Visual Perception through the Technique of Mosaics: Capacity-building course on the production of useful objects and a mosaic panel, for 30 young people between 16 and 21 years of age in Salvador. Period of 6 months.
In the year of 2001:
Women in Action Project: This project trained 20 multipliers in the prevention of STDs/AIDS in rural communities in the municipality of Feira de Santana, Bahia. The project facilitated the discussion about gender issues and the formation of a local group of women geared towards generating income for the families of the local communities. The project itself lasted one year, but fostered the creation of a local group of women that is still active today. The activities were financed by the Brazilian Health Ministry and had the support of UNESCO.
Media of Peace Award: The objective of this initiative was to identify journalists who are creating a Culture of Peace in the Brazilian setting. The award was developed in partnership with the magazine “Imprensa” (the Press), Media of Peace Movement and was sponsored by the Samaritan Hospital.
Project for Broadening Visual Perception through Quilting: Sewing course to produce cushions, bedspreads and other items for 30 young women in the city of Salvador. Period of 6 months.
Project for the Education of Peace and Non-Violence to Women: Four workshops were carried out with 50 women in the outskirts of Salvador. This was one of the projects developed in partnership with the Plan for Promotion of Peace of Salvador City Hall and the Federal University of Bahia – UFBA.
Education for Media and Videos for Peace Production Project (second edition): Capacity-building course on video elaboration, script and production for 30 young people between 16 and 21 years of age, in the outskirts of Salvador, Bahia. Period of 6 months.
Launching of the Campaign “Disarm yourself…Begin with your Thoughts”: The campaign had as its objective the fostering of a culture of peace by way of educational workshops, in which the necessary values to transform thoughts and to develop an attitude of peace were discussed, in the city of Salvador.
In the year of 2002:
Organization of a Parliamentary Committee for the Culture of Peace of the Legislative Assembly in the state of São Paulo – ConPAZ: This is the first Committee in the world with the objective of permeating the culture of peace in public policies. We have Counselor memberships.
Peace in Schools Project: The aim of this Project was to enable Teachers, Directors and Student Leaders with strategies of violence reduction in 5 Schools with high rates of violence in Salvador. As a result of this work, a booklet was elaborated on the values of peace, and a Nucleus of Peace was implanted in each of the schools, aiming at spreading the values of peace. The Project reached more than 5,000 people and it was developed in partnership with the Plan to Promote Peace from Salvador City Hall and Education and Culture Department.
Campaign “Disarming the Heart to Disarm the Gesture”: The campaign’s objective was to spread values of peace and education of the mind on behalf of disarming emotions and thoughts that produce violence. The project ended with a drama presentation by teenagers, the elaboration of a peace statute and an exposition of paintings and collages. The project had as partners the Peace Plan of the Military Police of Salvador and the Public Security Office of the State of Bahia. There were 150 people involved in the workshops and over 1,000 residents took part in the shows presented at the local public squares.
Community Development Project: The project’s objective was to spread values of peace, as well as stimulate community organization in the struggle for their rights, and in exercising their duties as citizens, before public powers. The project organized Local Executive Committees in seven districts of Salvador with high rates of violence. Ultimately, the project involved more than 300 people and for this to happen it counted on the partnership with the City’s Plan to Promote Peace.
Project Young Apprentices in Action: The project fostered values of peace and stimulated youth to recover their self-esteem, preparing them to get started in the job market by means of Art through Recycling workshops and others on Healthy Eating. The project had the participation of 70 young people from the Municipality of São Francisco do Conde, Bahia, and counted on the participation of Petrobrás and São Francisco do Conde’s Municipal City Hall.
Peace Mediator Course: The aim of the course was to train people in mediating district conflicts, thus avoiding violent situations, and to guide the community to claim their rights as citizens. The project was developed in four districts of Salvador and reached 180 people.
College of Sciences and Culture of Bahia, B. A. Degree: We took part in the elaboration of the proposal of the said college course, which was implanted in the city of Salvador by the supporting organization of the Studies of the Soul IDEAL (partner) and was approved by the Ministry of Education of Brazil – MEC. The College of Sciences and Culture of Bahia concentrates its efforts on including the Culture of Peace subject in its curriculum, aiming at education geared towards human values and principles of peace.
From the year of 2005 until present time:
The co-creation of the Free University of the Environment and of Culture of Peace – UMAPAZ: This was a joint initiative proposed to São Paulo’s City Hall Office of the Green Environment and today it has its headquarters in Ibirapuera Park, in the heart of São Paulo.
Creation of ECONEIGHBORHOOD: We organized and maintain the Econeighborhood Permanent Program, which has the objective of implementing the proposals of Ecovillages in urban centers and fostering the creation of sustainable districts. We received the support of the United Nations due to our integrating the Culture of Peace as Sustainable Development.
Committee of the Environment, Sustainable Development and the Culture of Peace: We are Board members of the Subprefecture of Vila Mariana, where the Flag of Peace and Culture was raised.
Gaia Education – International Network of Ecovillages: We brought the course of Gaia Education to Brazil and have started the fourth class. Up to now 320 people have been capacitated in the course of Sustainability Designer.
Project “Plataforma”: The Project had as its objective to facilitate the insertion of 40 young people from the district of “Plataforma” (outskirts of Salvador) into the job market, through training in carpentry and mosaics technique. One of the results obtained by the project was the organization of a local co-op and the redeeming of the district’s culture. The project received financing from Petrobrás and counted on the participation of over 6,000 residents of the district in the workshops organized by the students with their teachers’ support. Due to the success of its activities, the project has continued to function and develop.
Activities in 2009:
Co-creation of FÉ MENINA, on 08/15/09: This movement aims to redeem the Feminine Principle and integrate it in the activities of religious institutions, spiritual groups and indigenous traditions that are part of the URI – United Religions Initiative, an inter-religious movement. FE MENINA will support and divulge the Roerich International Pact of Peace and Culture within the URI.
First National Assembly of Peace and Culture Lovers: The Assembly was held in São Paulo, on September 5th and 6th, 2009.
The Nicholas Roerich’s 135th Birth Anniversary Celebration at International Roerich Memorial Trust, Naggar, Kullu District, India: In order to establish contact with Roerich Organizations, two members of Brazilian Roerich Institute attended the event on October, 9th, 2009.
Second National Assembly of Peace and Culture Lovers: The Assembly will be held in Salvador, Bahia, on October 31th and November 1th, 2009.
Activities in the first semester of 2010
Celebration of 75th anniversary of the signing of the International Roerich Pact: The panel “Protection and Preservation of natural treasures: the challenges to the servers of culture” held on April 15, 2010, in Sao Paulo. This activity honored the 75th anniversary of the signing of the International Roerich Pact signed on April 15, 1935, with Brazil as one of the signatory countries, and the international year of rapprochement of cultures and biodiversity declared by the United Nations. The symbolic act was the hoisting the Banner of Peace and Culture in Sao Paulo.
The Launch of the GAIA EDUCATION Course: The Gaia Education Course was launched on April 12, 2010 in Salvador with the May East’s lecture, a Brazilian designer in sustainability, who lives in the Findhorn Ecovillage, in Scotland, for 18 years, and is one of the directors of Gaia Education. This program is linked to the United Nations to disseminate the concept of sustainable urbanism worldwide. May East works for the Global Ecovillage Movement and the Transition Towns Movement internationally. The lecture aimed at bringing together planners, environmentalists, engineers, architects, managers, educators and leaders of neighborhood associations to talk about the proposal of the project. The program proposes the implementation of the concept of sustainability in the neighborhoods of Salvador, which is the second Brazilian city (the first one was Sao Paulo) to accede to the proposal. The design is inspired by the experiences of the ecovillages.
8 hours of sustainable actions: the program promoted needed activities for a healthy and peaceful life in a city in transition. The program was developed on April 24, 2010, Saturday 9am to 5pm, in the sub-prefecture of Vila Mariana, Sao Paulo City, and contemplated activities which performanced in eight hours: the first time for the theme of spirituality; second time to the subject of culture, the third time for the education theme, the fourth time for health, to education in the fifth, the sixth time for the economy; in time for seventh and eighth ecology to politics.
The Launch of the ALDEIA BAHIA PROJECT: The goal of Aldeia Bahia Project is the promotion environmental awareness and education through cultural activities and entertainment. The launch of the “Aldeia Bahia” was held at Salvador, Bahia, on June, 5, 2010. The choice of this city as the core of the project is due to the peculiar characteristics of its people recognized the songs, dances and rich artistic expressions, thus, providing an environment conducive to unity in diversity.