International Day of Nonviolence

Institutionalized violence in our society announces its own continuity in an impassive and unforgiving way. Whether inside homes, at school, on the streets and in multiple environments, in relationships between peers, lovers or family members of all levels, in 2019 we still read, hear, see and experience extremely violent situations.

But what scares you most in this devastating scenario?

  • Statistics measured by security and justice institutions and organizations?
  • The medical records that result in reports that prove the exercise of brutal violence?
  • The existence of institutions that only operate through violence itself?
  • Military, civil, religious wars … sometimes so far away, sometimes in the inner city that we live?

There are many questions that arise before the first, but all of them are associated with the advancement of a society that seeks to answer all levels of violence with more violence. Through this rationality, we can see clearly what we need to face ahead. Although the world is finally changing a lot, the violence will not end tomorrow … And, perhaps the other way around.

This is precisely why the International Day of Nonviolence should be remembered and discussed, but in no way celebrated – in view of the very need for a date like this. There will not be a day when this topic will not need to be remembered, but it is possible to transform and transform our realities so that institutionalized violence is not something so commonplace.

That date, October 2nd, was chosen by UN because it was the birth of one of the greatest spokespersons for the cause, Mahatma Gandhi (1989-1948). For the United Nations, the exercise of non-violence is a collective task, never exclusive to governments and international organizations: “Peace can be achieved at a negotiating table, but it is the communities that consolidate it. Peace begins in the hearts of the people who are committed to achieving it. Each community, family and individual has a decisive role to play in eliminating violence and creating a culture of peace ”.

But what does the Aventura de Construir have to do with this theme? The key point is: our mission of inclusive territorial development involves a series of benefits through the strengthening of the community itself: improvement in the quality of life and family health, school stability of the children, development of a circular economy and new businesses, respect for diversity , reduction of violence and many other aspects.

Among these elements, the issue of reducing violence is an extremely relevant pillar. Regarding the areas in the periphery of the West Zone that we serve, it should be noted that they are not among the most violent neighborhoods according to the São Paulo State Secretariat of Public Security. As complicated as this measurement is, which can be analyzed here, we understand that our work carried out in recent years, together with the presence of other institutions such as ATST and Educar para a Vida, has a positive effect on the people living in these territories.

Aventura de Construir is not directly responsible for this situation, but certainly it is indirectly responsible, based on our effort to form protagonists who multiply their learnings within their communities and relationships. Today, we still cannot celebrate the International Day of Non-Violence, but we can say that we collaborate so that this topic is discussed and reflected at all levels of our changing society, especially with the most vulnerable populations. Thus, we hope to contribute so that the lives of low-income people, who are affected by different types and degrees of violence on a daily basis, can improve and be strengthened based on protagonism.

We hope that this International Day of Nonviolence, and the life of Mahatma Gandhi, will inspire us today and always to put non-violent communication into practice at all levels and aspects of life!

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