My name is Fabiana and I'm Brazilian. I lived in my country for the first nineteen years of my life, then immersed myself in the full-time experience of the Gente que Avanza Movement, travelling all over Latin America for 10 years. I also spent two years at the IofC Centre in England and then another 18 years in Uruguay, coordinating the Gente que Avanza Youth Training Programme.
Now, I am newly arrived in Petrópolis, Brazil, together with my husband and children. We’ve started a new adventure, working with other like-minded people in Brazil, to help grow communities that aim to live the essence of IofC and, through their lives, inspire others to do the same.
Recently, we travelled with my family to São Paulo to visit two families who had contact with MRA many years ago. They were surprising encounters! Two of the ladies told us that in the 1970s, when they were just teenagers, they met Elsa Vogel (France) and Josephine Austad (Malta), who visited their parents. During the lunches shared with these ladies, it was clear that what they were discussing with their parents was very important, even though the girls didn’t understand much at the time. Years later, when already in their 40's, the memory of those discussions came strongly to the fore. They began searching social networks for Elsa and Josephine, keen to reignite that special feeling they had during those visits. We were able to make those important connections for them and link them into the work we have set for ourselves to build new communities around the essence of IofC.
One of the tools to extend the network of IofC and engage people across Brazil and indeed Latin America, is the I-Listen Zoom in Portuguese and Spanish. Many, from different countries on our continent, have been meeting most Saturdays and Sundays for the last five months to share a time of reflection and to seek direction together. We have also been joined by people from other continents who, at some point in their lives, gave the best of themselves to this part of the world.
Every week, new people are joining this time together. That’s how we met these two families from São Paulo. They too were able to rediscover this challenging message of being the protagonists of a better world, a message that they both now see anew as adults, thanks to the imprint left on their childhood.
Now that I am back in Petrópolis, I started to reflect on what we heard and experienced. Memories and experiences of the past gain new significance when seen from the perspective of the present. What we have lived acquires meaning and becomes a valuable contribution to the current growth of our mind, body and spirit. The same thing can happen when we enter this For a New World website. We discover that this light so many people before us made shine so brightly, continues to guide our present.
Fabiana Duarte, 2020-10-23