CESE team and board meet to assess 2023 progress

“Advent is a time of hope. When we attain one horizon, we go in search of the next, just as with the Messiah’s arrival, it is with us.  We have got this far and we’ll carry on moving forward. He was the one who taught us how to change the world: involving people, one by one, seeking dignity, justice.  Transformation will not come from the powerful.  It’s up to us to spread this desire.

Presbyter Eleni Rangel, of the Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil (Igreja Presbiteriana Independente do Brasil: IPIB) and CESE’s President, made this reflection during CESE’s Advent Celebration on 14 December, marking the end of a day of team evaluation to assess both Brazil’s political situation over the year and what the organization has done in response.

With prayers, with renewals of our commitment to the fight for social justice, the Advent Celebration was marked by collective songs and prayers.  The tone of the celebration was set by verses such as “May forgiveness be sacred, may faith be infinite, may men be free, may justice survive,” from the song “The flag of the Divine” by Ivan Lins and Vitor Martins and “It’ll work out” by Negra Li, which includes the lyrics “With a lot of courage, we’re still standing.  We’re moving forwards”.

2023 was full of emotions, expectations and achievements, marked by CESE’s 50th anniversary celebrations, starting with the VIII CESE and the Social Movements meeting and another meeting with the agencies that support the organization. On 13 June, the day itself, an Inter-religious Celebration was held at the Holy Trinity Church and the celebrations continued with the exhibition “Memory of a pathway for the defence of human rights” and many other activities.

In 2023, the Small Projects Programme supported 343 initiatives, reaching approximately 102 thousand beneficiaries, by investing BRL 5.4 million in the struggles for movements that defend human rights.  We held 33 training meetings, including circle conversations, courses, workshops, seminars and meetings.

In terms of Strategic Communications, two podcast series were developed in partnership with Le Monde Diplomatique Brasil and a cover article was published in its print edition, while two new partnerships were also signed: one with the Brasil de Fato news website, for the podcast “On the Trail of the Struggles” which addresses the past and present struggles of the social movements, and with the De Olho nos Ruralistas observatory for the documentary SOS Maranhão.