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Presenting a Culture of Beace Banner
President's Office, Brasilia, Brazil

In May 2004, a small delegation of Ageless Wisdom students atending a World Service Intergroup gathering in Brasilia, capital of Brazil, visited the offices of the President of Brazil to meet with Frei Betto (on the left of the photo). A controversial figure who has written almost 50 books, mostly in Portuguese, Frei Betto is a Dominican, a former monk, a socialist, and one of the most influential leaders of Latin America's movement of Liberation Theology.To mark the occasion, a Culture of Peace Banner was presented to Frei Betto, on behalf of the World Service Intergroup.

In 2004, Frei Betto was a Special Assistant to the President of Brazil, with the task of mobilizing popular support for the Brazilian government's visionary Zero Hunger Project. The divide between rich and poor is extreme in Brazil where there are almost 10 million families (46 million people) officially classified as being below the poverty line. The Zero Hunger project represents a massive effort by the administration to address the causes of hunger and, through a wide array of initiatives, to empower the financially poor and to ensure that no-one is hungry. The goal is to involve all Brazilians in the struggle to end hunger in the country. Various creative ventures are being experimented with including microcredit initiatives,and a citizens card which is an electronic card entitling the family to withdraw a monthly sum from the government bank, and allowing access to subsidised 'Budget Restaurants. In order to get the citizens card all members of the family must either be literate or be enrolled in a literacy programme, all children must be attending a school and family members must be participating in a health programme.)

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Anthony and Gita Brooke email : optubrookiana@xtra.co.nz