In 2021, Brazil Fund is completing its 15th year of activities. It has provided support for 870 initiatives for the promotion and defence of human rights, and has donated R$ 32.5 million to groups, collectives and grassroots organisations countrywide.
The slogan “At the Brazil Fund, we are you” is the theme of communication campaigns, mobilisation and debates to be held by Brazil Fund up to the end of the year. The objective is to highlight the need for raising awareness and for a collective effort across society to promote human rights and, in this way, protect and broaden democracy itself.
The video is a reminder that human rights are fundamental in guaranteeing the dignity and citizenship of all people, without exception.
The first showing of the video was on Wednesday 29 September, on the singer Roberta Sá´s Instagram profile. The singer hosted Ana Valéria Araújo, superintendent at Brazil Fund and Rose Meire Barbosa Correia, vice-president at Podáali Indigenous Fund, to talk about the timeline thesis and the threat it poses to indigenous people as well as other threats they face in Brazil today.
Participants in this and other activities taking place within the framework of the 15 years, include Brazil Fund´s partners on projects, as well as members of groups and collectives that are or have been supported by the foundation and that have, therefore, helped in its construction and fortification.
Fighting institutional violence and discrimination
In addition to the indigenous agenda, Brazil Fund supports and drives projects that defend human rights in a number of other causes that are essential to Brazilian democracy, such as tackling racism, combatting sexism that violates the rights of women and LGBTQIA+ people, combatting mass incarceration and other violations imposed by the Brazilian state on poor people living in the peripheries, promoting the rights of traditional and quilombola communities, of immigrants, workers in precarious conditions in cities and the countryside and the right to the city and to land.
From the outset, the foundation´s general line of work has been to combat institutional violence and discrimination.
Brazil Fund´s mission is to promote respect for human rights in Brazil, by building innovative sustainable mechanisms that channel resources to strengthening civil society organisations and to developing philanthropy for social justice. To this end, they select projects through public calls for applications. These are widely publicised and offer support primarily to initiatives by organisations, groups and collectives with little access to other sources of funding.
Over these 15 years, there have been 29 public calls for applications, both general and for specific themes.
“Brazil Fund is clear about its stance which has proved correct in these 15 years´ work: activists and grassroots groups are constantly proposing creative effective ways of tackling the violations that affect their communities. Supporting these independent initiatives is a means of strengthening democracy and this is what Brazil Fund has been doing since the beginning”, says Brazil Fund´s superintendent, Ana Valéria Araújo.
Activists in charge
Brazil Fund was launched in December 2006 at an event in Pelourinho, in Salvador. It was conceived and is run by human rights activists at the levels of both Administrative and Advisory Boards and that of the executive team.
Its settlors – Abdias do Nascimento (1914-2011), Margarida Genevois, Rose Marie Muraro (1930-2014) and Dom Pedro Casaldáliga (1928-2020) – are an example in the fight for human rights in the country. The first group of directors was formed by Sérgio Haddad, Sueli Carneiro, Oscar Vilhena and Darci Frigo. Jacqueline Pitanguy de Romani, Fernando Scaff, Renato Roseno, Alex Barbosa, Maria Betania Melo Ávila, Ana Valéria Araújo, Ricardo Yong Filho, Alberto Dines and Edson Cardoso were on the first board.
“Our advisors´ daily work on human rights agendas and our team´s close relationship and active listening with the organisations supported by Brazil Fund, help us to have close ties with those in the field, the latest debates and the most urgent demands. In this way, our work is a relevant response to intense priority changes in a country that violates human rights in many different ways”, says Allyne Andrade, assistant superintendent at Brazil Fund.
Currently, the president of Brazil Fund´s Administrative Board is Mafoane Odara. Also on the Board are Darci Frigo, Jurema Wenerck, Rafael Lins Bezze and Susy Yoshimura. The Advisory Board is made up of Gersem Baniwa, Jorge Eduardo Durão, Kenarik Boujikian, Paulo César Carbonari, Veriano de Souza Terto Junior and Viviane Menezes Hermida.
Transparency is ensured by external audits, which are carried out every year by a Fiscal Board made up of Gisela Sales, Karla Giovanna Battistella, Erica Pereira de Souza and Marta Elizabete Vieira Santana.
“These mechanisms ensure Brazil Fund´s efficiency in the responsible management of funds and this has allowed us to constantly increase the number of human rights groups and collectives we support throughout the whole country”, says Gislene Aniceto, general manager of the foundation. “Transparency is the fundamental premise of our work, as well as the support and very close monitoring of the groups, so we can also help them to manage their resources in order to fulfil their proposed projects, without interfering in their autonomy. This is what we mean when we say ‘I am you’ to the groups we support”, concludes Gislene Aniceto.