FASE – the Federation of Organs for Social and Educational Assistance – was founded in 1961. It is a non-profit, non-governmental organization, active today in six of Brazil’s 27 States and headquartered in Rio de Janeiro. Since its inception, it has devoted itself to the grass-roots organization and development of communities and associations.

Through the 1960s, FASE layed the groundwork for promoting associations and cooperatives, but the 1964 military coup forced a realignment of those priorities. Its main focus came to be rank-and-file labor and grass-roots community organizing.

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Reunião com grupos sindicais de Maniçoba, Guaranhuns (PE), em 1976. (Arquivo/FASE)
Meeting with labor movements in Maniçoba, Garanhuns (PE), in 1976 (Photo: FASE/ Archives)

During the 1970s, FASE supported social movements fighting the high cost of living, child labor and economic and social inequalities. It worked alongside peasants in northern Brazil, farmworkers in the northeast, construction and metalworkers’ unions in the southeast and emerging neighborhood associations nationwide. As it supported hundreds of leaders in their education and struggles, FASE entered the 1980s as part of the overall process that brought amnesty, the constituent assembly and direct elections.

To promote even more democracy, during the late 1980s and into the 1990s FASE developed educational tools and methodologies focused on community control and civic participation around both urban and rural issues. Themes such as socially and environmentally sustainable development, affirmative action struggles by women, Afro-Brazilian and indigenous peoples’ movements and actions to promote the enforcement of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights came to be trademarks in the struggle against inequality.

With the onset of the 21st Century, FASE moved its work to local, national and international scales to integrate different networks, fora and platforms in opposition to neoliberal policies. In the areas of upholding principles and producing knowledge, FASE has worked jointly with public agencies, monitored projects and collaborated with universities. The results of those ties include dozens of publications in FASE’s magazine Proposta, published since the late 1970s, as well as seminars, courses, lectures and campaigns.

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