By Avtk. Ananda Sushiila Ac.
In Porto Alegre, Brazil, Ananda Marga runs six schools. Five are preschools and one a primary school up to 4th grade.
The first kindergarten was started in 1985 by Didi Ananda Lipika together with the help of members of Ananda Marga from Restinga Novo, a relatively poorer region south of Porto Alegre. The current director of that school is Kevalinii who has been working in the school since 1986. The school has always received very much appreciation from the parents and community. It now has 50 children. Due to the high demand from the community, Ananda Marga opened 3 more kindergarten in a nearby area; one is in Restinga Velha was started by Dada Sucitananda in 1988. The current director of that
school is Viviane and there are now 43 children. Another school is in Barro Vermelho and was started by Dada Cittabodananda in 1992. The current
director is Susanti with 70 children. The latest school was started in Restinga Nova, near the first school, by Didi Ananda Vandana in 1995. The current director is Ester who have been working in the school since 1996. The school now has 50 children.
Ananda Marga runs another kindergarten in Belem Novo, which is further south than Restinga Novo. It was a boys’ home initially established by Dada Sucitananda in 1984 and later on it became a kindergarten in 1989, managed by Supriya. In 1994 Didi Ananda Vandana took over responsibility and improved it. The current director is Isabel, with 70 children.
With lots of requests from parents of the kindergartens in the Restinga area for further education in Ananda Marga, Didi Ananda Vandana opened a primary school, called Neohumanist Fundamental Primary School. The current director is Diipamala. This school has 272 students from 1st to 4th grades.
All the schools are working hard to establish Neohumanist Education programs. Regular classes include collective meditation with songs, yoga asanas, drama and storytelling in the library. There are also many yearly projects such as the values of Yama and Niyama, cultural programs, health food presentations, knowing oneself, art activities with creative movement and dance, etc.
Presently all schools projects are under the administration of Amurt/ Amurtel of Brazil. The President is Sudama. The pedagogical side of the schools is overseen by Dharmamitra.