Steve Biko Foundation visits Lula Institute in Brazil

Nkosinathi Biko, CEO, and Obenewa Amponsah, Director of Fundraising and International Partnerships of South Arica’s Steve Biko Foundation, visited the Lula Institute on Monday 5 March. During the exchange, a formal invitation to the former President of Brazil was extended for him to present the annual Steve Biko Memorial lecture in South Africa, and an agreement of collaboration between the Steve Biko Foundation and the Lula Institute was drawn up.

“The cooperation with the Steve Biko Foundation will be very important to us because one of the missions of the Institute Lula is to enhance relations between Brazil and Africa," says Celso Marcondes, Executive Coordinator of the Institute.

Nkosinathi Biko is the eldest son of Steve Biko and CEO of the foundation that bears the name of his father. Steve Biko, a student leader and an activist against apartheid who died at age 30, after being arrested and brutally tortured by police in South Africa in 1977, founded and was the first president of the South African Students Organisation (SASO). Steve Biko was also involved in several initiatives against the apartheid regime in his country, including inspiring the Black Consciousness Movement.

Founded 14 years ago, the Steve Biko Foundation works in the areas of knowledge dissemination, policy dialogue and leadership development. "Our work differs from other NGOs because we deal with intangibles, such as the preservation of memory, history and spread of democratic values," said Nkosinathi Biko.

As the Lula Institute in Brazil is involved in the design and construction of the Democracy Memorial in Brazil, the Steve Biko Foundation is nearing completion on the construction of the Steve Biko Centre, a museum, archive, library, community centre, performing arts and conferencing venue with restaurant and retail outlet in Ginsberg, Eastern Cape Province.

The representatives of the Steve Biko Foundation are in Brazil this week. Currently in Sao Paulo, they will also travel to Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, where they will meet with the Steve Biko Cultural Institute.

This article is edited from one first published on the Instituto Cidadania websiteon March 6, 2012.

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