Founders

Divaldo Franco and Nilson de Souza Pereira met in August 1945, when Divaldo was teaching at Nossa Senhora do Carmo (Our Lady of Carmel) Typing School, in the district of Quinze Mistérios, Santo Antonio, Salvador, where Nilson was enrolled as a student.

Divaldo Franco and Nilson Pereira.
Divaldo Franco and Nilson Pereira.
A lifelong friendship, a spiritual bond was born, founded and fostered by Spiritism; in fact, it was a friendship that started way before their present individual incarnations.

Today, the Mansion of the Way is a wonderful educational and assistance complex, with 50 buildings, in addition to others under construction, where three thousand children and low-income youth are assisted.

 

Several socio-educational activities have been implemented there: prenatal check-ups, layettes for newborn children, a day-care center, preschools, elementary and high schools, vocational courses in technology, ceramics, baking, embroidery, tapestry, and paper recycling; a medical center, a clinical analysis laboratory, in addition to fraternal assistance (spiritual assistance at the Center), the Auta de Souza Caravan (assistance to the elderly and invalid individuals with terminal and degenerative illnesses), Casa da Cordialidade (Cordiality Home) (assistance to needy families), and Libraries, to name a few.

 

To manage such a structure, the Board has more than 200 employees and 400 permanent volunteers.

Mansion of the Way

The Mansion of the Way, built on an area of 19 acres, is surrounded by the festive color of its gardens and the deep green of the native forest.Divaldo Franco, together with Nilson de Souza Pereira – Uncle Nilson – founded this work of love and fraternity on August 15, 1952, in the city of Salvador.

 

The first building of the Mansion of the Way – a name given in honor of the ‘House of the Way’ of the first Christians – was located at 124 Barão de Cotegipe Street, in the district of Calçada, in Salvador. However, it was only in 1955 that the land on which the Mansion of the Way would be built was purchased, located in the district of Pau da Lima, in the city of Salvador.

 

A two-fold experience was being born: substitute homes, where children were raised in a family environment, according to wise Christian-Spiritist guidelines, and the children’s uncles’ and aunts’ fraternal assistance under Divaldo Franco and Uncle Nilson’s tutelage.

 

These homes have flourished under the protection and the blessings of the noble Spirit Mentor Joanna de Ângelis, and have contributed to the intellectual, moral and spiritual development of thousands of children who have received from this beehive of love the unique opportunity of a dignified and happy life.

 

In over forty years, about 680 children and youngsters have lived in these substitute homes until their emancipation. Most of them have started families, building their homes with dignity by working in their chosen field.

 

Health Care

At the beginning of the work of caring for underprivileged children, many of them had fallen ill; therefore, to treat them a very modest clinic was created. With the passage of time, it has grown and it now serves the entire population of the Pau da Lima neighborhood and its vicinity. Today, the clinic’s structure has improved considerably.

Divaldo Franco and the children.
Divaldo Franco and the children.

In terms of education, the Mansion’s original purpose was to welcome and support orphans and needy children by creating substitute homes, which strove to reproduce the conditions of a normal home as much as possible, educating the children and youths in a family environment, particularly regarding the affective and moral aspects.Over the course of 40 years, more than 680 children and young people lived in those substitute homes until their emancipation. Later, in 1987, a new educational philosophy was implemented, resulting from the need to adapt the work of the institution to the social reality in which it operates; thus, the children were kept in their own social environment, but with the Mansion working to change it.

The medium Divaldo Franco, the institution’s nerve center and life force, provides a moving account in the book Mansão do Caminho, 40 anos – Uma História de Amor na Educação (Mansion of the Way, 40 Years – A Love Story in Education) by Washington Luiz Nogueira Fernandes, published in 1992:The Mansion of the Way is the saga of a great achievement. Born in the transcendent world, its story has been one of dedication, sacrifice and love from the moment of its mediumistic conception to the present. Many selfless hearts have worked here, a testimony that love prevails in the human heart, and that in our relativity, we love, seeking to convert into action the manifestations of the love that exist within us, in a demonstration of God’s presence pulsating within us. (…)Now, when hundreds of young people have found their place under the sun, we can only thank God for all the experiences, particularly those who refined us in the exercise of the good and of duty. (…)Through love, which begets education, anything is possible in building a fair, happier society in the future, something we have always longed for.
Several socio-educational activities have been implemented there: prenatal check-ups, layettes for newborn children, a day-care center, preschools, elementary and high schools, vocational courses in technology, ceramics, baking, embroidery, tapestry, and paper recycling; a medical center, a clinical analysis laboratory, in addition to fraternal assistance (spiritual assistance at the Center), the Auta de Souza Caravan (assistance to the elderly and invalid individuals with terminal and degenerative illnesses), Casa da Cordialidade (Cordiality Home) (assistance to needy families), and Libraries, to name a few. 

Currently, the Education and Culture Sector covers the following schools:

  • Jesus Christ Elementary School with 1,012 students; state agreement;
  • Alvorada Nova Preschool, with 100 students.
  • Allan Kardec School with 374 students; municipal agreement.

To assist the institution’s students, as well as the community’s, a Research Library was created. Students can go there to study, do research and borrow books. In addition, there are many other books of various subjects for moments of relaxation and leisure.