As the head of the Legion of Good Will since 1979, Paiva Netto has multiplied the actions of the Organization in the areas of education and human and social promotion through its assistance units, which include model schools of compulsory education, homes for the elderly, and social service centers. These units serve for even bigger projects to which he has dedicated himself for a very long time: Education with all-encompassing Ecumenical Spirituality, based on a groundbreaking teaching line (he himself created), which proposes a new learning model that combines brain and heart.
This pedagogical proposal, whose methodology is successfully applied in the school network and in the social and educational programs developed by the Legion of Good Will, is also present in homes for children, youngsters, and the elderly; Social Service Centers; and sports and cultural centers. Both of these pedagogies “are based on the values originated from Fraternal Love, brought to Earth by several luminaries, especially by Jesus, the Ecumenical Christ, the Divine Statesman,” as the deviser of this proposal, the educator Paiva Netto stated. The Pedagogy of Affection focuses on children up to ten years of age, uniting feelings to the cognitive development of the little ones, so that care and affection can permeate all the knowledge and the environments of their lives, including the school one. In the continuity of the learning process, the Ecumenical Citizen Pedagogy is directed towards the education of adolescents and adults, preparing them to live the concept of Ecumenical Citizenship, established on the full exercise of planetary Solidarity. Its basis is the New Commandment of Jesus, the Ecumenical Christ: “Love one another as I have loved you. Only by this shall all of you be recognized as my disciples. There is no greater Love than to lay down his own Life for his friends.” (The Gospel, according to John, 13:34 and 35 and 15:13)
The president of the LGW’s constant concern about offering the less endowed layers of society access to an Education that attracts attention by blending educational instruction and Ecumenical Spirituality was commented by Professor Arnaldo Niskier, former President of the Brazilian Academy of Letters (ABL), who has affirmed that it is “a noteworthy effort. Paiva Netto is bringing a brand-new teaching methodology that requires specialized teachers who are not available in the job market and therefore will have to be prepared within a completely original and revolutionary system from a pedagogical point of view.”
The fame of such an enterprise made the late journalist Ibrahim Sued (1924-1995) to choose Paiva Netto for an interview about the future of Education, and this would be his last great reporting job to crown the long and successful career of Ibrahim, considered as a pioneer of social columns in Brazil for having interviewed few and selected personalities, among them the once President of the United States John Kennedy (1917-1963), Pope Paul VI (1897-1978) and, during the inauguration of the city of Brasília, the then Brazilian President Juscelino Kubitschek.
The Ecumenical Citizen Pedagogy also received comments praising the initiative from personalities all over the world who were present at the ECOSOC High-Level Segment, which took place at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva (Switzerland), in July 2007. At that time, the Director of the Poverty Eradication Division, from the Ministry of Planning, Economy and Empowerment of the United Republic of Tanzania, Anna Mwasha has expressed:
“The LGW is doing a very wonderful job, particularly in making sure that the children are getting quality Education with values. Different values which develop their brains and hearts. In the future, these children will make all the difference in society and change it completely, making Peace dominate everywhere. I was very much touched. In the more developed countries, much is said about improving the quality of Education, but I understand that the Legion of Good Will fights mainly to mold the children’s character with values like Love and making them calm and aware. An Education built on these values can completely change a society, make people live in Peace, and, in this way, improve the whole world. That is why the LGW employs a blue heart as its symbol. This logo means a lot, it means Love; it’s a global symbol. And if someone has Love, we know that Peace will be there, that development will be there; it is for these small things that you will be able to, spiritually—and even academically—, share with others. So, with the few resources that a person may have, if Love is there, it is possible to share and bring development to many.”