IBREA Foundation was established as a non-profit organization in the US in 2008, with the vision of raising awareness of the great value of the human brain and unleashing its capacity to create the world we all wish to see. IBREA has Special Consultative Status with the UN ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council), and a local branch in El Salvador.
The founder and president of IBREA Foundation, Ilchi Lee, has been working to raise human consciousness for the past 35 years. Author of over 36 books, he has created different institutions providing various methods that help enhance the mind-body connection, brain and body awareness and compassionate living. After participating in the UN Peace Conference for Spiritual leaders in 2000, he felt the urge for change. Rather than only diplomatically talking about peace, he recognized the need for an operational organization that can actualize it, through individuals creating peace in themselves and their communities. That is how IBREA was born.
At the heart of IBREA’s work is the belief in the human nature and its capacity to create.
Everybody wants health, happiness and peace for themselves and those around them. Yet the reality is far from that. What IBREA suggests is to trust one’s self, focus inside to find the answers to one’s problems and take action to solve them. If everybody does that, shouldn’t humanity be able to find a way together and solve our collective issues?
Neuroscience increasingly shows that the human brain longs for high, widely benefiting values. This is not a moral choice or a decision of just a few “outstanding” individuals. It is rather a natural tendency of every human brain, that tends to be forgotten due to difficult experiences and negative information. All one has to do is remember, and this can be simply done by moving the body and focusing on what is happening inside, release, overcome, and move forward. Then we can start to develop clarity, ownership and bring out our creative power. By recovering this natural, healthy state, we can help other people do so too.
Often we separate ourselves from our problems, by seeing them as determined facts controlled by others or by circumstances. But in reality, human beings create their own problems. That’s why problems have to be found inside of us. The same goes for the solutions. They are not external, but rather internal. Whatever circumstances we may have, however difficult they may seem, we always have the choice to respond to them in the way we want. We cannot change the circumstances easily but nobody can take away our freedom to decide how we relate to those circumstances. There is always a way to look at them positively and constructively.
IBREA offers educational programs and seminars that help people raise their self-awareness, realize their brain’s innate desire to reach health, happiness and peace for themselves and others, and develop their body’s capacity to make that a reality in their lives. IBREA does this through brain-based holistic education methods that include body movement, stretching, meditation, breathing, artistic expression, group work, and community action – among others.
These methods are applied through projects in different countries, such as El Salvador, Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Philippines, Costa Rica, for individuals in particularly urgent and difficult situations, as well as for individuals who are interested in doing this work and are willing to take responsibility for themselves.
The Importance of Evaluation
When implementing projects, IBREA attempts to always carefully evaluate their impact through pre and post data analysis. We deliver surveys measuring different indicators such as motivation, peer relations, gender, trauma symptoms, and school climate, among others, to treatment and control groups. Thus, the organization constantly checks whether the methods constitute real changes and improvements and readjusts its approach accordingly.
Impacting the Community
Furthermore, IBREA aims to expand the benefits of its training to the community level by encouraging and mentoring the development and implementation of projects by our program’s participants; projects that help the communities they belong to. For instance, we built a swimming pool in one for the schools where we worked in El Salvador.
The Global Picture
As an NGO with Special Consultative Status in the UN ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council), IBREA strives to offer its program as a tool to advance the UN goals of development and peace. We do this through annual conferences at the UN where we introduce our concept, projects, and the results of the projects so far, to UN Permanent Missions, UN agencies and other UN and international NGO representatives.