C4R is more than a charity, we are a community of believers, experts, dreamers, doers, innovators, and risk takers. It is through this growing community that we are able to effect measurable, and powerful social change, to concretely transform the lives of the most vulnerable amongst us. – Ummul Choudhury, Chief Executive Officer
Our mission. Our passion.
We bring fun, resilience and happiness to the lives of children in conflict zones
We know that the best way to help is to support young people to help themselves. That’s why we train youth who are experiencing the impact of war, to become their own Changemakers. We know that it’s especially important that girls and women can join in and that’s why we focus on helping both male and female coaches reach out to girls. We know that to rebuild a future after the destruction of war, people need hope. That’s why we use live music, fun and play to create safe spaces for communities to learn, grow and overcome the traumas of conflict.
We measurably improve the mental and physical health of children impacted by war and conflict
Displaced children and youth, and people in host communities face the following issues:
Disruption of formal education due to need to work, gender roles, and lack of education opportunities
Lack of skills and job training
Tension between refugees and host communities, and discrimination against refugees
“Capoeira allows children to release their anger and frustration in a safe and healthy way.”
Mark Brasilford, UNRWA Senior Protection Officer
C4R addresses these issues through our Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) tools that incorporates children and youth voices in programme evaluations.
‘The Psychosocial Impact of Capoeira for Refugee Children and Youth summary‘ conducted in partnership with the University of East London demonstrates that capoeira has a significant positive impact on improving the mental and psychosocial wellbeing of students. READ MORE
C4R also uses GPS Stamped, On/Offline mobile data collection tools to collect and present real-time attendance data in conflict zones and hard-to-reach project areas with extremely limited infrastructure.
Download here our Capoeira4Refugees Changemakers curriculum
Capoeira was developed in 16th Century Brazil by Afro-Brazilian slaves. Capoeira consists of live music, sport and play, as well as storytelling and ritual. Slaves used the art form as part of their struggle for freedom. If not of the body, then at least of the mind. The historical context of capoeira today resonates with the struggle of vulnerable communities, in particular refugees, everywhere. It is for this reason especially that capoeira offers a unique approach towards community empowerment.
Today, capoeira is one of the most important manifestations of Brazilian culture. Grassroots projects around the world continue to transform the lives of millions.
Tarek Alsaleh half Syrian, half German started playing capoeira on the streets of Damascus in 2007. Children off the streets joined him. Tarek saw how capoeira gave children and youth something positive to do with their time. It kept them from getting involved with crime, and opened their minds to difference ideas. It was from these very local beginnings that Capoeira4Refugees was born.
Since 2007 C4R has worked with over 60,000 vulnerable children and youth and training over 40 local trainers who trained up others to train independently in their own communities. Our main objectives are to increase the overall psychosocial wellbeing of young people impacted by conflict, to strengthen these communities by supporting local talented youth to become Capoeira Community Changemakers, and to create a sustainable movement that can amplify our work at the field level through developing a global capoeira platform. Delivering capoeira classes is C4R’s main activity; these consist of movement, music, play, and sports.