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Proyecto Casa Quilombo


Proyecto Casa Quilombo


Ecuador, Quito


Proyecto Casa Quilombo aims to create a permanent spacefor Capoeira Angola, which serves as the basis for the generation of social and cultural projects with a focus on human development and group facilitation.


The ACANNE – EC Foundation, with the different projects and spaces that have been opened for the development of Capoeira Angola, has positioned itself as the first and only social capoeira project, training more than 1500 young people throughout the 17 years. In addition, as an important part in the formation, practice and tradition of Capoeira Angola, four international events have been held with the presence of their Mestre Renè Betancourt. Finally, with Capoeira Angola and other accompanying tools such as Gestalt psychotherapy, social projects have been developed to prevent risk behaviors with young people.


Marginalised communities


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ACANNE.Ecuador/


As we come to the end of 2017, I’ve been reflecting on the idea of generosity of spirit. To work in an NGO in war zones and areas of conflict, tests our ability to be the best of who we are. Daily, we are faced with much of the worst of humanity.

Reading the Charter for Change: localization of humanitarian aid, an outcome of the World Humanitarian Summit held in 2017, it seems to me that a lot of us in the sector as a whole have forgotten what it means to be generous of spirit. When we are faced with the fact that 0.2% of the aid that Western actors give makes it to local NGOs, we have to do some serious soul searching about how we got into this position.

Capoeira4Refugees has always worked at a grassroots level, and has a track record of empowering local actors. In fact, the projects that we have worked on have led to replication, local jobs, and local ownership since our very beginnings in Damascus in 2007/08. This means that in Syria, Palestine, and Jordan we were able to close down our offices knowing that the work with capoeira was carrying on and locally owned.

As Capoeira4Refugees has grown and developed over the years, we have always sought to retain that generosity of spirit. This has shown up in our desire to partner and share our knowledge as widely as possible. This has shown up through our recently launched grassroots Changemaker Award. This has shown up through the volunteers and supporters who have helped us to keep the organization going.

The Charter for Change is a reminder that we all have to remember why we give and what we expect to achieve from that giving. And that sometimes, we require more than the best of intentions. We need to have that generosity of spirit, which allows us to face the darkest sides of ourselves and still be the best of who we are.

Seasons’ greetings to everyone!!

We would love to have your continued support in our efforts to keep pushing boundaries, and creating a real change on the ground. Do you want to give your support? Please donate here.

I look forward to 2018 with hope.

All the very best,


Meet Åsa, Changemaker fellow; Sweden

First steps in the art of Capoeira

Åsa first started Capoeira 30 years ago with a well-known Capoeira master Peixinho, with Grupo Senzala in Amsterdam in 1987. ”It gave me such a good feeling to to do the movements and I knew that I found my passion.” Åsa continued to train in Capoeira but  with another teacher named Paulo Siqueira in Hamburg. That same year, her native Sweden’s first capoeira workshop was held in Stockolm by her and Paulo’s teacher. After that the Stockholm Capoeira Association was formed.

Two year later in 1989, she moved to Gothenburg, Sweden to study theater science at the local university. During this time, Åsa and her teacher participated at the Falun Folk Music Festival three years in a row showcasing Capoeira movements. She also formed a capoeira group in Gothenburg under the leadership of Capoeira Master Dodo called Adaba. Åsa invited several other capoeira masters to become involved in the Capoeira scene in Sweden and she helped form groups around the country.

In 1994, Åsa visited Salvador, Brazil and trained with prolific Capoeira masters like Joao Pequeno, Pe de Chumbo, Jogo de Dentro and Claudio.

”That experience impacted me in such a profound way; it was during that time that my passion truly grew and I knew that this was my calling.”

Upon returning to Sweden, Åsa became acquainted with Capoeira masters Rosalvo, Roberval and Laercio, who she had invited to Sweden. In 1997, she invited M Roberval to join her and Grupo Filho de Angola was established.

Constant work to develop her passion

Åsa continued to pursue opportunities to practice and promote Capoeira and regularly visited Mestre Rosalvo and Contra Mestre Suzy in Berlin and also traveled to various international events throughout Europe. A pivotal time in her Capoeira career happened at Academia Jangada in Berlin, where she started to learn capoeira angola in depth and began to work seriously to understand this complex art form.  In 2002, she graduated as Treinel by Master Rosalvo and his Capoeira group Vadiaçao and in 2004, Åsa and her group in Stockholm became part of the FICA (Fundaçao Internacional Capoeira Angola) under the direction of Master Cobra Mansa, who began annually visiting Stockholm. It was at this time when Åsa began traveling regularly to Bahia, Brazil to advance her capoeira training. Later in 2004, she launched an international youth exchange project in partnership with Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) in a suburb of Stockholm, Fittja, which is a primarily immigrant and refugee community. Young capoeiristas from FICA, who had spent time in Massaranduba Alagoas in Salvador, Brazil, were invited to teach in Fittja.

In the summer of 2008, Åsa began working as a social worker in an outreach program in the Stockholm-suburb of Tensta (another majority immigrant community) that launches Capoeira activities and classes. Her capoeira group there began collaborating with the district’s crime prevention efforts among young people and saw the positive effect that Capoeira can have on youth.

”I saw amazing transformations of children who I was teaching through teaching Capoeira. Children became more disciplined and expressive through Capoeira. The change was so inspiring!”

Capoeira as a tool of deep change

Åsa went on to work as a physical education teacher in a school in Tensta, which is also one of Sweden’s most socially charged schools. Her capoeira group also began to engage with local associations in Tensta and over the years, they organised a series of events including a carnival and a talent show held during the annual Tensta Market. ”What I realised was so important to the success of these initiatives,” Åsa recalls, ”is that the the participants’ families are involved and supportive.”

The group in Tensta also runs different orchestras during school holidays involving teachers and students’ families in addition to summer camps and various open workshops in the park with dance, percussion or maskmaking. For the past four years, Åsa has also been running the Women Power Conference, which was organized with the aim of strengthening female leaders in the art of capoeira. Female masters and teachers of capoeira angola like Tisza, Gege and Adi with contra master Suzy were involved in this programme and came to Tensta in Stockholm several years to represent strong examples of female capoeiristas. Another aim of this initiative was to put Tensta on the map through the international capoeira network involving local organisations.

As Åsa worked as a physical education teacher for 20 years at various suburban schools in   Stockholm and has worked with and mentored many young people and their families. Åsa’s students are from all over the world, and through them she has come to know about different cultures that would otherwise be completely foreign to her.  She also discovered through her travels and intercultural work that capoeira and afro-brazilian culture has connections with the islamic and arabic culture. In fact, the Somali-Swedish community in Stockholm has become a part of her heart.

Difficult work is necessary work

Today, Åsa is employed as an outreach youth consultant through the Labor Market Administration (Arbetsmarknadsförvaltningen) of the city and the European Social Fund where she works with outreach to establish relationships with young people between 16-29 years in segregated areas that suffer exclusion. Her work in this capacity is to motivate and be a link to authorities and other support organizations who these young people oftentimes depend to finish school or to find decent work. Åsa works in suburbs of northwestern Stockholm, which unfortunately suffered from various riots and similar incidents the last years. With sadness, Åsa has followed several of the young people who have grown up in these areas, who are no longer with us. One after another, several of these young men have been murdered by other young men.

Åsa’s aim today is to work systematically with relatives and other close networks and young people directly in these suburbs to offer mentoring support by her outreach work.

”Despite the many challenges, it is so stimulating – to work in a politically-managed organization where my observations, methodology and results affect political decisions in my city.”

Read more about Capoeira Changemakers Hub

Capoeira Changemakers Hub

The Capoeira Changemakers Hub (CCH) is one of C4R’s core areas, which essentially maps and formalises the Capoeira for Development Sector around the world. Both an online networking and

resource sharing space, this platform aims to amplifies the impact of capoeira social projects globally.

The map and platform will be used:

  • As a planning tool to help investment decisions and priorities in the future
  • To help CCH organisations to explore potential partnerships and collaborations and to help gauge the potential for scaling up delivery and impact
  • Provide evidence of interventions to help raise the profile of Capoeira
  • Provide a space to connect Capoeira to the wider sports for development sector.

When you join you can expect:

  • Visibility on the C4R platform along with key information that describes your project
  • Access to C4R’s extensive network where you can be connected to partner organisations
  • Marketing support to help your promote your project via our social media channels, newsletters, and website
  • Access to C4R’s guidelines and knowledge base that can benefit social capoeira projects.
  • Eligibility to apply for the Capoeira Grassroots Award Programme – once you are on the hub, you will be eligible to apply for the Changemaker Fellowship programme

In order to get listed on the changemakers Hub please send us an email including three pictures and (if you have) links to your project.

We will arrange a call with you and take care of the paperwork:) !

Capoeira Changemakers Award – Fellowship Programme

Inspired by amazing people who use capoeira to help their communities, we decided to find a way to help them make their projects extraordinary.  Through our Changemaker Award we support talented individuals to build their skill sets and global networks so they can amplify change in their own communities.

The fellowship programme, which has been piloted for the past two years, aims to support local capoeira trainers with mentoring, training, financial support, and network referrals so they can continue, expand, and sustain their own social capoeira projects in their communities.

The application is painless and straight forward, applicants will only need a smart phone in order to apply. We are using digital solutions to connect our Changemakers directly to an eco-system of support. Notice: we did not say donors. We said eco system of support. Because that is what the network is about. It is a Changemakers’ network where everyone involved is able to help. We have created a model of working with youth that leverages the power of the digital era to work meaningfully at a highly local level whilst achieving scale through a network.

In addition to financial support, fellows will also go through a specific suite of training courses where they you get accredited (certificated) in for examples areas like psychosocial support; access to mestres and incredible volunteers, and of course people who can fund your project.

Meet the Changemakers

We believe that music, sport & play are extremely powerful tools to inspire individuals, bring communities together, and ultimately change the world. Our programs are specifically designed to help young people deal with the impacts of conflict, as well as build life skills and better futures for themselves, their families, and their communities.

We cannot do this alone and we know that our work cannot continue unless we send the lift back down. This is why we are very excited to announce that we will be officially launching the second phase of the C4R Grassroots Changemaker Programme in early 2018. The initiative was originally designed to train up the next generation of Capoeiristas who are active in ‘using Capoeira’ and have a track records in supporting vulnerable children and youth affected by the Syrian crises or who are working with Palestinian refugees.  

C4R aims to expand the phase two Award opportunity to many more trainers in other countries. We look forward to working with you and support your amazing work!

CEO Ramadan Message


I was in Syria in 2009, and celebrated my first Middle Eastern Ramadan there, and my last, most probably, in the Damascus that I knew.  My next Middle Eastern Ramadan was in Palestine, where we were working in refugee camps across the West Bank and in East Jerusalem.  I saw people dressed in their smartest clothes herded together and watched over by soldiers bearing guns.  I then went on to my third Middle East Ramadan, in Jordan, where we were working with Syrian refugees living inside and outside of the refugee Camps.  People hospitable as we entered their Camp with our special security passes; sharing their food, their tea, their water. Whether they were eating or not.

For the refugees we work with Ramadan is many times a time of violence, heightened tensions, increased security measures.  A time of desperate sadness for the brother, father, sister, mother, friend, who has been killed by war.  A time of urgent frustration at the lack of choice, and sense of emasculation at living in a world where one’s status is ‘refugee’.

For this Ramadan it is humanity that I hope for; compassion for all of our fellow souls.

Ramadan Kareem to my brothers and sisters everywhere.


Ummul Choudhury


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Meet Dania, Changemaker Fellow, Jordan

“I will keep on living my dream and continue to work with refugees.”

We are pleased to announce our first female Changemaker, Dania Abu Halima, 24, Amman, Jordan.  Dania was awarded the Capoeira Changemaker Fellowship based on her commitment and passion to supporting women and girls in her community to have the opportunity to be physically active.

Whenever I had free time I would volunteer or train for C4R, even just train on my own whenever I could.”

Dania joined C4R as a student as part of the Ruwwad Project Partnership, a female only capoeira class. She went on to have 1-to-1 training with one of Capoeira4Refugees female trainers, developing the skills necessary to become an assistant trainer.  Dania’s presence as a female trainer in both Azraq Refugee Camp and Zaatari Refugee Camp has been inspirational for young female Syrian refugees.

For women, and girls it is especially important that there are females that are taking a leading role in civic and cultural activities; who can inspire their peers and their communities to seek positive change.

“I’m especially happy to see a female Changemaker in our programme. In the Middle East context, and exacerbated within the refugee context, women do not have anywhere near as much power as men.  To have female role models and female engagement is essential if this generation of young people are to grow-up to be the empathetic, emotionally intelligent leaders of tomorrow that the region urgently needs” Ummul Choudhury, CEO.

Dania is looking forward to growing her own community project. She dreams large, and as a Changemaker, she knows that the future  is hers for the making.

“Never to stop dreaming, this is the new rule! Honestly, I want to become something really big in Capoeira! something huge! Becoming Mestre in Capoeira! [laugh] Still, l have a lot of training to reach this one but C4R is not going anywhere. Then, I would love to open a school in Jordan. If God gives me the strength and the chance, I will go for it. I am looking forward to keep working with C4R and build something better. And even if it was not to happen, I will keep on living my dream and continue to work with refugees.”