This project targets Syrian refugee children between the ages of 9 and 18 living in Za’atari refugee camp. Capoeira4refugees (C4R) uses social capoeira as a form of psychosocial support to these children, through their many years of expertise working with vulnerable youth.
Za’atari’s residents derive mainly from Syria’s Southwest Dara’a Governorate, which witnessed some of the worst of Syria’s civil war violence.
Using capoeira and its various elements of music, play and sport, C4R trainers focus on building a strong community amongst its students who share the knowledge capoeira provides but also share a safe space to express themselves. The classes incorporate social rodas which gives students the time and space to discuss opinions and thoughts about the classes as well as life in general.
“I learned from capoeira that you don’t get mad at each other when someone accidentally hits you. We need to have love between us before and after the class.”
(14 YO Male)
Since January, these students have made a great deal of progress in both capoeira and their emotional wellbeing. One girl arrives at the Peace Oasis an hour before the class every time, asking to practice her music. She began capoeira classes timid, but is now leading songs and demonstrating movements to her peers.
This program also empowers local Syrian facilitators who assist in the capoeira classes, giving them private training and attention with the aim that they will take over these classes one day.
“I like capoeira more than other sports because capoeira makes us stronger. The teachers [also] let us do silly movements and just scream. This makes me more relaxed and comfortable.”
(16 YO Female)