Azraq refugee camp’s Village 5 district is one of the most restrictive camps lived in by Syrian refugees. These families are engulfed by barbed-wire topped fence that divides them from the rest of Azraq camp’s residents. Housing the most recent arrivals from Syria, these extra security restrictions isolate the residents from most activities. Village 5 youth have very little to occupy themselves with as they await their security clearance.
Capoeira classes have been held in NRC’s Youth Center for over five months, during which these young males have built a strong community and culture with their capoeira teammates, outside of their daily pressures.
“Capoeira is not about violence but peace, you play with and you don’t play against. You smile with your partner.” (18 YO Male)
Capoeira in NRC’s Youth Center has made huge strides in building a strong community of young males passionate about capoeira. About 25 regular participants train together, exercising and rapidly learning new movements, flips and dialogue inside the game. Capoeira4Refugee’s trainers provide direction and the positive energy of a capoeira ‘batteria’ (music) to which the students play, learn and encourage each other.
This project has worked on fostering a space where young adults experience something new, entering a new world and culture including the portuguese language, foreign instruments, and an understanding of a physical dialogue that teaches personal space and respect for one another.
“I think I will keep trying to be the leader. I will never let go of capoeira, even if the program ends. I will keep playing capoeira.” (22-year-old male)