Guidelines for the Fellowship Award


We’re looking for the X-factor in our candidates.  So, don’t worry if your application isn’t perfect. If you have Changemaker axê, we’ll find it, we won’t box it, and you could still make it onto the Programme.

Note: C4R is looking to expand and broaden the Award to teachers who work with vulnerable children globally.

You’ve made it this far, but have some questions and want to learn more about our Awards programme. Then read on for answers to some frequently asked questions that we hope provides the details you are looking for.

Please also note that we will be giving webinars where we will provide a thorough overview of the programming history, purpose, process for applying, and answer any questions you still might have.

Now onto the most popular questions and answers!

What is Capoeira4Refugees?

Capoeira4Refugees works with refugee communities and particularly traumatised children and youth using the Brazilian art/sport of capoeira to bring psychosocial benefits such as increased self-respect and reduced levels of violence. Capoeira4Refugees was founded in 2007 working with street children in Syria. C4R has been active in the West Bank, Palestine since 2011, in Jordan since 2014 and helped projects to grow and to create structures of local ownership also outside the middle east.

What is the Grassroots Awards Programme?

The grassroots awards programme, which has been piloted since 2015, aims to support local impact projects with mentoring, training, financial support, and network referrals so they can continue, expand, and sustain their own social projects in their communities. The application is painless and straight forward, applicants will only need a smartphone in order to apply. We are using digital solutions to connect our Awardees directly to an ecosystem of support. Notice: we did not say, donors. We said the ecosystem of support. Because that is what the network is about. It is a Changemakers’ network where everyone involved is able to help.

We do give financial support based on needs that will be outcome-based making donations transparent, accessible and fair.

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.

How does the application process work?

If the programme is for you –  rest assured though, the application is being designed to be straightforward and simple, all you will need is a mobile phone, a paper, and a pencil.

Watch the Introduction Video then complete our intake form (which you find below the video). We ask you to fill information about your project including your Project Milestones Overview (here is the video) with Arabic subtitles, history, the impact that you have had to date, your capacity, and your needs. Don’t worry if you aren’t able to fill everything out, just email us what you can and then we can arrange a time to speak over the phone to finalise the form. The process allows us to understand more about your project, how we can support, and to make sure you are the right fit.

This also allows you to become eligible to apply to the Fellowship programme. Once your form is complete, we can add you to our hub and welcome you to the community!

Stay tuned for more details and please see below for an overview on the application process!

What is the next phase of the Awards Programme?

We are constant reviewing and incorporating learnings from learnings and feedback from Changemakers who took part in the pilot phase.

You can apply throughout the year.

“What are we looking for in candidates?

We look for passionate people who are active in using and promoting music, sport and play to support vulnerable children and youth around the world. Your project and vision can be at any stage of development, but the important thing is that you are proactive, have a willingness to expand and grow your project, and be registered on the Changemakers hub (see below for more information).

What are the types of profiles you look for?

Every applicant will be different and have a unique project, but the important things to consider are:

    • You have a great project and you need help to make it stand out and grow it in a gradual and slow manner.
    • You have a good idea how to get there, you know you want to grow your project, but certain pieces are missing and you need support and advice.
    • You know what you want, you already have concrete results and numbers and want to expand your project.

What support will C4R provide fellows?

We will engage in finding out what you need, but there is a pattern of support which is frequently requested:

    • Marketing support throughout our network, including with the Brazilian government and other partners. Networking to access volunteers, potential partners and jobs
    • Showcasing and proving Impact (‘We’, C4R has developed a model ‘Most Significant Change’ with the East London University and you will use an App which works on/offline/GPS stamped) to share data. Other tools such as task management and, milestones etc. to better understand and support your project in real time.
    • Access to training and training materials through C4R’s breadth of resources and knowledge
    • Mentoring and a curriculum of training including the above support as well as specialist training on two areas specific to refugees and conflict zones i. child protection ii. psychological first aid
  • Financial support (based on your needs) to help to let you focus on your project directly

What will be expected of me as a fellow?

We are here to support fellows, but this is not a free ride and we need you to inspire us so we can inspire others to get more fellows supported.  We require each fellow to:

    • We are here to support your own initiative, above all, we need you to be proactive and show initiative.
    • Use our online apps including a GPS stamped and works on/offline to submit quantitative attendance data to keep track of the numbers of children who are being reached.  
    • Post compelling pictures and content on social media and tag C4R to help us promote the great work that you’re doing.
    • Manage your project development through our shared project management tool and the (beta version) dashboard.
    • Provide regular updates to our community and the C4R team.
    • Follow our curriculum (if applicable) in a thoughtful and timely manner
  • An understanding of that the support we give is outcome based and can vary from month to month on your engagement and our funding situation.

Lastly, the above-generated information goes directly to your page which we will share with our network to get more support.

A number of control checks will be instituted at various stages of the process, especially during the onboarding, execution and funding stages. This aims to ensure necessary compliance and safeguarding criteria are met.

Before each individual Changemaker and/or local organisation receives full access to the online platform, there will be an onboarding process that you must go through to verify your identity, credentials and compliance with certain mandatory policies.

These checks will involve a registration process:

  • Signing a Memorandum of Understanding for common goals – to establish a core set of values for all members to adhere to from the outset;
  • Confirming the goal and milestones – to determine if these are realistic;
  • Child protection and anti-terrorism policy checks – to confirm that the organisation has no history of child protection violations or terrorism;
  • Online policy quiz (assessment) – to understand if policy and guidelines are understood;
  • Each Changemaker will have to add at least three different references – for the purposes of data validation; Adhering to Policy and Guidelines as part of signing up to the platform.

Validating real-time data
The real-time quantitative and qualitative data, which is publicly available (depending on privacy settings), is validated by humans (partners on the ground), machines, or a combination of both.

  • Local partner organisations reference (most projects will have at least one partner for a venue, coordination etc.).
  • Supporters reference (this can be a mentor, assistant trainers, parents, community leaders etc.).
  • Volunteers who visit the projects and give feedback on their dashboards.
  • GPS / time stamped quantitative data, pictures, video’s and activities go live during the events

Safe money transfers
To ensure that the funding is directed to the intended recipient, we will use reputable external service providers, such as PayPal and Western Union.

How long does the fellowship last?

Ideally, long term but the length of the partnership is very much depending on regular updates, using the tools we provide and the relationship we will create.

What is the Capoeira Global Hub?

Another core area of C4R’s strategic project is the Capoeira Global Hub, which is an online networking and resource sharing space that amplifies the impact of capoeira social projects globally.

Why is the Capoeira4Refugees launching the Capoeira Global Hub?

We have been running social capoeira projects since 2007, and in that time, we’ve reached over 60,000 children. To really scale our work, we need to partner, and support other individual and groups with their work also. Together we can reach millions of vulnerable children worldwide. To be able to do this we need a platform that connects people and allows capoeira players to share information and leverage resources together.

Through the Hub we will also increase the credibility of capoeira as a tool for development, especially in the sport for development sector, helping to raise funds and support for capoeira projects around the world. The space created for dialogue and intercultural understanding will also support communities in helping to create inroads to rebuilding societies torn apart by conflict.

The Capoeira Hub is informed by Capoeira4Refugees learnings from working for over ten years in war zones. By creating a collaborative space where ideas, best practice and knowledge can be shared we strengthen projects using capoeira across the globe.

How does the capoeira global hub help people and organisations running capoeira social projects?

We are developing a number of different resources that will help promote and support projects. This includes the first database of social projects using capoeira. This database will help connect projects to research opportunities, practical cooperation and funding opportunities between different organisations, media opportunities, volunteer and other resource support. Based on our initial pilot phase of launching the database we have already had successes in the above-mentioned areas.

We are also sharing key resources that can help people running capoeira social projects to better understand how to develop their work. This includes materials on monitoring and evaluation, how to work with vulnerable communities, how to maintain and build capoeira instruments. These resources are delivered through a range of mediums including video, powerpoint and online real-time calls.

What benefits can I expect when I add my project to the changemaker’s hub?

    • 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 you 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

What are the expectations if my project joins the hub?

    • C4R intake form – a C4R team member will use this form to collect key information about your project, scope, capacity, needs, and vision, after which we will share it with you and add it to our site.
    • Bio and photos – We request a bio and photos showcasing your work that we can add to your profile on the Changemakers hub.
    • Keep us updated – To ensure that we have consistently updated information, we ask that you keep us updated on any changes to your organisation and profile.
  • Tag C4R’s various social media – Follow and share C4R’s social media activities and tag C4R, when it applies:
      • Facebook – @Capoeira4Refugees
      • Twitter – @C4Refugees
    • Instagram – @capoeira4refugees

Photostory ‘Ask these Kids’

CEO message

In a world that is increasingly divided, even as it becomes more and more connected we need to have powerful solutions to create communities, to create movements, that can innovate transformational social change.

Refugees, young people impacted by conflict, face a complex integration of social issues: poverty, mental health, lack of access to quality healthcare, education or a future, leading them to seek radical solutions to their daily trials.

Through sport and the artform of capoeira we have an innovative tool that attracts a generation left by the wayside. Through this tool, itself built by slaves who were desperate to have a way of expressing their own anguish, we can speak to this ‘lost’ generation.

C4R is more than a Charity, we are a community of believers, experts, dreamers, doers, innovaters, 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


CEO Ummul Choudhury on International Women’s Day

“Volunteering in a girl’s prison in Damascus in 2009 I, for the first time, met young women whose every history included sexual abuse, and/or rape. It was there, that I also saw how sport, music, play can touch a broken girl’s life, and let her see that her body is her own.

I realised then I couldn’t fix all I wanted to fix about the lives of these girls, but I could bring hope, new skills and an ability to have control over their own bodies.

It was in 2009 that I became a co-Founder of Capoeira4Refugees. Within our mandate, there has always been a passion for working with women. However hard that has many times proven to be.

On International Women’s Day, I’d like to emphasise the necessity of continuing to reach out to women and girls through sport. Through working with women in the context of the Middle East especially, we can affect real change in moving towards peace and furthering gender equality.”

While the world marvels at the success of Team Refugees

There is much to celebrate with the conclusion of the olympics, where once again the world has come together in celebration of sport.

Standing ovations at the Rio de Janeiro olympics opening ceremony signified the start of three weeks of well-deserved uproar surrounding the ten people who made history as members of the first-ever refugee olympic team. This year, the inclusion of #TeamRefugees has brought about an increased awareness of the global refugee crisis.

“This team has captured the world’s attention and in a short period of time, changed the conversation about refugees,” said UNCR deputy chief Kelly T. Clements in a statement of optimism for the future. In short, #TeamRefugees has inspired the world.

While we cheered whole-heartedly for #TeamRefugees, we must also remember that millions of refugees have fled their homes and countries. Hundreds of thousands are living in refugee camps. Many more are living in communities and finding it very difficult to support themselves and/or their families.

At Capoeria4Refugees, we are working hard to help many refugees in need. By incorporating music, sport and play in communities and refugee camps, we are finding ways to be a source of encouragement for many in need.

Psychosocial Impact children and youth


The Psychosocial Impact of Capoeira for Refugee Children and Youth: Executive Summary

From 2013 to 2015, Capoeira4Refugees, in collaboration with the University of East London, participated in a two-year field study of the effects of capoeira on refugee children and youth in Palestine and Syria. Authored by Dr Kathryn Kraft and Hannah Prytherch, here is a summary of the long report. A mixed-methods methodology was employed.


Capoeira4Refugees uses Capoeira as a psychosocial tool to promote well-being among youth affected by conflict. Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian craft that combines live music, sport, dance, play, culture and history. The long report evaluates the psychosocial impact of Capoeira in relation to Capoeira4Refugees’ existing theory of change which purports that Capoeira leads to improved psychosocial well-being through the development of five key domains: playfulness, emotional stability, friendship, tolerance and inner strength.

Capoeira and the Societal Challenges facing Children in Conflict

Most of Capoeira4Refugees’ students face the ongoing threat and consequences of political violence. This affects the regular scheduling of classes, attendance and the mental state of students. Hailed cultural values of loyalty and self-defence are often expressed through violence and many children live in a context where physical, verbal or emotional abuse is commonplace. Both males and females face increasing pressures as they pass through adolescence; the responsibility of financially sustaining their family often falls partially or totally on young men, whilst girls are expected to prepare for married life by staying in and learning domestic responsibilities.


Results indicated that Capoeira4Refugees students did appear to be experiencing psychosocial benefits through their engagement in Capoeira. Results were divided into four main areas: the distinctive features of Capoeira, the societal challenges facing children in conflict, the domains of psycho-social change, and the relationship between trainer and student.

Distinctive features of Capoeira

Capoeira combines sport, art, dance, music and play in a unique way. There is ample research demonstrating the role of physical activity and sports engagement in supporting psychosocial well-being. Capoeira is not just a sport, though, and indeed some capoeiristas would argue that Capoeira is not a sport at all. Its unique combination of various modalities and activities positions it well for meeting the felt needs of a diversity of students, and for providing psychosocial support in a holistic way through a clearly defined programme

Societal Challenges facing Children in Conflict

Most of Capoeira4Refugees’ students live in a context of on-going conflict or risk of conflict where political and social tension is common. Many of Capoeira4Refugees’ students have parents or loved ones who have been arrested, are in jail, or have been killed. Trainers found that these children reacted in a variety of ways, in some cases overcompensating through expressions of confidence or even bullying, or in other cases withdrawing or struggling to focus or engage meaningfully in activities. Many students also came to Capoeira with a large sense of burden, wanting to help support their families somehow

Domains of psychosocial change

Evidence supported Capoeira4Refugees’ theory of change, showing that through the five domains of change, Capoeira did promote psychosocial well-being in children and youth.

Increased playfulness gave students a means of self-expression and a chance to enjoy their childhoods, leading to feelings of happiness, joy and psychological freedom. These feelings extended beyond Capoeira sessions and resulted in increased joy and productivity in other areas of life. Similarly, emotional stability was seen through improved mood and ability to deal with difficult life situations. In the home and at school, students were calmer and more committed, disciplined and focused. The collaborative approach of Capoeira helped children to build new friendships, strengthen existing friendships and develop social skills.

Related to this, Capoeira resulted in increased tolerance; although Capoeira led students to feel better able to physically defend themselves if necessary, it resulted in a decrease in aggression and increased respect towards and acceptance of others. Finally, Capoeira developed inner strength and confidence, particularly in oft-disempowered groups like girls and low academic achievers.

Relationship between the trainer and the student

A final component of the psychosocial process not covered in the theory of change was the relationship between trainer and student. Trainers sought to model and develop values in themselves such as are respect, concern for others, self-control, patience and empathy.

They showed patience towards and invested time in their students, expressing pride in the practical and psychological developments they observed. The more trainers invested, the more likely students were to open up. Many students described their trainers as role models. Often these strong bonds meant that Capoeira continued beyond barriers and circumstances, with students training even when political circumstances meant that classes had to be stopped.

Most significant change stories

Capoeira4Refugees uses a variety of monitoring and evaluation tools to measure change in its students. The ‘Most Significant Change’ method is a quantitative tool that encourages students and trainers to self-report on what they feel have been the most significant changes to themselves and others over the period of a project. Below are some examples of MSC stories from Palestine and Syria.


She didn’t used to ask others for help, or the teachers. [Since she joined Capoeira] she is asking her classmates for help and she is working in a team with her classmates… if she doesn’t know something or needs help with something, she will ask. (Teacher interview)

He had no connection with the older students and they were much more advanced them him but after a few classes they started to respect Mustafa and you can see that they created a friendship also outside the class and treating each other with respect. (Trainer story)

Once, an airplane was flying low over [our town] while the group was having an open air training session. Normally, planes don’t fly low over this area of town and the kids were not used to the loud noise. They were playing in the roda when the plane approached but instead of stopping the roda they started to sing louder and wanted to play more. They almost screamed at the airplane while singing and it was as if they took strength from being together in the roda to fight their fear. (Trainer interview)

So, there’s a circle of violence. My dad is violent to me, I go be violent to my sister, my sister goes violent to my brother, my brother goes violent to the cat. So if my dad does that to me and I don’t do that to my sister, I break the circle. So this is one of the ways to break the circle. I do Capoeira, I’m not violent no more, the circle is never complete. (Student interview)


Sport is a proven tool for psychosocial improvement in children, along with music and play. The benefits of these activities are increased when combined. The long report highlights Capoeira’s unique combination of music, sport and play does indeed improve emotional wellbeing in children affected by conflict and that the students’ commitment often extends beyond the bounds of the original project periods. Children practise at home and in the street, spreading Capoeira to their family and friends, who in turn, also reap the benefits.

Click here to download the C4R_Psychosocial_Impact_of_Capoeira_4_refugee_children_and_youth_C4R_synopsis | Click here to download the full research on  C4R_Psychosocial_Impact_of_Capoeira_4_refugee_children_and_youth