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Capoeira4refugees tests new tech platform in former ISIS HQ in partnership with UN Habitat to combine dynamic research through real-time support to help rebuild devastated Syrian infrastructure

Berlin, Germany (14th September 2019) – Capoeira4refugees (C4R), an award-winning Syrian born charity is reinforcing existing community networks in Al Raqqa and to identify local & community priorities and to deliver on activities that are top priorities.

Tarek Alsaleh, Founder of C4R “There is a huge problem with supporting local people as we don’t know what is happening on the ground. Through this platform we can make sure that everyone can see the how, the why, and where all the money is going. ”

We gave 146 billion dollars in aid last year.  Let’s feel good about that.

The Problem is, we gave less than one per cent of that money to local initiatives. Smaller local initiatives they keep struggling – day by day – to survive.

Small, local initiatives and organizations in crisis regions face 3 fundamental challenges:

1) The bureaucracy of applications and accounting (too much effort),

2) lack of trust (not enough information),

3) lack of visibility (unknown)

It means that Amr, who is running a sports project (link) with 200 children in Al Raqqa in Syria, can’t receive donor money quickly for his project.

Raqqa is an area which was liberated from ISIS almost two years ago, but 30% of the city is still totally destroyed. The community consists of internally displaced people and those affected by a prolonged war (food shortages, disrupted education, trauma and mental health issues).

A traditional model would see that Amr receives donor money through an international organisation that reports back to their donors about the project and markets its own brand to its supporters. This might include a lot of RedTape and bureaucracy.

Our partner FrontlineAid designed a platform to change this! We’ve put Amr into the driving seat, with his mobile phone.

Using only his thumbs he can automatically generate all the data and INSPIRATION that everybody needs. How many children he has in his classes, pictures, tasks/milestones, his goals and more.

His real time dashboard visualises GPS and timestamps data = as soon as an internet connection becomes available = and produce a real-time overview of the project = that is owned by Amr – not our organisation

For supporters, we will be able to have personalised connections, receive constant updates on projects and can work collaboratively on tasks in no time.

FrontlineAid aggregates data so that we can follow trends and give needs-based support to Changemakers so they can spend their time doing good, instead of managing paperwork.

We’ve put the tools at your fingertips and seek support to develop the platform to have more $$ available to Changemakers in Al Raqqa and connect them to supporters who also believe that local initiatives are more efficient and effective at addressing their own challenges.

Frontline Aid will deliver on the platform, providing the IT expertise that is required for the development of the platform. Capoeira4Refugees will provide the routes to local changemakers, partners, and ensure oversight and management of the Project. The Project is in partnership with UN Habitat.

Capoeira4Refugees is an award-winning NGO using sport, music and play to support refugees and conflict impacted young people. It has been supporting community leaders in Syria, since 2007.  Amr Berzawi who set-up the original project in former ISIS headquarters, Al Raqqa, in 2012, will help to mentor community leaders and research top priorities within the communities. Together, they will be working with over 500 traumatised children and their families.

FrontlineAid provides advice and tech solutions to meet actual needs in the real world and to make it easy for locals to connect to supporters like us. Faid has a particular focus on using innovative tech and sustainable development thinking to realize change at the local level in war and conflict settings.  

UN-Habitat is the United Nations programme working towards a better urban future. Its mission is to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all.

Press Contact

Email: hello@capoeira4refugees.org

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Makani ‘My Space’ Zaatri Camp

In Partnership with

 

 

 

Project
Makani ‘My Space’

Location

Makani Center, Za’atari Refugee Camp, District 8

Target

The Makani Center in Za’atari refugee camp holds one of Relief International’s Innovation Labs, that aims to leverage the potential of youth in these uncertain and transitional circumstances. A selected group of 25 young males are encouraged to use social innovation within the camp environment to solve social issues, using Relief International’s resources.

These students are given a social capoeira class weekly that aims to foster a strong community of trust and teamwork. Using physical activity, games and capoeira conventions, this program encourages a safe space where these students can think for themselves and engage in a productive dialogue.

Impact

This two month project will begin to open students minds to new methods of critical thinking and to the connection between physical well-being and mental well-being. Using games, play, movements and music, these classes foster a positive energy that helps release stress, allow the students to focus on bodily movement and therefore reduce the impact of social expectations and pressures.

These students have quickly obtained a passion for capoeira, seeing it as a new way of thinking and recognising its benefits for self-confidence and teamwork.

Topics

#Free4Kids
#Refugee Camps

Contact

hello@capoeira4refugees.org

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Female only class in Ruwaad, Amman

In Partnership with

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project

Capoeira4Refugees in collaboration with Ruwwad

Location 

Jabal Nathif, East Amman

Target

This program targets women of all ages to create a safe space where they can come with their children, sisters, mothers and grandmothers, and enjoy some playful exercise.

Social capoeira seeks to undo some of the gender imbalances that restrict women’s mobility in Amman. These classes give women a space to exercise and discover a new artform with all the cultural aspects which come with that, including Portuguese songs and foreign instruments.

Impact

One of these students, a young woman who joined these classes with her mother at the beginning of the program almost two years ago, was particularly passionate about capoeira. She trained hard and was enthusiastic about learning everything about capoeira. She is now one of Capoeira4refugees’ full-time employed trainers. Dania is now providing social capoeira lessons in refugee camps and host communities across Jordan. She is learning about psychosocial support, child protection issues, and gaining experience in the humanitarian sector.

Topics

#Free4Kids
#Marginalised Communities
#Outreach to Host Communities

Contact

hello@capoeira4refugees.org

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Za’atari Refugee Camp, District 5

In Partnership with

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project

Capoeira in the Peace Oasis

Location

Za’atari Refugee Camp, District 5, Jordan

Target

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.

Impact

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)

Topics

#Free4Kids
#Refugee Camps

Contact

hello@capoeira4refugees.org

 

 

 

 

 

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Irbid host community

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project

Irbid host community

Location 

Irbid, Jordan

Target

This program targets the Syrian refugee community in Irbid, an area in North Jordan close to the Syrian border, and to Dara’a, where many of these refugees came from. Irbid hosts 136,000 Syrian refugees, according to the UNHCR. Around 85% of Syrian refugees live in host communities rather than formal refugee camps, with most living below the poverty line.

This program uses social capoeira as a form of psychosocial support for Syrian refugee youth. Around 25 male and female youth attend these classes regularly.

Impact

The girls learn basic capoeira movements, play games and dance, building a community among themselves. They are so passionate about the music that they research new songs to learn at home, and have started leading songs by themselves.

The young men are advancing in their capoeira movements and physical abilities. Social capoeira training helps them to release stress, focus and play in a space where they are free to be themselves

Topics

#Free4Kids
#Marginalised Communities
#Outreach to host communities

Contact

hello@capoeira4refugees.org

 

 

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Azraq Refugee Camp Village 5

Project Partner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project

Capoeira4Refugees in partnership with NRC

Location

Azraq Refugee Camp Village 5, NRC Youth Centre

Target

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)

Impact

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)

Topics

#Free4Kids
#Refugee Camps
#Special Needs

Contact

hello@capoeira4refugees.org