Founded in 2000, Project Gem is a UK registered charity (No. 1090376) that uses arts activities as a means of engaging inner-city children within society. Project Gem primarily works in the UK and Brazil. It first began by using a Brazilian youth project called Grupo de Capoeira Ginga e Malicia (GCGM), as its blueprint. Founded and run by Mestre Marinheiro, GCGM has worked successfully with Capoeira in Salvador, Brazil, for more than 17 years – project Gem has been similarly successful.
In 2000, Project Gem teamed up with Simon Atkinson (Mestre Fantasma) of East London Capoeira (ELC) to offer free capoeira classes to young people. In the last 10 years, the influence of capoeira in London has expanded beyond recognition. However, Project Gem and Mestre Fantasma continue to pioneer London capoeira in youth projects. Project Gem and ELC share a vision of grass-roots capoeira in London, where young people are encouraged to play capoeira with adults from all social backgrounds and nationalities. This reflects the learning environment of the best capoeira groups in Brazil, which produce some of the most talented and inspiring capoeira players of this generation. They believe that the new projects started today in London will produce some of the next generation’s finest capoeira players, capable of interacting with confidence in a unique and increasingly global community.