Tuesday, November 07, 2006

News from South Africa

Ruanda and Dourado from Abolicao Oxford Capoeira both spent 2 weeks out on the working holiday in South Africa. Here is there news about their trip.

Dourado: ' It really was a fantastic experience. After a very long (and sleepless for me) journey from the UK, we rolled directly up to the Capoeira hall in Hamburg just in time to catch the end of the group's daily training session. Still in the same clothes we'd spent the whole day and night travelling in we had our first roda with the kids of Abolicao Hamburg. As soon as the bateria and the singing started I realised how dedicated those kids are to Capoeira. I couldn't believe how much energy they put into the music and their game.

I had the pleasure of teaching several classes in Hamburg before Negao arrived and I was really amazed how well the kids were able to absorb just about anything I tried to teach them - even the youngsters around six years old.

The batizado event was a particularly special day. Traditionally in a batizado, the one receiving the belt gets a rasteira or some kind of trip from the higher ranked Capoeirista. In this batizado there was a real risk of it going the other way - we really had to watch ourselves. These kids train every day and put everything they've got into their games.
They really really love Capoeira.A couple of times during our stay we helped out the kids by travelling with them to do demos around the area. One of the things that made me realise what a difference Capoeira has made to Hamburg was seeing how much everyone in the neighbouring villages want it too. Everywhere we went people were asking us when we were going to start teaching in their village or town. They could see how much it has benefited the kids of Hamburg and now they all want their own kids doing it too.

Hamburg itself is a beautiful place and when we weren't helping out with the group, we did get a chance to have a look around and enjoy some relaxation time. We were looked after really well by the wonderful people working with the projects there (we even got our own pet dogs for the duration ).

Although an amazing and Beautiful place, Hamburg obviously has its problems which have been mentioned here already, but the work that we are supporting there really does seem to make a difference.Thanks to Baila and everyone that looked after us so well there.x

Ruanda:' First of all I'd like to say that there were plenty of reasons why we shouldn't have gone, but I won't go into those now, because I feel so priviledged to have gone. Like Dourado said, we stepped off the plane a day after we stepped on and straight into a roda: in fact the kids had actually already finished their class when we rolled into Hamburg but they didn't need asking twice if they wanted a roda! I was a tad anxious about meeting these kids, not quite sure what to expect of them (and not just of their capoeira ability: what if they didn't like me?!) But their welcome was so exuberant, I felt like they totally accepted these strange, tired-looking foreigners who had arrived at their doorstep!

Dourado's lessons went down a treat, the unofficial ones after the class had finished perhaps a tad more so but these kids assimilated so much - moves, music, and more besides so quickly! I had the pleasure of giving a quick demonstration of belly dancing, again I was a bit anxious thinking that the guys would feel left out when I was handing out the sparkly colourful hip scarves to only the girls but I was well informed afterwards that the guys very much enjoyed spectating the belly dancing The girls picked up the routine very quickly.

The Batizado was great fun - and incredibly exhausting: y'know these kids age between 6 and 19, and they've been training like EVERY day for the last three years and Negao took us aside before it started and said it's ok to give them one rasteirinha... Ha! Nevermind the vengativas and tesouras that they could dish back at us These kids were such an inspiration. Their dedication to capoeira is almost unbelievable - and right at the beginning I could spot a little bit of Mosqueteiro in all of them.

We also accompanied the kids to demos at neighbouring village schools and also to the children's festival auditions at which we were treated like VIPs by the organisers. We watched some traditional African dances performed by kids from all around the local area, and then 'our' kids performed their hearts out in a roda of ten. I was so touched when Zumbi asked if we would help with the bateria and singing. I had suggested that they enter the audition hall in single file berimbau first, followed by pandeiro and then everyone else with some kind of au - totally shocked to see folha secas, mortals, au sem maos, and martelo voi dors And almost as quickly as we had been accepted by the kids and the community, the two weeks were up and here we are.

I'd like to thank to Negao and Baila for organising the trip, and also thanks to Carol and Graeme and Jackie and Florence and Lulu and Dobby (aka Doggy ) for welcoming us so warmly and making it such a truly memorable trip.'

Monday, November 06, 2006

3rd Batizado at the Capoeira project in South Africa

Contra Mestre Luis Negao, Bailarina, Dourado and Ruanda from Abolicao Oxford have just come back from a working holiday in South Africa, where they organinsed the 3rd Capoeira Batizado with the local children in Hamburg. They have many stories to tell so watch this space, and by all accounts they had a really amazing time and experienced some fantastic capoeira.

Many thanks from the Abolicao Trust for your time and energy and for going such a long way to show the kids out there that we care about them here in Oxford and haven't forgotten them.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Thank you Dr Ethel Frater


Recently a donation of R10 000 (£700) was made by Dr Ethel Barrow. The intention is to raise HIV/Aids awareness.

In order to get hold of some of this money every month the sports groups will have to do 2 things:
1. Hand out condoms to their team members!
2. Do something to educate themselves or others about HIV/Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases.

The meetings organised by the Abolicao Trust were received very well. Four local Hamburg football teams attended, along with the capoeira group and the boxing team. The sports teams were so delighted to have the time spent on them, and several people told us that the information they heard was among the first comprehensive information that they had received about safe sex.

Completely separately, a group of African charities have begun a scheme called "KICK AIDS OUT OF AFRICA", aimed at football groups. If our project is a success, we will attract funding from this program, and they have said they will happily incorporate capoeira into the scheme. The boxing could also be incorporated, but perhaps more aptly called "KNOCK AIDS OUT OF AFRICA".

To give us an idea of the remarkable woman who made the initial donation of R10 000 here is what was written by her son:

"Mrs Ethel Barrow, known locally and affectionately by her carers as Dr Barrow (her maiden name), celebrated her 102nd birthday during July with a quiet gathering of friends from the community, her son Charles and grandson George who flew from England for the occasion.

"Born in 1904, Dr Barrow lived in Cape Town from 1928 until 1969 practising primarily as a paediatrician (especially of new born babies). She met and married Paarl-born Dr Ken Frater when they were both fellows at the Mayo Clinic in the USA. After the birth of her sons Robert and Kenneth, she pioneered birth control clinics when she saw the plight of the people of the Cape Flats in the 1930s . In her work as a bacteriologist at the Cape Town Medical School she worked with early samples of penicillin sent to Cape Town by Fleming and during the war she helped at the Castle with medical screening of recruits for the forces. Among the people who visited the household in those years were Leonard Cripps (brother of Stafford Cripps MP) and Louis Leipoldt. It was a dinner table with a broad spectrum of guests from all walks of life.

"Dr Ken Frater died suddenly in September 1950 leaving her to run a household with 3 sons (Charles was born in 1941). She took up her profession again and became the Medical Superintendent of Saint Monica's Home, a maternity hospital on the slopes of Signal Hill. After retirement she returned to her birthplace, England. Unable to cope without some active interest she worked at the Linnean Society Library sorting and cleaning books. She wrote a paper on the Tea Collection, a library within of books documenting the cultivation and processing of tea. For this she was granted a Fellowship of the Linnean Society an honour of which she was very proud. Her grandson George is doing a summer job at the same library . "Until she was 96 she continued to read her British Medical Journal from cover to cover and, although it was a struggle, lived on her own. The loss of her son Kenneth in June 2000 was a major blow. Since February 2003 she has been living in Glentana cared for by people in the community."

Her son adds: "I hope sincerely that the money is put to good use and in the spirit of the old lady who worked so hard for a multiracial community in the Cape", and we really feel that this money is going to go a long way. Currently an African charity is trying to get a big scheme of the ground, entitled "kick Aids out of Africa", targeted at footballers, and if it is a success then our scheme will receive long term funding

Local football Team involved in the HIV awareness sports program.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Batizado in Brazil

Better late than never...

Just wanted to post a quick word about the Batizado (grading ceremony/celebration) for the group at the projecto in Brazil.

The 1st Batizado for the capoeira kids group (Criancas Raizes do Abaete - Abolicao Oxford) was an amzing event and one of the most vibrant displays of capoeira and community in general I've had the pleasure of being part of! There was a great turn out from kids, supportive family members, respected local teachers and mestres, and the usual mix of enthusiastic capoeiristas (all of us from the UK in this last catergory). It had tipped it down the night before the Batizado, but Negao and Prof Narcisso had made sure there was a gazebo type structure up in the outside area so there was no fear of 'rain stopping play'.

The event opened with the usual thanks to all involved and introductions of all the respected mestres and teachers who had given up their Sunday to attend. There was a lovely selection of old and young faces in the line up, and a fantastic display of capoeira prowess from the visiting mestres. Then the batizado began in earnest and we were entertained, amazed and delighted as the children from the projecto played their hearts out to show their skills and receive their cordas (capoeira belts). I was overwhelmed again by how good they are, how naturally they make the movements and how fearless some of them seemed in playing the mestres.

There were a small group of more advanced students who were mostly a little older (10-14) and showed real commitment to training, to the group and to capoeira, and these 5 or 6 boys played for their second level (green/yellow) belts. They are a determined bunch and for them this event was an opportunity for them each to shine - which they all did. There were some tears along the way as the intensity of the situation and the pressure they put on themselves to perform 110% was all a bit much, but the teachers at the projecto dealt with it all real grace and no child went away feeling they had done anything less than brilliantly!

I don't think I'll forget that batizado ever. It was such a privilege to be there and to be a part of that day and to enjoy seeing how far the group has come since the projecto started.

Others have taken better photos, but this one is just a little insight into that day:

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Abolicao Oxford participate in the Elder Stubbs Festival

Abolicao Oxford capoeira students were busy last Saturday participating in the Elder Stubbs festival in Rymers Lane. Many thanks to Dourado and Ruanda for organising the stall and the publicity on behalf of the Abolicao Trust. There was a great roda, led by Contra-Mestre Luis Negao, despite the threatening rain and a collection box passed round for members of the public to contribute to the Trust.
Many thanks to the joint efforts of everyone involved.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Image created for the 1st Batizado at CRA

This is the image created by India for the T shirts for the kids at the 1st Batizado at the project 'CRA' in Brazil. The kids really loved it as it used images taken from photos from the working holiday at CRA. Thanks alot India. Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 21, 2006

Thank you India

Many thanks to India (on the left) for working hard to produce the graphics for the Batizado at CRA in Brazil, the Batizado in Hamburg in October and the Abolicao Oxford Batizado in Oxford in November.

India has recently relocated to California but is still actively helping the Abolicao Trust with design and grapics.

Thanks alot. Posted by Picasa

The Project at Hamburg

The project in Hamburg, South Africa, supported by Abolicao Oxford aims at providing a positive focus for the young people involved.
This quote by Falcao, who is now in CRA in Brazil, shows how vulnerable the young people are when they have nothing to do apart from hanging around and getting into trouble.
It also stresses how effective Capoeira is in building bridges in communities.

Axe! Posted by Picasa

Lots of good news from the CRA project in Brazil

For the two South African boys who arrived from the project in Hamburg, Salvador must be a very big change!

Tigre and Falcao flew to Salvador on Monday morning to spend 2 weeks training with Contra Mestre Luis Negao and 16 students from Abolicao Oxford. The first Batizado at CRA will be this Saturday and will be a day long event to reward the progress of the children who train at the project and for them to gain their first Capoeira corda (belt).

More news to come............................. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

CRA Project in Brazil is about to have its first Batizado!

Last week Contra Mestre Luis Negao flew out to Salvador, Brazil to receive 15 students from Abolicao Oxford and Abolicao Synergy for a two week Capoeira holiday. The trip includes workshops at the Project CRA in Abaete, supported by the Abolicao Trust. The students were joined by two South African capoeiristas, Falcao and Tigre, who actively participate and lead the classes at the capoeira project in Hamburg. The two students will stay with the group for two weeks whilst participating in the 1st Batizado at CRA this Saturday.

Thanks Brookes!

Thanks very much to Brookes University Sports Department for helping to support the Abolicao Trust Kids class. These classes are held every Saturday morning at Brookes University in the new sports hall from 10-11am.

The Abolicao Trust appreciates the Sports Deparment's help in providing the use of the dojo for the kids class, as all the money raised goes to the Abolicao Trust.

Monday, July 17, 2006

£140 raised by Abolicao Oxford Capoeira

Last weekend a large group of Abolicao Oxford capoeiristas were busy fundraising by providing entertainment at the 2006 Trailwalker event - an annual fundraising event organised by Oxfam.
Lots of people took part and braved the cold (apparantly it was freezing) and raised £140 for the ABOLICAO TRUST.

Thanks alot!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Hebridean Challenge

Just to let everyone know, Alex, one of Dourado's Banbury students recently completed the Hebridean Challenge and has yet to confirm his sponsorship total, but reckons he's made over £200 also for Abolicao Trust.


Cowley Road 'Eat the World' festival

Abolicao Oxford were recently at the Cowley Road 'Eat the World' festival. It was a beautiful day for the event and the many capoeiristas playing under the hot sun to publicise not only the classes held in Oxford, Banbury and London but also giving out leaflets about the Abolicao Trust. We drew a huge crowd with lots of people asking for more information about both the Capoeira group and the Trust.

Thanks to everyone who took part to make this a hugely enjoyable event.

Abolicao at 2006 Oxfam Trailwalker event Friday 14th July

For those not fortunate enough to be going on the Brazil trip this year, read below for details on what looks to be Abolicao's largest fundraising event of the summer...We've been invited to participate in providing entertainment at the 2006 Trailwalker event - which is an annual fundraising event organised by Oxfam.

It consists of walking 100 km in under 30 hours in teams of 4 from Petersfield to Brighton. Crazy eh? The 2000 or so people taking part in this mammoth walk leave early on a Saturday morning and keep on walking day and night.... and they need a good energy boost the night before leaving, and that's where we come in...They have a big BBQ and camp out in tents on the Friday night and we will be there to provide some eye popping entertainment!

It will be a great event for publicising Grupo Abolicao and the Trust and raising lots of much needed money for our projects in Brazil and South Africa.

More news to follow.......

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Money raised at The Mill in Banbury

A big well done to all Abolicao Oxford capoeiristas who were involved in a recent Youth Dance Showcase Event held at The Mill Arts Centre in Banbury.

Abolição Oxford Capoeira raised over £200 for the Abolição Trust with two performance rodas, a short film about the capoeira projects in Hamburg and Bahia, and a free capoeira workshop led by Dourado.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Well done Baila! Falcao and Tigre are coming to Brazil for the first Batizado at CRA

A huge well done to Baila for securing a donation of £2,500 for the ABOLICAO TRUST. I know that Baila has worked very hard to make this trip of a life-time possible for two of the boys from the project in South Africa.Both Falcao and Tigre will be flying out to meet Contre-Mestre Luis Negao and 12 other Abolicao students from Oxford and Pato's group in London. They will stay for two weeks and during that time be based, with the rest of the students, in Negao's house in Salvador. They will gain a huge amount of experience from this opportunity. This is the first time that they will have left South Africa and will benefit from learning alot more about Brazilian Capoeira in Brazil.They will get the opportunity to meet famous teachers like Mestre Itapua, Mestre Olva, Mestre Bamba and Mestre Xareu. When they return to South Africa they will be able to pass on their experience to the other students in Hamburg and continue to lead the Capoeira classes there.This Capoeira holiday will also include the first Batizado at the project in Abaete called 'criancas raizes do abaete' CRA. The fact that the boys are coming really brings together the three cultures of Africa, Brazil and Britain. In the past it was the slave trade that linked these countries and this is important to remember as Capoeira was born out of slavery and the fight for freedom. Now we are trying to link these cultures in a positive way through exchange and a first hand cultural experience.We are very excited about this trip and so pleased that Baila will also be coming to meet the boys.Much Axe!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Well done Baila! Two South African boys are coming to the First Batizado at the Project CRA

A huge well done to Baila for securing a donation of £2,500 for the ABOLICAO TRUST. I know that Baila has worked very hard to make this trip of a life-time possible for two of the boys from the project in South Africa.

Both Falcao and Tigre will be flying out to meet Contre-Mestre Luis Negao and 12 other Abolicao students from Oxford and Pato's group in London. They will stay for two weeks and during that time be based, with the rest of the students, in Negao's house in Salvador. They will gain a huge amount of experience from this opportunity. This is the first time that they will have left South Africa and will benefit from learning alot more about Brazilian Capoeira in Brazil.
They will get the opportunity to meet famous teachers like Mestre Itapua, Mestre Olva, Mestre Bamba and Mestre Xareu. When they return to South Africa they will be able to pass on their experience to the other students in Hamburg and continue to lead the Capoeira classes there.

This Capoeira holiday will also include the first Batizado at the project in Abaete called 'criancas raizes do abaete' CRA. The fact that the boys are coming really brings together the three cultures of Africa, Brazil and Britain. In the past it was the slave trade that linked these countries and this is important to remember as Capoeira was born out of slavery and the fight for freedom. Now we are trying to link these cultures in a positive way through exchange and a first hand cultural experience.

We are very excited about this trip and so pleased that Baila will also be coming to meet the boys.

Much Axe!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


The Sunday saw many of the members of ABOLICAO OXFORD CAPOEIRA running in the Oxford Town and Gown race 10k race. We are enormously grateful for their participation and commitment to raising money for the ABOLICAO TRUST. We calculate that approximately £800 has been raised. Thank you all so much for your effort and dedication and a special extra thanks to Tuberao for his help in motivating the runners who took part.

Summertown Festival 2006

Last weekend Abolicao Oxford Capoeira were busy fundraising at the Summertown Festival. This event is always so enjoyable as we are always looked after by Kate (Tia ) and Nick (Mosqueteiro's parents).
Thankfully the rain held off to enable us to fundraise (£40) whilst some members of Abolicao Oxford, led by Dourado, played Capoeira to the delight of the spectators. The event organiser has also donated £100 to the Trust, which is much appreciated.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Baila's return to South Africa

Abolicao Oxford Capoeira were happy to see Baila on a short visit to Oxford this Easter break. She has however returned to Hamburg and will continue to work with Abolicao Hamburg Capoeira. A big thank you to ABAETE for his generous donation of a gameboy which the kids out there will love and to FURACAO (Contra Mestre Negao's son) for the toys he recycled, which included action men and many other games he used to play with. As Baila and Negao remind us the kids out there have nothing at all so any donations are really appreciated.
Take care Baila. Axe!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Children's festival in South Africa

Bisho Children's Festival

With typical South African 'last minuteness' six of the under thirteen year old capoeira students from Hamburg went on a 5 day trip to Bisho Children's Festival. Piaba took a berimbau and a pandeiro, which we didn't even know he was able to play, and off they set. I have never seen such excitement, and it was a privilege to see how a small trip could trigger such genuine enthusiasm and pleasure.

They had five days of VIP treatment, since the King and Queen of the Mnqhesha Tribe have set up an annual Children's Festival in their home! This is to encourage children to dance, perform and be artistic. Everyday they played capoeira to a large audience. Piaba had a microphone for the berimbau and his voice, and I think that Bamba and Macaco helped with the music also. The twins, Rio and Cobra were there, and Bamba displayed all his acrobatic talents with back-flips, and walking hand-stands.

At the end of their stay they were taken to the local Parliament, a museum, and an airport where they were invited onto a plain. All the children refused this invitation, perhaps because they were frightened that it was a trick, and they seem to be afraid of flying. In the evening they went to the beach, and there was a big barbeque and they ate lots and played even more.

They returned to the village as celebrities amongst their peers, and the six of them had forged such a tight bond. Also, the improvement in their capoeira was wonderful to see. They had earned a new confidence.

They have been invited to attend the next festival in November, when perhaps ten children can go from Abolicao Hamburg. As a result of their performances at the Festival we have been receiving many phone calls from youth organisations all over the Eastern Cape, asking us to facilitate workshops teaching this strange and remarkable sport to other children— and perhaps we will be able to.

By Bailarina

News from Abolicao South Africa

Cape Town Trip

Thanks to the Abolicao Trust four capoeira boys from Hamburg, here in the Eastern Cape, spent a week in Cape Town. They played lots of capoeira, and enjoyed life in a big historical city.

They were invited to a Batizado, or graduation ceremony, by Graduado Beleza of Abada Capoeira. Graduado Beleza has been able to do a lot of community initiative capoeira programs with youth from rural deprived areas, and from prisons and young offender centres. He has been to visit the Abolicao Hamburg Group, and is very enthusiastic about the capoeira that is played here.

The trip allowed the boys to see capoeira in a wider context, with mainly adult students, and a lot of Brazilian capoeiristas. It was impressive to see how the two youngest boys, Besouro and Lampiao were unintimidated by the large size of the capoeira rodas, and were keen to play many games of capoeira in front of crowds of onlookers.

Despite the high quality of the capoeira during the Batizado week, when asked what the highlight of the trip had been, the answer was "the Waterfront", which is a beach facing shopping centre with cafes, and a promenade.

By Bailarina and Xaruto

Monday, March 13, 2006


Friday Night, 10th March 2006; Abolicao meets Synergy...Synergy host a regular monthly club night at S.E. One, a large venue in London Bridge. Due to the classes held at Synergy's community centre in Camberwell, Abolicao were invited to put on a capoeira showat the aforementioned event, led by Negao and involving 17 of Abolicao's finest.. (and Dourado)

After arriving bang-on time in London at Pato and Formiga's flat, the crew got ready and set off for S.E.One at around 12 am. We were initially met with resistance by the venue's own bouncers, who didn't want us providing our own supplies of water. However once this error was negotiated, we were let into the club, and found ourselves in a mysterious place...Under the U.V. lights we had to negotiate crowds of assorted hippies, techno-clubbers, jugglers, performers of all varieties and an array of interesting stalls offering up-to-date information and insights into the world's current major 'green' issues. People talked about climate change, social topics, politics and art; there were singers and rappers, dancers, poets, face-painters and chai-sellers. And us!We were set to perform at 1:45, and after a slight delay we took the floor to follow an amazing stage show by a solo female rapper and a group of singers from south London.We started with a brief introduction to capoeira and the work of the Abolicao Trust by the eloquent Dende, then got straight down to 20 minutes of capoeira as Negao led the roda with his usual high-powered singing to get the crowd hyped!After the first show we proceeded to another 3 areas of the club (each with their own special differences, hosted by separate club promoters). Within a few seconds of our arrival in each place, we were surrounded by a tight throng of captivated watchers, all in various states of awareness but all intrigued and excited. Everyone played really well, and represented Abolicao with top-quality energy and our hallmark grace and power.Finally we were left to our own devices in a space at the entrance to the venue, where we carried on for about 30 minutes (even drawing a couple of extra capoeiristas from the clubbers mass, who joined us for a game or two), before packing down the roda and wandering off into separate regions of this large, colourful indoor festival for our individual adventures (ask Negao for further feedback on his experience of hardcore psychedelic trance..).

We left in two waves, some to head back to Oxford at 7am, others to bundle into Formiga and Pato's flat in Camberwell and sleep like sloths until midday. We woke up, ate hot cross buns, watched Formiga's DV footage of the rodas, looked at some of Gaviao's (as usual) stunning images from the night; then under Dende's expert guidance trekked on to Borough Market for a feast of organic farm food, then on to Camden to dodge more hippies and tire ourselves out again.And that's it. Everone went home, tired but well spent. All in all a colourful event.. Keep your eyes open for digital evidence of the shenanigans. Who's up for next month then?! (joke)

Well done to Pato for organising this event and for Abolicao Oxford members who made this possible. Your efforts are much appreciated !! (Onca Pintada)

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Capoeira show in London Friday 10th March

There will be an Abolicao Oxford capoeira show in a club called Synergy, London Bridge, on Friday 10th of March. It will benefit the Abolicao Trust, and in addition to money granted for the performance, we will be able to promote both the charity and the groups. Watch this space for more details. Good luck to all Capoeiristas taking part!

Much Axe!

Monday, February 27, 2006


Pato and Dende gave a demonstration in St Mary Magdalen Church in Holloway Road,North London and raised £150 for the trust after Pato was contacted via Abolicao Oxford Capoeira classes at the Synergy Centre in South London.

"On arrival we were met by a large crowd of people singing, clapping and drumming, and throughout the evening the themes of Power and Oppression were explored and represented as part of a weekend of awareness-raising centred onthese issues, and relating to our society and related global issues.After a late start we played a couple of (long) games, talked about the historyof capoeira, played berimbau, sang and got the crowd to join in. We finished with another game and the whole thing was really well recieved. We promoted theTrust, and the London group, and after our "spot" we gave a little workshop too in a back room set aside as a dance space.It was really nice fun, and lead beautifully into Saturday's roda in Oxford. Keep your eyes on the message board for more London-based shenanigans, all inthe name of ABOLICAO OXFORD CAPOEIRA!!"

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Well done abolicao Oxford Capoeira

Well done to all Capoeiristas who went along to play at the Cowley centre this afternoon. You all helped to raise £109 in donations from kind people who generously gave to support the two projects in Brazil and South Africa. It was a really good atmosphere with lots of people watching and many spectators interested in the kids class.

A special thanks to Tuba's mum , Joan, who was great at fundraising this afternoon and for all her efforts in raising money for the Trust back home.

Much Axe!


The ABOLICAO TRUST desperately needs regular monthly donations to be able to cover the monthly running costs of the two Capoeria projects in Salvador, Brazil and Hamburg, South Africa.

If you would like to become a monthly sponsor and could afford say £5 month please get in touch......

Call Suzette on : 01865-428404

Kids class thriving!

Every Saturday morning Abolicao Oxford Capoeira actively supports the ABOLICAO TRUST by providing a kids' class at the EAST OXFORD GAMES HALL. The class, originally set up by Bailarina and Onca Pintada as a summer school, now runs weekly and is led by several students, Tuberao, Estrela and Leao. All the proceeds from this class goes to help fund the two capoeira projects in Brazil and South Africa. We encourage the kids to respect each other, interact with awareness and develop their sense of rhythm and musicality. The kids also participate in any public event to fundraise for the Trust and will be playing at the Cowley Centre this afternoon at 2pm.

The kids class is open to any kids from age 5 and above, cost £3 or £5 for two classes.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

News from Hamburg...

Nialla Fayers-Kerr, or Bailarina as she is better known in the Capoeira world has recently moved out to Hamburg to work with the Keiskamma Trust in the area of Heritage (not sure of her exact job title).

Excitingly for the Abolicao Trust, she's now on site to help and teach Abolciao Hamburg. Here's her latest update on how things are for the project in Hamburg:

"Things here with Abolicao Hamburg capoeira are going really well. The capoeira classes are happening every day, and there are always lots of people in every class. It would be nice to seperate the small kids from the others, and to start up an adult beginners class, but I haven't the energy as yet! (The hot weather is helping my knee though - which is good.)"

She mentions that the group raised some money rencently by performing at a cultural event in a nearby town, and is coming up with creative ways that the skills of the group there can help to raise more funds. She is hoping to take a couple of the group with her on a trip to a batizado in Cape Town, and there is a possibility of taking 2 of the more experienced capoeiristas to Salvador, Brazil to visit the sister project there this summer.

It's exciting to hear all that's happening, and we hope Baila will be keeping us up to date as often as possible!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Fund raising event at the OXFORD COWLEY CENTRE Saturday 25th February

This Saturday the ABOLICAO TRUST will be in the Cowley Centre to raise awareness about the two projects we are supporting. This event will include a public roda, including a kids roda to promote Capoeira and raise funds for the projects in Brazil and South Africa.

Come along , everyone welcome!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Happy First Birthday!

The end of January saw the first birthday of the Trust and it's been an amazing year. We raised nearly five thousand pounds to support the projects in Brazil and South Africa. We owe a huge thank you to everyone who's supported us, who's donated money, run 10K, been waxed or got up at 4am to play capoeira. There's no way we could have got this far without the incredible support we've enjoyed. Now seems like a good point to take a look at where your money went and the difference you made.

(Click the links to see photos)

Salvador, Brazil

The project in Salvador, Brazil is set in an old school by a beautiful lake. On the hill behind the school is the favela or slum where the kids live.

When Negão and Suzette started the project back in February last year, 60 kids turned up. Now there's often close to 100 children attend the school with classes all day, every day.

Brazil is where we spend the most money. There's three teachers there, Rupi, Cui and Pesardo. Elaine works as the administrator keeping a check on the kids and Negao's father, Sr. Narciso helps working with the local government and businesses in Brazil where we're also a registered charity. He also organises community events at the project. You'll often find various capoeira celebrities like Mestre Olavo and Mestre Itapoan at the project too. (Negao's father is on the left).

The teachers get paid just over a pound a day and a couple of times last year the Trust has faced the prospect of not being able to pay that.

Getting water and electricty into the project was a huge step this year. It meant that we could start evening classes. Water and water filters meant the kids had a clean source of drinking water.

We've also spent money renovating the school and there's now two classrooms and a courtyard that are good for the kids to use.

Through various methods in Brazil and the UK we've managed to acquire things like chairs, books and pencils.

Hamburg, South Africa

The Hamburg project started way back in 2003 Mosqueteiro and Xaruto set up with the help of the Keiskamma Trust in Hamburg, a small township on the eastern cape of South Africa. The town suffered badly under apartheid and continues to suffer from poverty today.

The group is lead by two of the older students who keep in regular contact. The annual batizado, a key event in capoeira starts with an intensive two weeks of lessons from Negão and in a town with little outside contact it's an important reminder and commitment to the group.

Most of the money spent on South Africa goes towards the batizado covering living and travel expenses of those involved and t-shirts for those taking part in the event.

Bailarina who's been a key part of the Hamburg project is now spending eight months living in Hamburg working for the Keiskamma Trust and spending time with the capoeira group out there.

But why capoeira?

How does capoeira help the kids in the projects? It's a cool thing sure, but what actual difference does it make to their lives?

Take a second to imagine growing up in a slum in Brazil. All your family will live in a room the size of an average UK living room. Not just your brother or sister, your entire family.
And there's no running water or sewers. There is education for a couple of hours a day but it's of limited quality.

And there's the drugs trade. Everywhere. For a fourteen year old carrying drugs to the hotels or apartments where the tourists and middle class are can earn up to £100 a month. That's a huge amount when you think that minimum wage is just over a pound a day and there aren't any jobs.

Of course there are risks. The police, underpaid and underarmed compared with the dealers don't always work to the same standard of justice we're used to in the West. And gun battles between rival dealers are common. In fact, gun violence in Rio alone kills ten times more kids than the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The project in Brazil provides a safe place for kids. It's a positive place and capoeira provides an activity they can throw themselves into away from favela life. The teachers are role models from their community and shows that there's another path away from the life of crime.

Mothers talk of how their kids have become more respectful. How their school work has improved. And how their kids have ended stopped the petty crime that often leads to something bigger.

Capoeira is a key way to get kids into the project. And when they're there we can teach them things like English, a key skill with massive hotels just a few kilometeres away.

Let's hope 2006 can be a even better year for the Trust.