Wednesday, December 08, 2010

December newsletter here!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wow... it's been quite a while since our last post. But be assured that work has been ticking along busily, with lots of exciting developments...


Another trip was hosted to Brazil in July, with UK Capoeirstas visiting the project in Salavador to support the work and train with the kids, who continue to put us to shame with their moves. The local workers leading the project have now have attracted funding in the region and are able to operate more independently, which is the real aim of any good development work. The 5th Batizado (annual celebration and grading ceremony) was held at the project, with lots of new children gaining their first green cordao. And more and more opportunities are springing up for those attending the centre - English classes, percussion, dance, arts...


Our teacher in Hamburg, Tigres, is doing a fantastic job and we're now able to pay him a proper salary in partnership with the local Keiskamma Trust. He is leading regular classes for children, adults, teaching in schools and performing at local festivals.

Capoeira has ignited real enthusiasm amongst the local young people, whose plans include -

  • A new class in a neighbouring town
  • Partnering with a local charity to develop HIV and drug-based educational projects through Capoeira
  • An exhange visit to Cape Town, where one of the original group members has started university

One of the original members is now attending university in Cape Town and has launched a sister group there.

See a full report from Tom's recent visit.


The Trust were invited to run a bar at a huge Halloween party in South London. We applied our spookiest make-up and knocked-out the Caipiroskas all night, raising an incredible £950! A big thanks to Jonny, Tom, Anna and other organisers. And of course, thanks to those who drank. And drank. And drank. For charity. We've spotted a new fundraising strategy, so watch this space for more merry events...


It's that time of year again, when Oxford Capoeiristas limber up and prepare to be booted (in the friendliest way...) by Brazilians... Abolicao is hosting it's 10th Batizado, with students and teachers from Brazil, Italy and the UK converging on East Oxford for four days of training, new belts and Brazilian-style partying. This is a great opportunity for the Abolicao Trust to promote our work and we'll be there all weekend, sharing success stories and collecting funds to continue the work. We will also be helping run the party on Saturday night, with income from tickets and the bar heading straight out to our projects.

If you're in Oxford, come and check it out...

The dreaded cuts are proving very tough for small charities, with few opportunities from grant-giving organisations. We will depend more and more on regular donations, fund-raising events and the hard work of all those fine volunteers who support us. So a big thanks if you've been involved in any way.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

South Africa report from Tom, who visited the Hamburg group recently...


Greetings from South Africa!! Whilst the World Cup dominated the headlines this summer past, plenty of other exciting events were happening in South Africa…

The Abolicao Trust has been supporting the capoeira group in Hamburg, Eastern Cape since 2003. Now the group, entering its 8th year, is moving from strength to strength. Tom Georgiou, one of the group founders and Abolicao Trust trustee, travelled with instruments, capoeira kit, CD player, and a goat skin to spend a month lending his support and seeing how the group has developed.

The group has matured over the years, and the ‘old skool’ of original students have now matured into young adults. As the cycle turns, these students have become teachers, and there is a fine new crop of youngsters filled with enthusiasm who come to train.

The Abolicao Trust has paid a salary to the group leader, Msindisi Mva (Tigre), for the past year. These costs have been shared with local NGO, The Keiskamma Trust ( who support the development of the community with arts, health, HIV/AIDS awareness, after-school education, music and heritage projects.

Tigre has taught daily classes from 4-6pm, and due to extra demand has started teaching early classes for adult beginners at 8-9am twice weekly, and also teaches up to 3 times a week in local primary schools. The stipend salary we have been able to provide has enabled him to save for his family and given him some security in an area of 95% unemployment.

The group were invited to perform at the Gramhamstown Arts Festival, the largest celebration of creative arts in South Africa. They featured in the festival newpaper, and were very well received by excited audiences. Other performances, at a number of local festivals and venues have made the group well known in their local district. Having an outlet to showcase the progress of the group has helped fuel their enthusiasm, and generated requests for them to teach capoeira in various different localities. While logistical difficulties limit their capacity to take on new projects in different areas, this is one of the directions in which the group is looking to expand.

Other projects we hope to embark on in the near future include -

  • An exchange visit to Cape Town – one of the Hamburg capoeiristas now studying at university has begun a new group, associated with the student union

  • A new regular class – in a recently opened youth centre 16km away in a village called Lovers Twist

  • Youth education schemes – to involve the capoeira group in educational initiatives relating to alcohol, drugs, HIV and healthy living

  • More kit for the kids – having sourced an appropriate fabric for capoeira trousers (£1.50 per metre), women from the arts project can make trousers of all sizes

  • A passport and trip to England – for Tigre, to develop his leadership and IT skills and train with the Oxford and London groups