The CAPOEIRA EDUCATIONAL YOUTH ASSOCIATION (CEYA) in Cape Town

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The CAPOEIRA EDUCATIONAL YOUTH ASSOCIATION (CEYA) in Cape Town

Cape Town is surrounded by very poor living areas where drug intake, abuse in families, gang crime and endemic poverty is growing. Children living in these conditions are continually at risk which in return results in social problems. It is therefore vital to provide better structures and opportunities where these children can learn positive social behaviour through good examples.

This organisation is run by volunteers. An Afro-Brazilian dance is used as a method to integrate the children and youth. The most important project is the "Community of Capoeira". Here, combatant sport is used in the form of a dance. This helps children to develop physically and socially. In this way Capoeira pays a positive contribution to building good relationships, especially between the different communities around Cape Town, who are still suffering as a result of Apartheid.

At the moment Capoeira courses are being offered in 4 communities (Langa, Bonteheuwel, Manenberg and Delft). Over 100 children between the ages of 6 and 13 years are benefiting from these courses. They are held twice a week in each community. The point of emphasis is to promote the development, cooperation, positive communication, inner balance, concentration and constructive ways of dealing with conflict. The children get Capoeira uniforms as a reward for their development and progress made. This increases their feelings of truly "belonging" somewhere. In order to deal with racism and to enhance their corporate feeling, the groups take part in monthly Integration Courses.

CEYA is growing and urgently needs financial support. R 58.320,00 is needed per project per year. This is about € 6.100,00.

CAPOEIRA EDUCATIONAL YOUTH ASOCIATION – Background and Motivation

Because of their passion and involvement in the social development, Marcio Lopes and Anna Versfeld founded CEYA in 2006. They believe that Capoeira is vital for the development of young people and children in Cape Town and in South Africa now and in the future.

WHY IS "COMMUNITY CAPOEIRA" DIFFERENT TO OTHER PROJECTS?
  • Capoeira promotes self-disciple and self-control and constructive cooperation in the community.
  • CEYA is a mix of different races, nationalities and cultures. It emphasises this and shows how important social integration is.
  • Ceya is self-critical and continually keeps in contact with communities and teachers. Most important is their involvement with children. Regular "check-ups" help them to work more effectively.
  • Their vision is a long-term one. Children in the communities need to be helped now and in the future.
WHAT IS CAPOEIRA?

Born out of a legacy of oppression, capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian dance-martial art and, fundamentally, a bodily conversation. "Played" by two people, in a circle ('roda') of clapping, singing and instrument-playing onlookers, capoeira is rooted in African music and ritual. Legend has it that slaves in Brazil disguised their martial practice from plantation owners by introducing music and singing. Capoeira has developed into a smooth, acrobatic, stylised and interactive game of "attack" and avoidance. It is our passion, and our tool.