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The following is an article written by Clifford Galea; one of the participants who attended the Erasmus+ training course titled "Combating the Differences". During the project the participants learned about Capoeira and wanted to share their experience with our members and readers.
Capoeira and Our Experience
Together with Darine, Liliana and Mariano, I was chosen to participate in an Erasmus international project held in Kaunas in Lithuania between the 22nd of September till the 30th of this year 2019.
We didn’t know each other so well. But we clicked as from day one. We knew that it was gonna be a capoeira training course in order to combat the differences between us; hence capoeira is used in many countries now as it has become a tool which unites people, no matter their religion, colour or race.
I must admit i never tried it before and i can say the same for all the rest of the group members. Upon arrival, we met with other international participants and luckily enough, all seemed to be quiet nice and warm hearted. This was confirmed throughout the whole week and can re confirm it today, as we still kept contact through a Facebook group where we talk daily.
This project highlighted the fact that nowadays, there are numerous challenges that European societies are facing. One of the more severe ones is the marginalization of young people coming from disadvantaged backgrounds; can it be due to different cultures and mentalities or also due to religious beliefs. Youngsters with behavior disorders and
dysfunctional backgrounds are often insecure and self-doubting, face discrimination, negative stereotypes, and increased social barriers. Not only that, myself i took the opportunity to talk about my past of drug addiction which to many people can be a taboo and also an undebatable subject. But through my explanation and also by being myself, i
really felt loved and totally accepted as after all this is life; everyone can have his pitfalls but everyone can rise up again and be a good person. After all, talking about addiction; it’s not something you choose to do as many people believe; it is a disease. So this project also served to share our knowledge and to pass on our experiences from life.
One of the ways to help them feel more confident is actually capoeira. Capoeira is an afro-Brazilian martial art that incorporates game, music, and dance. It has previously been used as a therapeutic activity that proved to be a huge success in empowering troubled people and bringing community members closer together. There were times when capoeira was prohibited in some countries but fortunately enough, it became legal later on. One reason for this was, because powerful people didn’t want to see people being so happy and united together. This shows that capoeira can really affect people positively.
To tackle this social exclusion problem, youth organizations from Hungary, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Turkey, Malta, and Lithuania have united for the project "Combating The Differences". The project’s aimed to give youth workers, the training necessary to be able to lead capoeira therapy sessions or at least to speak about in our home country groups that capoeria exists and it can be so beneficial...thus giving hope to others that there are ways and means how to really combat the differences.
The main objectives of this project were: - to promote capoeira as an inclusive and therapeutic activity, to give youth workers the appropriate knowledge about capoeira and also some practice, its philosophy, physical and musical sides of capoeira. We also had to come up with capoeira games in which everyone can participate and we did these games with school children.
Through this project, we, the participants increased our social awareness, skills, and multilingualism as of course, everyone shares his basic words in different languages even through daily organised cultural nights by all the participants from different countries including Malta. We are very happy that we participated in this erasmus project thanks also to the local non- profit organisation MUYA; we think we learnt a lot; we grew more mature, we acquired new knowledge and experience and this, we would like to share with others.
Attached are instructions about Capoeira, explaining how you can carry out your own inclusive capoeira session.