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Launch of reporting project on capoeira in the D.R.C.

Author: UN. Stefano Toscano

Launch of reporting project on capoeira in the D.R.C.

The duo of the independent journalist, Fabíola Ortiz and photographer, Flavio Forner, has just launched an in-depth reporting project that aims to report on how capoeira benefits Congolese children.

The use of capoeira (a Brazilian martial art) in conflict zones has become a powerful tool to help demobilised children and adolescents from armed groups and victims of violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

Ortiz and Forner are media professionals dedicated to the coverage of social and human rights. “We strongly believe [in] the role independent journalism plays to promote public debate, encourage change and keep alive the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the agenda,” says Ortiz, a Luso-Brazilian journalist leading the project together with her partner photographer.

Information has a powerful role to defuse tensions, reduce conflicts, and contribute to the healing process of traumatic events,” added Ortiz. “Independent responsible journalism may act as a unifier in a polarised society and has a pivotal role in conflict prevention, management and resolution. We feel there is a need for ground-breaking and innovative storytelling approaches to report on development coupled with the use of sports and culture.”

The duo shall gather human stories and display in an online multimedia platform. They are interested in learning how the practice of Capoeira can serve as an important tool for social integration and fight against violence in North Kivu.

Former child soldiers of rebel groups and girls victims of violence receive classes in Goma on how to practice this genuinely Brazilian martial art – a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Children also learn how to play instruments and how to sing.

Capoeira helps to heal the community ties through human values. Today I see that capoeira has a very important mission, the one of building a society free of so [much violence],” tells the Brazilian Mestre Flavio Saudade who coordinates the programme “Capoeira for Peace”, a project that was embraced by UNICEF in North Kivu province, in eastern D.R. Congo. 

The “Capoeira for Peace” initiative is led by the governments of Brazil and Canada, UNICEF and AMADE-Mondiale, and addresses self-confidence and self-esteem within children and their families. The goal is to reduce inequalities and help to heal traumas. In a war-torn country with ethnic roots and embedded with commercial interests, it is crucial to restore a culture of peace.

If you are interested in the independent reporting project to document how Capoeira is helping former child soldiers and victims of violence in the D.R.C., visit the Capoeira Congo website.

[This article has been edited by the Operating Team.]



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Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 14:31