شركة شباب لتدريب رياضة الكابويرا (Capoeira al-Shababi) is a Jordanian non-profit organisation working with children and youth in Jordan providing psychosocial support and life-skills to vulnerable communities.
Capoeira al-Shababi believes that one of the biggest challenges that vulnerable children and youth face is psychological distress and the impact of trauma, whether from experience of war, conflict, poverty or social pressures. A healthy childhood environment that provides space for learning, self-discovery and the development of life skills are the most effective and essential conditions for a successful future. That is why Capoeira al-Shababi focuses on the following:
TOT capacity-building teaching local trainers to conduct capoeira projects, increasing sustainability.
Play, expression and creativity - the backbone of healthy child development -through exercise and music.
Safe spaces to encourage trust, dialogue, and social bonds, increasing social support network.
Movement activities that serve as a therapy for healing from trauma and other psychological difficulties.
Capoeira al-Shababi is a youth initiative founded by three capoeira players in Jordan wanting to bring hope, happiness and community support to youth most in need. With up to 10 years of experience practicing Capoeira and years of working voluntarily to bring the joy of Capoeira to distressed communities, the Capoeira al-Shababi founders decided to dedicate their lives to establishing an organisation that can bring sustainable support to youth in the region.
We believe that Capoeira is resilience, training the capacity to keep moving, training and learning. Capoeira is family, bringing different people together to share the art. Capoeira is freedom, to be whomever you wish to be and to accept others as they are. Capoeira is hope, giving you the space to build your dreams for the future.
What is capoeira?
Capoeira was born at the beginning of the 16th century when the slave trade brought Africans across the transatlantic ocean to Brazil. It began in Brazil by African slaves who developed the art of capoeira, incorporating much of their homeland culture into its conventions. This dance-fight combines martial arts movements, body dialogue, music and cultural and ethical conventions. Capoeira is now played across the world in almost every country, and has a strong tendency to unite people across borders. Capoeira is a holistic social sport which teaches communication, respect and perseverance. Played in a circle or ‘roda’, with live instruments and singing in Portuguese, it is playful and theatrical. Two players enter the circle and dance, fight, trick, play, and enjoy their game. Although many different styles, schools and conventions exist within the game of capoeira, the shared passion for the art unites all who play it.
Capoeira trains the mind and body in synchrony. The foundation of the game rests on a question and response technique. At the same time that you learn the physical technique for a movement, you learn how to incorporate this into a dialogue with another player. The character of the game can range from playful to intrusive, tricky to encouraging. Training in this method provides an endless learning experience in creativity, mindfulness, inner strength and self confidence.
Meet the Team
The founders of Capoeira al-Shababi have been working on various social projects for years, using Capoeira to heal and relieve vulnerable communities, including work with the International NGO Capoeira4refugees in Jordan and Palestine.
Because the most effective social change begins with local ownership and community involvement, they decided to create Capoeira al-Shababi, a local non-profit seeking to benefit the most vulnerable communities in Jordan, including Syrian refugee youth. Capoeira al-Shababi empowers local youth to continue the work of spreading capoeira and play to those in need.
Ramzy Natsheh began capoeira in Jerusalem when he was 15 years old. This activity was a life changer, and has prompted him to develop himself and provide the same support to others in the region. Ramzy has worked as a psychosocial support facilitator for 5 years and is passionate about helping the most vulnerable people through his expertise in capoeira.
Hussein Zaben is one of the first Jordanian capoeira players, and has been playing capoeira for 9 years. He has also been working in psychosocial support activities for vulnerable youth for around 3 years. Hussein is passionate about helping local youth and providing positive support and fun activities. He wishes to expand capoeira and its endless benefits to more and more vulnerable people in the region.
Co-Founder and Executive Director
Lauren has spent a number of years studying and working in the Middle East, a passion born from her BA in Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies. After travelling to the West Bank to study Arabic, she soon discovered the local capoeira community and volunteered to assist classes in Palestinian refugee camps. After her MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Oxford, she decided to return to the Middle East and dedicate her time to social capoeira projects in Jordan. Lauren is passionate about child development, trauma and the healing techniques of movement and music.
Nikkie Menting started doing capoeira with capoeira school Semente in Haarlem, Holland, in 2004. In 2016 she travelled to Bahia, Brazil to learn more about capoeira and in 2017 she travelled to Jordan to teach capoeira as a form of psychosocial support. Currently, Nikkie is researching the benefits of capoeira for mental wellbeing as a part of her MA Conflict Studies and Human Rights degree. She hopes to provide students with the same sense of connectedness, friendship and belonging that she found in capoeira when she was growing up.
Ahmad Muhsen, better known as Sherbel Dissi, is a documentary photographer and videographer based in Amman, Jordan. Sherbel’s first project as a documentary photographer was the “Highest Point in Za'atari Refugee Camp". The photos of the project reflect the basic everyday life of Syrians refugees inside the refugee camp. Sherbel works with Save the Children Jordan and studies Media and Journalism at the University of Petra in Jordan. Sherbel volunteers his time with Capoeira al-Shababi in media and translation, actively supporting capoeira projects in Jordan, as well as training capoeira himself.