BANTU uses the art of Capoeira and other impactful interventions to fight poverty in the Philippines and around the world by empowering at-risk youth, their families and their communities.
We support hundreds of Filipino youth with end-to-end programming that focuses on early childhood education, nutrition, behavioral and social development and ends with employment, mentoring and investment in community building.
Capoeira is a multi-faceted art that brings together elements of music, dance, acrobatics, mock-combat and game. In 2014 it was recognized as an example of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Born in the 16th century, Capoeira arose as a movement of resistance for enslaved Africans to fight against the oppression they suffered at the hands of the Portuguese in Brazil.
This spirit of liberation and the struggle for social justice lives on in the many social projects that use Capoeira as a tool for empowerment and emancipation in different countries around the world.
BANTU Ph was founded in 2012 by a small group of civic-minded Capoeiristas led by Jaime Benedicto under the guidance of Mestre Roxinho.
What began as a small project to help 10 youth living on the streets learn behavioral skills through Capoeira has since evolved into a social movement involving hundreds of children from some of Manila’s poorest slum communities, their families, and an army of donors, youth leaders, teachers and volunteers from around the world.
BANTU employs a variety of different programs and interventions to fight poverty. Chief among them is our patented Capoeira classes which utilize an innovative pedagogical approach designed to empower participants and that can be adapted to help them achieve a range of different outcomes depending on their needs. Our flagship programs include:
BANTU’s unique approach to Capoeira uses its different elements – music, movement, dance & play – to achieve specific behavioral outcomes, to teach critical thinking and help participants learn important life lessons.
These classes are great for children, adolescents and young adults and can be customized to meet the needs of students.
Classes also focus heavily on dialogue and helping participants better understand their roles as true agents of change in their own lives and in the world around them.
We work with youth in slum communities, in government custody, in schools and in other non-profits. Our work has been evaluated by teachers, social workers, activity therapists and psychologists.
“To lead others you must first lead yourself” – Mestre Roxinho
Over the years, we’ve realized that overcoming poverty is not simply a matter of training our kids and giving them the right mindsets and behaviors; that stable and meaningful employment is the key piece that will determine whether or not young people and their families are successful.
The BANTU Leadership Academy (BLAC) uses Capoeira as a vehicle to prepare youth for work – helping them develop essential skills for their future jobs including patience, communication, grit and teamwork among many others.
The BLAC further connects youth with work professionals volunteering their time as Coaches who give them essential extra support as they transition into the workplace.
BANTU believes in the power of learning from doing. Our Each One Teach One (EOTO) program seeks to help at-risk adolescents develop important behaviors and social skills by assigning them as Big Brothers/Sisters to younger children. The experience of mentoring younger children not only increases teenagers’ self-esteem and self-image, it also gives them the opportunity to put into practice the many skills they develop in their Capoeira Classes including patience, responsibility, empathy, self-discipline, and a wide range of others.
EOTO activities can include: Tutoring, Sports, Capoeira classes, Dance, Art or Music classes, Cooking classes and any activities where youth can work together.