BANTU fights poverty through the Brazilian art of Capoeira and high-impact social programs. Through music, movement and play we empower at-risk children & youth with the skills to be successful in life.
BANTU Philippines was founded by Filipino Capoeira practitioners oriented by Mestre Roxinho, a renowned Capoeira Master and youth educator in 2012. We began using Capoeira to teach important life skills to a handful of youth on the streets to now supporting hundreds of youth in disadvantage in key areas including nutrition, academics, employment and more.
The World Bank estimates that there are around 2,500 slum communities in Metro Manila and its peri-urban areas. Youth from these communities face many enormous challenges that threaten to keep them in poverty including early pregnancy, malnutrition, substandard education and a lack of viable employment opportunities.
In order to ensure youth are given the tools they need to succeed, BANTU established its first ever CASA BANTU Community Center in May of 2023. Through CASA BANTU, we currently support youth in the areas of nutrition, holistic education, academic support and free workshops to fill important information gaps in different areas that are open to the community. BANTU constantly innovates and works with partners to implement new programs to empower youth and their families.
Our long term goal is to open more CASA BANTU Community Centers in different communities to help fight poverty.
Our flagship program: Capoeira is an excellent tool for engaging disadvantaged youth through its combination of music, movements and play. Capoeira provides us with an excellent medium for teaching the skills they need to succeed including strategic thinking, self-control, confidence, empathy and interpersonal skills, critical thinking and more.
Capoeira is also an excellent avenue for teambuilding and developing community among youth of different ages, genders, socio-economic backgrounds and ethnicities.
30% of Filipino children under the age of 5 are stunted (low-height-for-age) placing us in the top 10 globally. Malnutrition correlates to inhibited brain development leading to lower levels of schooling, reduced cognitive ability and lower earning potential later in life.
The World Bank reports that for every $1 invested in nutrition we get a $44 return in terms of productivity in school, at home and in the community. Through BANTU Eats, we are able to provide over 200 meals per week. We are currently working on upgrades to the program by adding more high nutrition components such as protein, fruits and vegetables.
The Philippines has been gaining notoriety for its lagging educational system with an incendiary report from the United Nations asserting that less than 10% of Filipino children could understand a basic text or comprehend a simple story.
Through BANTUSchool, we hope to build a deeper sense of engagement in youth for education and develop them into lifelong learners. Our two programs involve working on basic literacy and numeracy for children and homework help and remedial academic programs for middle to high schoolers.
BANTUSchool is also heavily focused on generating interest and excitement for STEM subjects and preparing youth for a world that is tilting more and more digital.
From poor households, only 2% of people will have benefitted from tertiary education. Research shows that workers with college earn up to 4.5 times the wage of their counterparts. Without the benefit of academic degrees, dignified work opportunities for disadvantaged youth are extremely limited. This puts them at severe risk of pursuing illegal means such as crime, prostitution and gambling as a means of generating income.
The BLAC hopes to mitigate this by providing at-risk youth with a hybrid job skills training program that involves hard skills workshops as well as soft skills workshops which incorporate Capoeira and connecting youth with sustainable employment opportunities and continuous career development.
Our first run of BLAC allowed youth to earn an extra USD2,100 on average. Bonus benefits included youth being able to get requisite government IDs and documentation, opening savings accounts and reporting improved overall mental health.
Over 10 years working with families from poor communities has shown us that poverty often limits their access to new information, ideas and ways of thinking that could potentially change their lives.
Our CommuniTalks program benefits youth and their families by providing free regular workshops open to the public in key areas including reproductive health, financial literacy, gender equality, human rights, mental health, the basics of starting a business, how to secure government documents and more.
The devastating effects of climate change in the Philippine cost the economy an estimated $26 billion USD per year which can be crippling for a country already struggling with the challenges typical of developing nations.
Led by the wisdom of our youth, BANTU launched its “CliMake Change” program which seeks to address environmental problems facing the community through education, income generation, climate resilience and waste management and reduction. Building on the principles of a circular economy, the program’s current iteration involves capturing and repurposing discarded plastics and food waste into sellable products which support CASA BANTU and providing free workshops on climate change and building resilience to climate-related phenomenon.
BANTU believes in nurturing and harnessing the power of the entrepreneurial spirit as an impactful way of fighting poverty. As such, we regularly conduct free workshops on basic business principles for members of the community. One of the fruits of this product has been a small printing business started by youth from San Andres Bukid.
B&B’s overall goal is to act as an incubator to help youth-led businesses get on their feet and provide them with channels and opportunities for greater success.
BANTU works with an awesome team of partner organizations and donors that share its vision of a poverty-free Philippines for Filipino children. Our major partners include: