Capoeira brings music and dance to Azraq Refugee Camp: NRC

تم نشره في Tue 15 July / Jul 2014. 03:10 PM - آخر تعديل في Tue 15 July / Jul 2014. 03:11 PM
  • An undated photo of the Capoeira activities provided by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)


AZRAQ, Jordan (NRC) — Syrian refugees have found in Capoeira a way to escape their current harsh living conditions and displacement stories in the Azraq Refugee Camp, 100 kilometres east of the capital Amman.

The Brazilian martial art, brought to Azraq through Bidna Capoeira and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), combines elements of storytelling, exercise, song and dance to provide essential psychosocial support to new arrivals in Azraq struggling to come to terms with what it means to be a refugee.

Ajwad, 35, said Capoeira helped her forget all the fear and anxiety that were filling her up after recently having fled Syria with her young family. “I will bring all my children to attend the next activity,” she said.

“I liked bashing out rhythms on drums and tambourines, it charged me with positive energy,” Khaled, 28, said.

Around 200 Syrian refugees participated in the first three days of classes — now organised weekly in collaboration with Care and UNHCR.

“We are constantly looking for new and innovative programmes for youth as one of the most vulnerable groups within the refugee community,” NRC Jordan Youth Manager Emma Bonar said.

“As we have worked with Bidna Capoeira, a UK charity founded in 2007, before in the Zaatari Refugee Camp, we knew that they could help us in Azraq and provide support to the first new arrivals in this isolated camp,” Bonar added.

NRC Jordan’s youth programme in formal camps, which has registered more than 2,000 students since it began in May 2013 is now expanding to Azraq Refugee Camp. 

The Youth Centres in Zaatari and EJC camps offer three month post-basic training courses  including in tailoring, electrical wiring, office management and the only certified ICDL (IT) course in Zaatari camp.  All youth also take comprehensive courses in Arabic, English and Maths to continue their education.  



As a response to the ongoing crisis in Syria and the tough conditions faced by the youth, as one of the most marginalised groups within emergency contexts, NRC is expanding its youth response.

“There is a critical need to scale up education in emergency responses and in particular support specialised youth learning programmes,” NRC Jordan Country Director Petr Kostohryz said.

NRC is currently in discussion with donors and other stakeholders about expanding its youth programme to host communities. Any programmes could cater to both Jordanian and Syrian youth alike, offering a set of post-basic education training disciplines

“Safe youth spaces give vulnerable youth positive outlets and a chance to stay off the streets and prepare themselves for the future,” Petr added.