FIGHT FOR PEACE TAKES PART IN PETROBRAS’ ENVIRONMENT WEEK

06/12/18 – On Monday 3rd December, Fight for Peace was invited to participate in the closing ceremony of the launch event for those selected to be part of the 2018 Petrobras Environmental Programme. Launched in 2013, the programme is due to invest R$180 million in 68 environmental projects across 21 Brazilian states between 2019 and 2020.

Petrobras currently funds Fight for Peace’s Maré United project, which aims to share the methodological approach used at the Fight for Peace Rio Academy with combat sports organisations operating in oether communities. The project includes immersive training and financial support to allow organisations, many of whom are voluntary, to continue to develop their work.

“We are able to pass on the knowledge and expertise that we have built over the past 18 years in large part thanks to the support we have received from Petrobras. We have been working together since 2010, when Fight for Peace was a much smaller organisation than today”, explained Juliana Tibau, Director of Operations at Fight for Peace in Rio, during the event’s closing ceremony, which also included interviews with former Fight for Peace members Ana Caroline Bello and Roberto Custódio, both of whom are today members of staff at the Rio Academy. A presentation of capoeira was also delivered by Fight for Peace young people during the event.

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In the interview with Ana Caroline, who today is Head of Programmes at the Rio Academy, the importance of the participation of more women and girls in Fight for Peace’s combat sports sessions was made very clear:

“Throughout these last 18 years, and with a great deal of effort, we have managed to practically make the gender balance at our Rio Academy equal, turning around the disparity that we used to have. At the start it was basically only me and a couple of other girls in boxing classes. Gender equality is fundamentally important to our work and we make it clear in everything we do that, yes, women can do combat sports. Another important factor has been the creation of our Gender and Sexuality group, allowing not only the empowerment of our female members but also involving men to broaden the scope of the work. The results of this has been really far reaching.”

Roberto, Sports Coordinator at Fight for Peace in Rio and former member of the Brazilian national boxing team, explained the importance of sport in his life and in his story at Fight for Peace:

“I found out about Fight for Peace in 2001, I started to train boxing and from the beginning I was hooked. I was never into fighting and I thought that I had finally found a way to defend myself, but I ended up discovering much more than this. I discovered that I could empower myself and be a role model to other young people in the community without being armed. And this ended up motivating me to fight, not just for me, but for my community. Today, everyone in the community where I live knows me as a boxer and the mothers of the young people that I train tell me that I am the example that they want their children to follow.”

We were extremely honoured to be invited to this event by Petrobras and we hope that this partnership continues for many years to come, supporting more and more children and young people, like Carol and Roberto, to realise their potential.