Project Bantu PH

is creating positive change in the lives of vulnerable young people

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Hi! My name is Jaime Benedicto, I'm a teacher (Treinel) of Capoeira Angola and one of the Founders of Project Bantu Philippines.

Growing up in Metro Manila is no small feat. Notorious for being the most overpopulated city on the planet, there is already immense pressure to survive and compete on most ordinary Filipinos. Children from disadvantaged communities are even worse off having to struggle constantly just to find food, safe places to sleep or even to earn money. Due to their dire circumstances, they are far more likely to not finish their basic educations, to not have access to proper medical and dental care and will have a much higher likelihood of being arrested, being exposed to drugs, alcohol as well as being victims of physical and sexual abuse and violence.

We have made it our mission to change this. Through the music and movements of Capoeira Angola, an Afro-Brazilian art form, we help some of the Philippines' most vulnerable young people develop key behavioral and social resources as well as all-important critical thinking skills that will help them become more successful in life.

AND OUR WORK IS GROWING! From working with a bare handful of kids 6 years ago, the Project now works with hundreds of vulnerable youth in Government Juvenile Care Facilities, in various poor communities and with different NGO partners that also support young people. We have witnessed some amazing changes and had the privilege of working with some truly remarkable kids over the years and it is because of these eye-opening, life-changing experiences that we are convinced that we CAN and SHOULD be doing more!

Thank you so much for reading! I truly hope you will support the work we’re doing. I hope that you will join us in believing that by building brighter futures for even the most lost, seemingly hopeless young people that we are also building better, brighter futures for ourselves and for our communities.  
$205 of $8,000 per month
Our goal is steady fundraising base of $8,000.00 per month. With this we’ll be able to:

  • Open the Project Bantu Youth Empowerment Center in San Andres Bukid – one of Manila’s most vulnerable communities and a community we have been working with since the very beginning. The Youth Empowerment Center will be an epicenter of positive change in the community and will affect the lives of hundreds of kids. Here we’ll be able to have regular classes aimed at the empowering vulnerable children including Capoeira Angola, Yoga, art, dance, basic literacy, hygiene and sanitation and environmental education. Another thing we are really excited about is that we’ll be able to conduct regular feeding programs for the youth to combat the severe malnutrition and stunting that prevails in the area as well as provide basic medical, dental and mental health services. All free of charge for the young people of the community.
  • Continue conducting our Capoeira Angola classes for over 200 young people every week uninterrupted. One of our major challenges over the past years was how to keep all of our classes going without a regular stream of income? While we’ve managed to get by so far, we want to set things up so we can focus all of our energies into delivering the best possible classes for the kids we work with. Because they deserve the best.
  • Fund our Young Leaders Program. Here we take vulnerable youth and empower them by training them as Youth Assistants who help teach newer kids during our classes, perform basic office-related and housekeeping tasks and maintain the instruments we use during our classes. As part of this Program, we also provide our Youth Assistants with a basic allowance, assistance for costs related to their education, transportation and medical.
  • Pay for Capacity Building Trainings for our Project Bantu Instructors. Being an Instructor for Project Bantu is not the easiest job. While Instructors must have a working knowledge of Capoeira Angola and have a technical mastery of its basic skills, it is equally important to understand how to effectively work with vulnerable young people which can be an extremely complicated task. It requires Instructors to understand how to properly manage groups composed of youth with complex needs and how we can use activities rooted in Capoeira Angola to address these needs. Experience in Capoeira Angola is not enough. Capacity Building Trainings are regularly conducted by our founder, Mestre Roxinho (who has over 40 years of experience in Capoeira and has been working with youth for over 23 years) and we would like to send potential Instructors to participate.
  • Employ people the right people who can take our Project forward. Running a sustainable non-profit in a country like the Philippines is extremely difficult. Having the right resources would mean we could hire people who will help us get there and make sure the work lasts.
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