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Social Impact Through the 2021 Brazil Camp

During our Brazil Camp last Fall, we visited Professor Tony’s hometown of Recife where we enjoyed incredible beach trips, trained at various academies in the city, tried new foods, and made good friends. It was a trip of a lifetime and a true cultural exchange.

On this trip, we also had the privilege of meeting several DreamRoot local leaders who run three jiu jitsu social projects that serve some of the most impoverished populations in Brazil and visited the Arte Suave / DreamRoot Training Center in Paulista, Pernambuco.

Preparing to meet the leaders, Team Passos students donated 150 jiu jitsu uniforms (gis) and 50 belts to distribute to their students in need. Each U.S. camp participant brought an extra suitcase filled with the gis and took them to Brazil.

To date, through Team Passos students and Onda BJJ, we have donated a total of 364 gis.

For many Brazilian students, this was the first gi. To have their own uniform instills a sense of dignity and confidence which enhances learning and growth on the mat. To learn more about the impact of a uniform, check out this blog article.

A boy from the Sertão DreamRoot Training Center shared that the donated gi was actually the first piece of new clothing he had ever received. And many of the gis were delivered to an orphanage in Aldeia, Pernambuco run by DreamRoot local leader Jesse Hall.

As you may imagine, there were many poignant moments during this trip. It was powerful to witness true bonds of friendship, respect and encouragement formed among students and leaders from the U.S. and Brazil. One young man explained that our presence gives them hope and energy to keep going.

Thank you to all who have donated gis over the years. And a huge shout out to the camp participants who help transport all of the gis. Your contributions are changing lives and generations to come.

We are also grateful for the local leaders who run jiu jitsu social initiatives in some tough locations around the world. Through their sacrifice and dedication to continually showing up, they are creating safe and supportive spaces for community members to experience:

  • Healthy connections

  • Predictable routines

  • Activities and relationships that build self-esteem

  • An alternative to going to the streets or isolating in an empty house

More about DreamRoot Leadership Institute:

DreamRoot Leadership Institute (DreamRoot) is a non-profit that was birthed at Team Passos Jiu Jitsu. It exists to reverse cycles of poverty in underserved communities where people dream of a life that is free of hunger, despair, and suffering. They do this by strengthening local leaders and providing training,

resources and networks to help launch local initiatives that transform their communities and lead to sustainable social and economic growth.


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