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July 28, 2006 by cosmoakacitizensmith

This is Luke Dowdney.

He’s from England but he came to Rio de Janeiro over ten years ago and formed a boxing club. In a favela – one of Rio’s drug and gun infested shanty towns.

What did the locals make of this crazy English guy? They loved it, the boxing club is a raging success and it is now a way for many ghetto youth to find a way out of the limited options they encounter.

Perhaps more remarkable is his book Children of the Drug Trade. It describes the escalation of the drug wars between the police and rival gangs in Rio over the last twenty years.

The most crazy thing about this is that children, some aged younger than twelve years old, are given access to war grade weapons and are engaged in armed confrontations on a regular basis.

An incredible statistic is that in 2000, there were exactly 325 deaths in the Israel/Palestine conflict.

In Rio there were over 2500. A lot of them just children. It’s a forgotten war.

He took his study to the UN, and they have since come up with a new category of Children in Organised Armed Violence. This has allowed a lot more funding to come the way of projects like his to get children out of the cycle of violence here. This is the website.

Here is another one. And another.

Fair play, geezer.


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