Projeto Gaditas - Phase 1
Do you remember when you were 12 years old? What was happening back then? Was it a healthy childhood?
What if, when you were 12, you started to use drugs, next thing you're dealing drugs and in trouble with the law for the NEXT ten years of your life.
What person would you become after these ten years? What would be the odds of turning your life around to a positive route by that point in your life? IF you're alive or probably in prison. What are the odds of you saying: "It's not about me, it's about others."
The odds are very low, however as the motivational speaker Les Brown says: "'It's possible!" 'It's possible for people to turn their lives around and martial arts can be an incredible personal development tool for those who are on the wrong path in life, that is why a lot of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners say: "Jiu-Jitsu saves lives" and it did save the life of 35-year-old Eduardo Oliveira from Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
Eduardo grew up in a rough, impoverished community in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. And in Brazil usually, the drug dealers start carving a career plan for the young kids who start as "watchers," they watch if the police are coming and let the drug dealers know.
For this kind of work, a 12-year-old can make more than their mom and dad together plus flashing the new shoes and jewelry. It's very tempting for those kids.
The Jiu-Jitsu projects located inside these impoverished communities can LITERALLY save lives, and Eduardo was saved by Jiu-Jitsu and achieved his black belt by his coach Guto Campos.
Eduardo realized that it was not about him, it's about others, and decided to start a BJJ social project to teach kids around the age that he began to get in trouble. At first, he used some old beat up mats and started asking for donations for the 'gi's, and the project started to grow.
Now in 2019, almost a decade later, he teaches 200 students in two locations for free, and at the HQ, which is attached to his house where he lives with his wife, two of his kids plus 18 adopted kids. You heard that right, 18. Gaditas, became an orphanage.
They used to have one big room full of bunk beds, and his goal was to create more rooms to split the boys from the girls, and the little from the big ones, build extra bathrooms and a new kitchen, which he did!
He started the construction with no money, and through Gaditas supporters' donations, they began to make progress; however, due to lack of funds, the process was paused.
That is when jiu-jitsu tribe and its donors came to the picture. We helped to speed up the process with the help of donors who believe that it's not about them, it's about others and raised $10,000 (40000 Reais) to finish the main part of the construction.
The phase 1 fundraising effort for Gaditas was able to help fund:
- New training room with mats which was previously damaged by weather
- New bedrooms to separate boys and girls, big and small kids
- New kitchen for communal meals
- New floors
- Overall structural and plumbing improvements