We are Kasandra Kachakji and Alice Young, and we are roommates, best friends, Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) majors at the University of California, Berkeley, world travelers, fresh fruit fanatics, road trippers, yogis, and all around amazing young women looking to create some serious change in the world.
Last year, Kasandra spent four months living and studying Arabic in Amman, Jordan. There, she discovered (and fell in love with) Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art form combining rhythmic moves from dance, acrobatics and martial arts to create a dialogue between two players - a beautiful, active conversation through movement. Developed by African slaves in Brazil as a form of both self-defense and self-expression, capoeira also provided a mental escape from the oppression the slaves faced by the Portuguese. A deeply collaborative game, capoeira has evolved into its own culture in the Middle East, bridging gaps between the borders of Jordan, Palestine, Syria and Lebanon. It became the most positive force in her life, providing her with an amazing community in Amman and an outlet to express herself physically and creatively. When she returned, she felt inspired to apply for the Davis Project for Peace initiative to create a program that brought capoeira to the youth in Syrian refugee camps, so that they too could experience the mental and physical freedom this multi-faceted art form gives rise to.
In the last couple years of school and volunteer work, Alice has been studying how to create and implement sustainable solutions in under-resourced communities while still fostering local culture. Her passion for social justice, and interest in solving problems has given her direction, allowing her to keep taking steps forward instead of just stepping on her own feet. She traveled last semester through South America and worked on different projects that allowed her passion to become a reality. When Kasandra was chosen to receive the $10,000 grant to fund her Sport for Peace initiative, she asked Alice to partner with her on this project. Naturally, Alice said YES!
Seniors at UC Berkeley, we'll be graduating together in May and almost immediately heading off to Jordan to begin this project with everything we’ve got (literally)! We can’t wait for all of it to start, the “real” world is at our fingertips, and we need you to help us get there!
Please like and share our Kickstarter page, invite everyone you know to this event, and donate!
The crisis in Syria is one of the biggest tragedies of our time, and is severely underreported and under-recognized. By supporting this program, you can help raise awareness and make a difference in a child's life. Peace & great love to you all!