Luke Dowdney

Ashoka Fellow
Brazil
Fellow Since 2006

Citation

This profile was prepared when Luke Dowdney was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2006.
The New Idea
Luke is reducing the involvement of children in organized armed violence in Brazil and internationally. The first of Luke’s two programs offers Brazilian children the education and opportunity to choose non-violence. Luta pela Paz (Fight for Peace) is a network of community centers in Brazil’s most violent slums that teach young people basic good citizenship, coping skills, and job preparedness by engaging them in boxing and martial arts classes. These active, fun classes attract children away from participation in gangs. Every aspect of the design and implementation of these centers is rooted in Luke’s relationship with the local Brazilian community where he ran his pilot program, as well as his long-term international experience with the subject.
Luke supports and spreads his work through sophisticated international fundraising strategies. He is opening Fight for Peace boxing gyms and fitness centers in big international cities and designing a fashionable Fight for Peace music label and clothing brand to raise funds and help spread a culture of peace.Luke’s second initiative, Children and Youth in Organized Armed Violence (COAV), is an internet-based network of international organizations. Now a top reference in the field, the network involves practitioners in ten countries that share research, information, and best practices in ending child participation in organized violence.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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