Hi Friends and Family, I am partnering with Capoeira Arts Foundation and raising money for 2016 Roda-thon for Projeto Kirimurê.
A little about me and why I am raising money:
I am nine years old. I love sports, especially, capoeira and soccer. I also love to dance. I am smaller than a mouse! I can go through tiny places, run fast, and jump high. My friends at school call me Mighty-Mouse and in the capoeira community, I am known as Gafanhoto, which means grasshopper. That's me!
I like being small because that's how I was born! I feel comfortable in my body's size, but many people see that as something negative, expecting me to be tall like them. Many times I get asked, "Why are you so small?". I usually don't know what to answer, and I get sad, but sometimes I respond with this question, "Why are you so tall?". They don't realize how hurtful their question is!
My mom says that, sadly, people who don't know me will always make comments about my size because "they are boxed into society's norms." I don't exactly know what she means by that, but I believe her because moms are wise! She says that I have to learn to love the positive things of being a small person. For example, short people fit more comfortably in cars and airplanes; we can take a nap pretty much anywhere; we can hide easily if we need to. In capoeira, being small has great advantages too! I can escape just about any kick with little effort, but tall capoeiristas, they have to work hard at escaping a kick. I also take advantage of being small when I want to get in front of the roda (capoeira circle) by squeezing myself through. And smaller people just wear bigger people out in general, with their speed and agility.
But you know what is the greatest thing about short people like me? We produce less carbon footprint, mom says. Why? Because we need fewer calories to survive, and our clothing needs less material. Also, we don't need as much water to shower and to wash our clothes (I can shower with less than a gallon of water!). These are just a few examples!
But even though I try to think about all the positive things about being short, I can't help being affected when people point out my tininess. When people see me move fast and gracefully, they see past my tininess, and they compliment my agility. I get shy when they come up to me to compliment me, but at the same time, it makes me feel bigger. I like taking on challenges because when I accomplish difficult things, I feel big on the inside, I feel motivated, and I spend less time watching TV. But when I don't have something to look forward to, all I want to do is watch TV, and watching TV gives me big headaches. My mom always says that "I have to be active and productive" so I don't get headaches.
I am participating in this Roda-thon for two reasons: As a personal challenge, and even more important, because I realize that there are many children out there who do not have the same opportunities as I do. I am very lucky to have a family and a community that support me. I am part of a soccer team, a dance group, and a huge capoeira family. I feel so lucky that I have a second home, Casa de Cultura, where I feel safe and welcome. There I take dance, music and capoeira classes. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have that special place!
Projeto Kirimurê, the project that we are raising the funds for, is that special place for a group of kids in Bahia, Brazil. These are kids like me, who should have the same opportunities as I do, but they don't. Although I don't know them, my mom and I have traveled to Brazil, and I have seen the difficulties that kids like them experience. Many of them work selling things on the streets to help their parents. It made me very sad, and I wanted to do something, but being just a little kid, I couldn't do anything. Now that I have this opportunity to raise funds to help a group of kids, I am taking on this challenge to raise as much as I can. My goal is to raise a minimum of $4,999.00.
The Roda-thon (through the Capoeira Arts Foundation) is giving me the chance to do something for someone else! I want the children at Projeto Kirimurê to have the money they need to keep their special place this year, and hopefully, for many more years. I am humbly reaching out to you to make this possible. Last year I raised $1,140.00 and the year before that I raised $180.00. Why that specific amount this year? Because I want to be a professional soccer player, and I want to score 4999 goals. I know that’s a lot of goals! Pelé, my favorite soccer player, scored 1281 goals.
Can I count on your support to make it happen? I promise to train very hard from now until the Roda-thon to play as many capoeira games as I can. I know I can do this! Could you please contribute to this cause with a flat donation or if you truly believe in my physical abilities, could you sponsor me with a per-game contribution? The kids at Projeto Kirimurê and I will be very thankful for any financial donation!
Mateus (Gafanhoto) Collazos
“Never say little people can’t help”
Why are we raising money?
The main goal of the Roda-thon is to help contribute to the sustainability of an at-risk youth program called Projeto Kirimurê (PK), in Itapuã, Bahia, Brazil. Once a small fishing village, this community has become overrun with urban crowding, pollution, poverty and the high prevalence of violence and drug-related crime.Through PK’s cultural center, local children between 4 and 16 years of age find a safe and nurturing environment through which they discover who they are, why they are special, where they come from, and how to find positive solutions to seemingly impossible problems. As the children of the neighborhood learn the game of capoeira, its music, history and philosophy, they develop physical and emotional strength, discover their roots and build self-esteem and character. Along with capoeira and related music classes, PK also offers literacy classes, homework help, psychological counseling, activities in health and environmental education, as well as field trips and a daily nutritious snack. PK works hard to engage the families of the children in all of the above work.
The Capoeira Arts Foundation is a not for profit 501(c)(3) organization that has been dedicated to supporting Projeto Kirimurê since 2005.
What is the Roda-thon?
The Roda-thon is a pledge based fundraiser in which participants play as many capoeira games as possible. As in many fundraisers of this nature, participants will look to raise funds through our extended networks of family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, etc. Participants will search for sponsorships on a per game basis, or by asking for a flat contribution. Suggested minimums are $1 per game or a flat contribution of $20, but any and all contributions will go a long way to helping us achieve our goal. All contributions are tax deductible to the full extent of US tax laws.
Thank you for joining me!