This week’s “Game Changer” on Americas Now is someone who has made it his mission to fight crime and violence with sports. His name is Luke Dowdney.
He is a British light-middleweight boxing champion (1995), who created Brazil’s “Fight for Peace.” Part of an international non-profit group, “Fight for Peace” combines boxing and martial arts with education and personal development to increase the potential of young people in low income communities.
Dowdney was born and raised in London and moved to Brazil 20 years ago. A big believer in hard work Dowdney never really fit in the middle class society in which he was raised. He was heavily bullied which turned him into a rebellious kid. “ I was arrested a couple of times as a kid. I was asked to leave the school” he says. However, boxing was something that really helped him to channel his energy, to build his confidence, to increase his discipline and to put his energy into something that was positive. And so after 5 years of interaction with Brazilian youth from neighborhoods with high levels of violence, he founded “Fight for Peace.”
His effort has allowed his organization to transcend borders and bring more people together to work toward the same goal. “Fight for Peace” began as a “tiny organization” that started helping ten young people. It now serves 2500 in Rio de Janerio, and serves around 40,000 young people on projects around the world. Their teaching method is now used in more than 22 different countries.
For Luke Dowdney, it is important to encourage people to participate. He truly believes that “even if it is the smallest thing because at the end of the day society is only going to be a healthy place to live, a good place to live, if everyone is involved.”