Breaking Ground on New Training Centers

Thanks to our generous supporters, we have surprised our year-end fundraising goal. We are now able to fully fund the construction of two new training centers in Brazil!.



DreamRoot training centers provide community members a pla

ce to build healthy relationships in a safe, supportive environment. These communi

ty-based facilities serve as a refuge in neighborhoods surrounded by violence, abuse, poverty, and drugs. Each locally-led center offers a variety of quality training and educational programs

tailored to the needs of the local community. These programs provide a space for mentors to lead by modeling a different path to life; igniting the dreams and goals of community members.

Additionally, every center includes a full working kitchen for hungry students to have the opportunity to eat. When their basic needs for protection and food are met, students are free to learn, grow and pursue their dreams.


Sertão Training Center

We are pleased to share that construction on Sertão training center began last month! The training center will be located in São José da Tapera, one of the most impoverished zip codes in all of Brazil. The center will be run by local leaders, Julio and Alejandra.

Through the construction of the center, many members of the community have been employed and able to gained work experience. Additionally, several tradesmen of the community are leading parts of the project and offering vocational hands-on training to community members, including an electrician and plumber.

Julio and Alejandra work closely with families in the community through educational programs and extracurricular activities that focus on equipping and mentoring young emerging leaders. This new training center will serve as a gathering place and allow their team to expand program offerings and community initiatives.

Gaditas Training Center


Our second training center construction project is the Gaditas training center located in Porto Alegre, Brazil. This center is run by local leader, Eduardo Rodrigues. Eduardo and his wife have two biological children and are guardians of 18 kids. Eduardo has been leading a Jiu Jitsu social initiative called Projeto Gaditas Jiu Jitsu on the outskirts of an under-served community for the past 11 years. He and his team work with at-risk children and youth through Jiu Jitsu and mentorship. Eduardo regularly spends time with his students, speaking about hope and their future.

Over the summer, the lease on Eduardo's mat area where he runs Jiu Jitsu class ended. This, coupled with the dwindling subsidized membership payments being received due to the COVID pandemic, opened the opportunity for him to move his Jiu Jitsu social project to a building within the community of most of his students. This move means that his social initiative and mentorship is now more accessible to those he serves.

Both Julio (Sertão Training Center) and Eduardo (Gaditos Training Center) are members of DreamRoot's Jiu Jitsu Leader Cohort. For years, they each have a been serving their communities and developing young emerging leaders who take action to transform their own lives and those around them.

Beberibe Jiu Jitsu Initiative

As a bonus, a new Women's Jiu Jitsu social initiative has been launched in the Beberibe district in Recife, Brazil. This project is led by Larisa and Alice, two students who attended our first virtual English as a Second Language (ESL) course and are current students of local leader Jhon Alves at the Arte Suave Training Center.

Every Tuesday and Thursday evening, Laysa and Alice convene with about 15 women in a home to train Jiu Jitsu together followed by dinner as they connect and support one another. Laysa and Alice have opened the invitation for any woman in their community to join their training sessions. Their objective with this initiative is to use Jiu Jitsu as a tool to build community and transform lives physically, mentally and emotionally.

This new Jiu Jitsu social initiative is a true measure of success at DreamRoot - success that is measured by impact multiplication through the development and launching of new leaders. This social initiative is a direct result of two emerging leaders having the courage to show up and take action right where they are, and using the skills they already have. It is also a result of Jhon's consistent work in the community, where he dedicates himself to his students and his own development through the DreamRoot Jiu Jitsu Leader Cohort.

Looking Forward


Looking back over 2020, we are humbled by the sacrifice and dedication of our DreamRoot local leaders and by your partnership in this mission. Together we have already supported the launch and multiplication of emerging leaders who are providing essential, practical, and sustainable impact in their communities.

The DreamRoot training centers will serve as the hub and platform for future leadership programs. These programs will provide opportunities for the overlooked brilliance of the individuals we serve to shine out of the communities. Our goal is to continue to expand these opportunities by reaching more individuals with high quality training and educational programs as well as mentorship and networking.

Looking forward to this next season of operations, our leadership team will continue to work closely with each of the DreamRoot local leaders. Our plans also include the development of additional emerging leaders training programs tailored to the reality of individuals in development communities. We see a huge unfulfilled need for a structured cohort program for a wider network of young people - a program that will be undergirded by education and training and forged through relationship.

We are excited for the new year ahead of us!




Amy Passos

Executive Director, DreamRoot Leadership Institute

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