Mission: BRAUSA is dedicated to promoting health and fitness, providing cultural education, and building community through the preservation and sharing of Braziian arts, culture and sport. Our goal is to make Kapoeira accessible to all, including the blind and visually impaired.
Target demographics: The blind and visually impaired community.
Geographic areas served: Greater Los Angeles, CA (though we hope to expand!)
Programs: We provide free Kapoeira classes for the blind and visually impaired. Due to its multi-faceted nature, Kapoeira provides many benefits to this community. Master Raiul created a curriculum specifically designed to cater to the challenges they face every day. Some benefits include:
• Improved balance and increased strength.
• Access to both aerobic and anaerobic exercise, which increases power and muscle mass and improves cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
• Development of gross motor skills (large body movements such as punches, kicks, acrobatics, and grappling) and fine motor skills (more detail-oriented movement such as playing various Kapoeira instruments – berimbau, tambourine, drums).
• Improved self-defense skills
• Increased socialization
• Increased self-esteem and self-confidence
• Having FUN!
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BRAUSA is making a difference. I have seen BRAUSA grow from concept to reality. I assisted in teaching BRAUSA's Kapoeira classes to the visually impaired at The Braille Institute of Los Angeles and saw first hand how it improved the lives of the students -- improved posture, balance and strength along with some significant weight loss. Classes were so popular that the Institute added two more classes to their schedule. Raiul Cerquiera has come up with a teaching technique that works for people of all levels, accomplishing what would seem impossible. It is benefiting the visually impaired community with an opportunity to improve their physical and mental health and having fun at the same time. It is a program that deserves to be recognized and shared with institutions around the country...even the world!
I have been volunteering with BRAUSA for about six months and believe that this organization provides an important service to the blind and visually impaired community. I have been working in the nonprofit sector for over 10 years and I like that this organization is a mix of cultural, health, arts, and service. Master Raiul has created classes that are specifically geared towards those with disabilities which help to encourage confidence and physical fitness. I have had the opportunity to meet some of the students and am impressed with how excited they are about the classes. I only wish that there were more classes made available in different Los Angeles locations so that different communities could take advantage of them. I hope that more people will take the time to support this organization and even come and experience the classes for themselves!