sponsor a child

Fight like a girl

Overcoming poverty through sport.

Judo feature

With all eyes on Rio at the moment, it’s clear to see how sport can open up horizons. For Analice in Brazil, the opportunity to learn judo has helped her to overcome her circumstances and learn how to dream big.

Analice lives in Coelhos, a poor community in northeast Brazil. Her father delivers water in their community and her mother cleans, but their wages barely cover basic needs. The gap between rich and poor is huge and it seems impossible to hope for change, but Compassion projects teach children that their dreams don’t have to be limited to what they see around them.


Brazilian girl reading Bible


“In general, children born in poor communities need to fight hard for everything. They end up becoming undisciplined and aggressive due to the environment where they were raised. When we teach them sports, we help them learn how to handle that aggressiveness and how to have discipline. Sports help us channel children’s energy into something good,” says Geraldo Correas, judo teacher at the local Compassion project. 

Geraldo explains that martial arts are a magnet to the community’s children because of being able to learn how to fight, but once they’re involved in the classes they learn that their emotions and physical strength can be controlled. Through it, they’re taught to build discipline, focus, manners, friendship, self-control and to respect the elderly.

“I want to work with sports when I grow up, preferably as a professional.” says Analice. She began to learn judo in the project and with only three years of training, has already won three championships including the Brazilian Judo Championship in 2015.


Judo at Compassion project


“She has an innate talent for judo,” says Geraldo. “With only six months training, I decided to take her to participate in a tournament and I saw her beat two girls who had more experience than her.” Geraldo speaks proudly of Analice. He was also born into poverty and  found judo to be a safeguard to the dangers surrounding him and a focus for his life. “But Analice went further. With a short time competing, she has more titles than I [have in] all of my life.”

In many ways, Analice is a normal teenager. But through judo, she has learnt discipline, willpower and maturity. If she can’t be a professional judo athlete and compete in Tokyo, she wants to be a football player. “And if nothing works out, I’ll look for a job,” she firmly states. “I will not stand still!”

Thanks to sponsorship, Analice has been enabled to explore her gifts and dream big. “I thank God every day for putting judo in my life,” she explains.


Sponsor a child like Analice in Brazil

WORDS : Vikki Davis

PHOTOS : Ana Santos

Article Comments


Leave a comment

Leave A Comment

Leave A Comment



Reflection from the field – never give up, keep praying!

Regina Silva from Compassion Brazil reflects on persisting in prayer.


3 teenagers from Brazil who need our prayers

Pray for two teenagers from our projects in Brazil who have sadly become involved in drugs.

, ,


Sponsor a child in Brazil

More than 51,330 children are being released from poverty thanks to the care and support of 185 of our Brazilian church partners.


Praise God for a Brazilian Prodigal

Praise God Lucas has returned to his project after getting involved in drugs, gangs and violence.

, ,


10 ways Compassion children celebrate Easter

From tooth brushing competitions to kite flying, we look at Easter traditions from around the world.


The talented teen writer

Celebrating International Literacy Day!


Food from the field

Find out how to cook tasty Acaraje, a Brazilian dish straight from a Compassion project kitchen.



Mobilising against the mosquito

Fighting against the Zika virus in Brazil.

, ,


What type of Compassion athlete are you?

Test yourself using our fun sporting quiz.



The underdogs

“We have a goal … and we know how to fight for it.”

, ,


, ,


Pray for children in Brazil

As Brazil steps into the world’s spotlight, pray into 4 key issues facing some of Brazil’s poorest children.

, , , ,