Luke Dowdney - The Ambassadors
Founder & Director, Fight for Peace
Luke Dowdney MBE is the founder and director of Fight for Peace (FFP), an international non-profit organisation that provides alternatives for children and young people in disadvantaged communities to crime, drug dealing and organised armed violence via social inclusion through boxing and martial arts, education, access to the formal work market, the promotion of a culture of peace and building youth leaders.
Luke founded FFP in Rio de Janeiro in 2000 (while working for Viva Rio) and is now replicating the programme internationally. The FFP Academy in East London was opened in 2007. Luke is also the founder and was coordinator of the Children and Youth in Organised Armed Violence Programme (COAV) at Viva Rio in Brazil.
Luke has a masters degree in social anthropology from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) for which he wrote his dissertation on violence and the lives of Brazilian street children. Luke is the author of Children of the Drug Trade: a case study of children in organised armed violence that focuses on the role of minors in Rio de Janeiro’s drug factions, and Neither War nor Peace which compares the armed role of children and youth in armed groups in 10 non-war countries across four continents.
Luke was a keen amateur boxer; in 1995 he was British Universities Light-Middleweight boxing champion and has coached youth boxers in Brazil at FFP since 2000. In June of 2004 Luke was awarded an MBE by Queen Elizabeth II for ‘services to the prevention of child exploitation and violence in Brazil’. During 2006 Luke became an Ashoka Fellow and received and UnLtd Level 2 Award for his work as a social entrepreneur. In April 2007 Luke won the prestigious ‘Sport for Good Award’ at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Barcelona.