When Brazil's government shut down gyms in the nation, Nova Uniao founder and former director Andre Pederneiras closed his, and made sure his fighters, which include featherweight G.O.A.T. Jose Aldo, were following shelter-in-place orders. Pedernairas has left his home several times to donate food to the needy.
"Fifteen days ago I felt chills for two nights in a row, but nothing much," he said. "My youngest son woke up with one swollen eye, and the other had diarrhea. I started to think that my family, even though I was at home, could have contracted the disease because I was on the street solving things at the gym, shopping, and distributing food. I decided to take the test: the IGM was positive, and the IGG was negative, that is, I have the virus but I do not have immunity yet. The same day I quarantined in my room, separating myself from my family at home."
"I have had the André Pederneiras Institute for four years. I never asked for any kind of help or donation to help people, I always did it out of my own pocket, I never advertised it, but for the first time, my academy is closed, and I started a campaign to ask for donations for the academy's students in my social networks. We are getting enough donations. In our first purchase we managed to assemble a thousand baskets and we continue to ask for help from people so that we can continue to feed those who cannot survive without our help."
"My biggest concern at this moment is to continue our fundraising campaign, because the hunger of the less fortunate cannot fail to be quenched, due to a momentary medical loss in the middle of this war that we are fighting to feed the less fortunate. Regardless of whether I am unable to go to the street, our army of athletes and collaborators will continue to distribute basic food baskets at scheduled times - and as soon as I am cleared, I will be back in front of everything, buying and distributing food. Together, we win this war.
"Every week I go to the bank to get the statement to account for the campaign. Unfortunately this week I will have to post the cell phone statement (which I don't like to do because it doesn't show the name of the André Pederneiras Institute and the value together), but as soon as I'm released to go out I'll post the statement the way I was doing it.
"The motto of my life has always been FIGHTING TO WIN, and it will be no different now! My thanks to everyone who is donating and helping these people in need in some way."
"Dede" is one of the greatest figures in the history of mixed martial arts and Jiu-Jitsu. He opened up Jiu-Jitsu to international students at a time when doing so was thought traitorous; BJ Penn and John Lewis got their black belts that way. And he opened up BJJ to poor Brazilians, when it was largely an upper- time. And he brought Dutch kickboxing into MMA in a major way, creating world champions like Renan Barao and Jose Aldo.
Donations can be made to
Savings account: 1000095-5
CNPJ: 29.903.385 / 0001-89
On behalf of: André Pederneiras Institute