Boxing charity founder to receive degree

A boxing academy pioneer who’s devoted himself to helping some of Brazil’s most disadvantaged young people is to be honoured by the University.

Edinburgh graduate Luke Dowdney, who founded the Fight For Peace charity in Rio de Janeiro in 2000, will receive an honorary degree at a ceremony in the McEwan Hall on Tuesday (25 November).

The organisation uses boxing and mixed martial arts as a way to engage with children, many of whom live in the city’s sprawling housing schemes, the favelas.


In this short film, Luke explains how his time at Edinburgh inspired him to set-up Fight For Peace.

Edinburgh field work

Luke’s initiative grew out of the research he conducted for his Masters degree in social anthropology at Edinburgh.

His studies focused on the violence suffered by street children in Brazil, many of whom find themselves drawn into a violent world of drug gangs.

Fight For Peace - which has since set up a second base in London - has mentored thousands of young people, enabling them to secure an education, qualifications, and employment training.

Mr Dowdney, who will receive a Doctor honoris causa, was captain of the University boxing team and a British Universities Light-Middleweight champion.

He is also the author of Children of the Drug Trade: a case study of children in organised armed violence.

Edinburgh and Latin America

In 2013, the University established the Office of The Americas to aid collaboration with partners in education, business and government across the whole of Latin America.

The University has an established tradition of academic interaction in Latin America in a number of fields, including energy, public health, economics and the preservation of delicate ecosystems.