AAD gets involved in the Central African Republic despite chaos

Wednesday 31 July 2013
The Batalimo Refugee Camp © Boniface Watanga
The Batalimo Refugee Camp © Boniface Watanga
An instructor gives a demonstration in front of a large crowd in the Batalimo Refugee Camp © Boniface Watanga
An instructor gives a demonstration in front of a large crowd in the Batalimo Refugee Camp © Boniface Watanga
All age levels take part in the dance lessons © Boniface Watanga
All age levels take part in the dance lessons © Boniface Watanga
Hip-Hop demonstration © Boniface Watanga
Hip-Hop demonstration © Boniface Watanga
A group of children look on © Boniface Watanga
A group of children look on © Boniface Watanga
Warming up © Boniface Watanga
Warming up © Boniface Watanga
Before the workshops begin...! © Boniface Watanga
Before the workshops begin...! © Boniface Watanga
Batalimo, on the Oubangui riverside © Boniface Watanga
Batalimo, on the Oubangui riverside © Boniface Watanga
Choreographer Boniface Watanga, on-site program coordinator, with the refugee representatives © Boniface Watanga
Choreographer Boniface Watanga, on-site program coordinator, with the refugee representatives © Boniface Watanga

Despite a particularly unstable political situation in the Central African Republic and the departure of many humanitarian agencies, ADD maintains its commitment to the Batalimo refugee camp, located east of Bangui. Continuing its “Refugees on the Move” program, organized in partnership with UNHCR, it has already impacted more than 3,000 people in CAR. AAD gives hope to refugees through the now famous initiative: dance workshops in refugee camps.

 

The second session hosted in the camp, welcoming more than 6,000 Congolese refugees from the Equateur Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is the result of training refugees – launched last March – in traditional, hip hop and contemporary dance. A cathartic and therapeutic activity, it fights against monotony and harsh living conditions of the refugees. These workshops are also an opportunity for the villagers of Batalimo to leave, for the length of a dance performance, the chaos in which their country is plunged.

 

“Through body language, dance allows refugees to regain their confidence, discover themselves through the relationship with others, and largely restore dialogue inside and outside the camp. For everyone, dance becomes a means of positively channeling and overcoming frustrations using their body, “said Gervanne LERIDON, AAD’s co-president. She adds: “In these times of high volatility, it is more important than ever for humanitarian organizations to continue and expand their commitment CAR. ”

 

Ciza MUHIRWA (Burundi) and Aloyce MAKONDE (Tanzania) are currently training eight other African choreographers in Batalimo (including Burkinabe Salia SANOU, figurehead of contemporary African dance) to carry out the program in camps in their respective countries (Brazzaville (Congo), Kenya, Ethiopia, Burundi, Tanzania, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Rwanda, and Uganda), following the example of Boniface WATANGA, Central African choreographer and program coordinator on site. ADD intends to launch future prospects by ways of “progress partnerships.” Next step: Burundi and Tanzania in September 2013.