Refugees on the Move, Burundi – First Step

Monday 30 June 2014
Workshop with children of the camp © Teddy Mazina
Workshop with children of the camp © Teddy Mazina
Ciza Muhirwa © Teddy Mazina
Ciza Muhirwa © Teddy Mazina
Dance workshop © Teddy Mazina
Dance workshop © Teddy Mazina

The meeting between AAD and Burundian choreographer Ciza Muhirwa of Ganura, Culture & Communication association was key in the development of the third phase of ‘Refugees on the move’ program in Burundi.

 

According to the ONPRA (National Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons) Burundi hosts more than 43,800 refugees (as of June 2013). Most of them originate from neighbouring DRC and reside in four camps managed by UNHCR. Two camps are located in the northern provinces: Musasa camp in Muyinga and Songore camp in Ngozi. Bwagiriza camp and Kavumu camp are located in the Eastern provinces of respectively Ruyigi and Cankuzo.

 

Following a field research, Ciza Muhirwa decided together with the UNHCR Representative of Bujumbura and the head of the ‘ONPRA’ to set up a first dance workshop of a month long in Bwagiriza camp from November 28, 2013. Four groups of thirty people have been formed: one of Hip-Hop dance and three of traditional dances, including one made up of girls and young women. Each group benefit from a 5: 30 hours training daily taught by a dancer from the Ganura association.

 

During this first workshop and for a week, Burkinabe choreographer Salia Sanou is getting accustomed to the program ‘Refugees on the Move’ that he will set up himself in Burkina Faso. His reputation and availability have encouraged the Ganura team to ask him for a series of Master Class. The technical and choreographic input of Salia Sanou prove to be instrumental in the introduction of exercises that will fit in a more contemporary approach in the dance workshops.

Indeed, the young Burundian trainers never had the opportunity to encounter other aesthetics than the ones practiced in Burundi. This contribution expands their educational approach and opens up their sense of belonging to the single cultural sphere of the Great Lake Region.

 

Given the positive outcomes and the great enthusiasm expressed by both the workshop participants and the camp residents of all age at the end of the workshop, it can be said that the first stage of the workshop was a success; the impact being even more so successful with the youth.

 

 

During this same workshop, Gervanne Leridon, co-president of AAD and Jean-Michel Champault visited Ganura’s team and the refugees in Bwagiriza.