“TAÏGUÉ’S DANCERS”

Wednesday 18 April 2012
Lydia and Taïgué discussing the awareness messages, April 2012 © AAD
Lydia and Taïgué discussing the awareness messages, April 2012 © AAD
Lydia, Maro's UNHCR territorial and protection manager, April 2012 © AAD
Lydia, Maro's UNHCR territorial and protection manager, April 2012 © AAD
Discussions around choreographer Taïgué Ahmed, April 2012 © AAD
Discussions around choreographer Taïgué Ahmed, April 2012 © AAD

Moula and Yaroungou camps’ youngsters are now called « Taïgué’s dancers » by the Tchadian villagers. According to Lydia Gebrekristos, the UNHCR territorial and protection manager, this new nickname means a lot and shows what great changes the « Refugees on the Move » project has induced.

 

Gebrekristos met AAD General Delegate Jean-Michel Champault during his last visit to the Moula and Yaroungou camps beginning of April. She expressed her deep support to Taïgué Ahmed and AAD’s initiative and explained that dancing is close to therapy for the refugees. She thinks many other Tchadian refugees camps would be willing to hold similar workshops if they could.

 

Regaining self-confidence is one of the numerous objectives of this initiative : « these people think of themselves as forgotten people, that stay aside of the world. They suddenly have the opportuny to participate to dance workshops, which are not only entertaining but make them bear in mind their future, think about a professional career ». By becoming « dancers », they can imagine performing outside the camps, and explore the world they are marginalized from.

 

Convinced by the necessity of enhancing this new practice, Gebrekristos is taking seriously into consideration the refugees’ demand to build a stage within the neighbouring town, where villagers and refugees could both train and perform. Such a place would enable the pursuing of the workshops but also encourage creativity and make these changes sustainable.

 

Another strong outcome of these activities is the careful attention they pay to Taïgué and his team: « Young people listen more to your messages than they do to us ». Yet, topics such as sexual violence, premature wedding, or again AIDS are not easy subjects to discuss in public. Taïgué’s ability to bring about discussion with men on one side and women in the other side is crucial to the success of these sessions.