NDOTO GOMA KIDS
WHO ARE WE?
Ndoto ( means Dream in swhili) is a group of 7 young artists from the city of Goma. They came together to create a place of expression and sharing through the body by traditional, urban and contemporary dance in order to achieve their common goal of defending the rights of children in CONGO.
WHY NDOTO GOMA KIDS?
A few decades ago, the Congo lost its peace because of its coveted wealth, tribalism, ethnic conflicts, corruption and power struggles that caused the unending war in the east of the DRC (Kivu). This war has claimed millions of victims, including many abused and raped women, as well as children who were abducted and forced to become soldiers, known as child soldiers (nicknamed "Kadogo", which means "small thing of no importance").
The city of Goma and Bukavu becomes a place of refuge for raped women, despite the absence of family planning, as well as for child soldiers and other people fleeing the genocide in Beni, in the region called the Grand Nord. This overpopulation is leading to increasing hunger and poverty in Goma, eastern DR Congo.
One third of the Congolese population is affected by the violence generated by the armed conflicts in the countries bordering the Congo, which creates an economic crisis throughout the country.
The majority of the victims of this crisis are children who have no knowledge of politics and are unaware that they are being forced into the army and used as shields by rebel militias. Therefore, they are the part of the population most at risk because of their lack of discernment.
This is why we have set up an artistic and cultural structure based on the supervision of children and their follow-up in order to reduce the violence in the Great Lakes region, which includes Rwanda, Burundi and the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), but also to reintegrate these young people, who are often traumatised, into society.
Ndoto, with its goal of "dance as a heavy weapon", defends the fight of children's rights specifically in Goma.
The choice of the middle of the Ndoto centre is a strategic and emotional choice. Indeed, the city of Goma is located at the foot of the Nyiragongo volcano and is full of disaster-stricken people, war-displaced people from the Great North and other neighbouring countries in conflict. Moreover, this choice depends on our origins, i.e. the place where we were born and raised.
Moreover, in Goma, many children show a certain talent and predisposition to dance. However, they lack education, training or professional opportunities. These children do not receive any promotion or government support.
As they grow up, the majority become a danger to society because they have no access to the possibility of believing in a better future, the dream of a career in order to succeed independently. Without a future, they end up on the streets, exposed to drugs and delinquency.
GOAL Ndoto's aspiration is to promote a space of expression for these children, to offer them a way to take the steps towards a professional career in the field of art through psychological support, professional guidance and a passion: dance.
To support, promote and give a dream to these courageous children of Goma we have created "NDOTO GOMA KIDS", dance and education for the future of the Congo.
To create a space for multidisciplinary expression for all the children of Goma
To help these children obtain scholarships for a good education
To show the importance and value of traditional and urban dance
To promote and strengthen the capacities of young dancers, enabling them to take charge of their artistic creations after their studies for a professional career
To promote respect, freedom and solidarity to consolidate peace and cohabitation in the Great Lakes region
To allow these children to express themselves freely through their bodies with movements so that they feel equal and valued in the community
Art as a factor in the development of the city of Goma
Protecting the child and his or her rights by creating a space for recreation
To guide the child through dance in order to offer him/her an ideal dream
To cultivate in our community the taste of supporting and promoting traditional, urban and contemporary dance as an artistic profession and an important element in developing youth
To provide physical and psychological well-being through the production of endorphins, serotonin and dopamine through dance.