JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER
•• stay up-to-date with our programs, stories and music.
JOIN
 Please wait...
Thank you!
Support young community music leaders in their work with thousands of children in Rwanda. Donate today »
DONATE
WAR DIVIDES, MUSIC CONNECTS
Using music to bridge divides, connect communities,
and heal the wounds of war and conflict.
July 24, 2010 •• Rwanda Youth Music
Last Day in Cyangugu
After the end of the 2nd day of training, we took a ride to the Congolese border. We were told about the situation right now in the Congo, probably the richest country in Africa, but also one of the most chaotic and dangerous. In Kamembe, on the Rwandan side, there are branches of all the different banks operating in Rwanda. The reason turned to be this: gold traders pass the border from Congo with sacks of money, sometimes spending the whole day counting it in the banks for depositing.
A man carrying many somethings on his bicycle in Kamembe, Cyangugu
The 3rd and last day in Cyangugu was incredible. We set the fishermen singing alarm clock to 7 am, and this time Danny managed to make a short video, which he insists on uploading soon. Together with Ephraim, we headed to the St. Matthew’s Nursery and Primary School where hundreds of children were waiting for us on their last day of school before the summer vacation.
Fabienne van Eck as Angelina Jolie in
a new African romance film, coming soon…
The first few minutes of the workshop, around 30 children gathered around…
All parents were there as well to receive their children’s diplomas. We started outside with 30 children, and soon enough we were singing and dancing with almost 300!
More children joined, and more children joined, and more children joined…
and more children joined, and more children joined, and more children joined…
Before we did the water drop dance, Danny pointed to the sky and said, “I feel a drop of rain!”
One of the children called back, “Liar!”, which was true.
Dancing the water drop dance
However, after dancing the dance, the first drop actually fell (which is very uncommon in the dry season) and we had to split into smaller groups and work in dark classrooms until the end of the morning.
Continuing in the dark classrooms…
Later in the day we were invited to meet the choir at the local cathedral, where an old electrical organ pipped loudly at us when we switched it on. We listened to the choir’s fascinating singing in Kinyarwanda, and we taught them a song in Hebrew and Arabic.
We asked the choir what is needed in their villages and communities. They said that they would like to locate musicians so they can work together and make music for the communities, and that they need music instruments and training.
That evening we had a long conversation with Rev. Emmanuel. He is involved in a beautiful program where several times during the year, they bring big groups of women together (up to 150). Some of these women are genocide survivors, widows of men who were murdered during the genocide, others are married to men who murdered other people in the genocide and now sit in prisons, and some are HIV-positive as a result of mass rape during the genocide. These sessions are facilitated by professionals, such as psychologists, social workers and therapists. The purpose is to give the opportunity to one side to repent and apologize for the action of their husbands, and the other one to forgive; then there is a common prayer. It ends with a lot of tears, hugging, laughter and relief.
•• Topics Rwanda Youth Music