From August 9th until the 11th, we had the opportunity to train at the newly inaugurated Bismarck Biyombo stadium, located at the Kivu International School in Goma, by the lake. The fifty lucky participants had been selected within the subregion.
As every year, PJB organised its famous summercamp. This year, it took place from July 31st to August 6th 2018. The main goal of this camp is to support youth over the holidays and to offer them a way to make their days fun and productive. We believe that there is a lot one can learn through basketball, no matter the time of the year. This camp is organised by our technical staff, which manages to care for 1500 kids.
It was important for PJB to invite academies from outside of Goma. We were lucky to be able to enjoy the presence of the following academies; the Bold Academy from Bukavu, Butembo from Beni, YABA Academy (from Goma) and last but not least, the Jeunes Volontaires (Goma). During the camp, kids were taught the bases and foundations of basketball, such as shooting, passing, layups, dribbling…
PJB chose to invite academies from the towns of Bukavu and Beni in order to strengthen the links between the youth of Goma and their neighbouring areas. As one of our four core values is respect, we believe that by meeting people from other areas or even countries, our players will learn how to respect difference and will open their minds to other ways of thinking and living.
Through the Global Squad program, young international talents are recieving education scholarships in the U.S, thanks to basketball. In 2018, two of our PJB youth who strongly embody our values (discipline, team-spirit, hard work and respect) have been selected to take part in the Global Squad camp in the U.S.
In its special basket program Handi-basket, PJB Academy supports handicapped athletes through the practice of basketball in wheelchairs. The aim of this special program is a better socio-cultural integration for the athletes. This year, the Congolese cup for basketball in wheelchairs was organised in Kinshasa from May 30th until June 3rd.
Two of our PJB teams travelled to the capital-city to represent the North Kivu province. The female PJB Handi-basket team ended up third and on the male side, the PJB team Elise Simba reached the second place of the tournament.
From March 5th to May 9th of this year, PJB organised its first inter-school basketball tournament here in Goma. For this first edition, the winning team would be offered an all-inclusive trip to Kigali, as well as the construction of a perfectly new basketball court at their school establishment.
Throughout this tournament, we wanted to create links between different youth groups in Goma, create a healthy competition spirit while encouraging players to play collectively and of course, to respect our core values. We want our players to broaden their horizons and meet as many new people as possible, to make them better athletes but also better citizens.
Aditionally, the prize of basketball infrastructures will lead students to be better balanced physically but also morally. Having recieved thirty applications from schools in Goma, the administrative and technical staff of PJB had to choose eight schools which would take part in the tournament. The eight selected schools were the following; ICL, Faraja, Mavuno, UMoja, Maendeleo, Montgoma, Mama Mulezi and Collège Mwanga. These teams were all men's teams.
Mr Joe Touomou, currently a detector and recruiter of young talent in basketball on the African continent for the NBA, arrived in Goma this Sunday, April 15, 2018, to visit the program organized by the youth basketball academy in the United States. coaching youth, as well as giving a basketball camp with all the youth of the program for Monday's day.
A former great basketball athlete, he began his career in Cameroon, where he won several trophies and then he will play for the national selection of his country for 10 years.
In 1994 after obtaining his Baccalaureate, he will continue his studies in the US at Georgetown University where he will play in the basketball team alongside stars such as: Allen Iverson, Jerome William, Jahidi White and the legendary coach John Thompson.
In honour of International Women's Day (March 8th), Promo Jeune Basket Academy chose to celebrate this important day with the underlying theme of "Feminists as long as needed". To celebrate and honour women, PJB invited all its youth (1500 individuals) as well as their parents to spend the day together.
For this year's edition, various activities were organised at the Maison des Jeunes court. These activities included poetry workshops, singing workshops, fashion shows, basketball contests and sensitisation workshops.
Playing for change, Singing for Peace
The Amani Festival unites different cultures and offers a space of exchange which allows one to forget about daily problems and the after-effects of war. It constitutes a place where the people of the Great Lakes region can meet up, think and get together to prepare a better, common future for all.
It is through this structure that the PJB academy intervenes each year in order to help secure long-lasting, stable peace. To do so, we provide the festival with 73 young volunteers (63 girls and 10 boys). These volunteers play a key role in the communication of the festival, its security and for the sensitization to the benefits of sport in its educational aspect. On the first day, there were 11 000 people at the Festival, on the second 9000 and on the third 12 000.
At the festival, we also hold a promotional area for PJB, which attracts more or less 20 000 people every edition. With this promotional stand, PJB has focused on the following theme: "Education through basketball". This theme was embodied through concerts but also various workshops conveying our life values such as discipline, team spirit, hard work, respect and much more.
Award Ceremony For Parents Of Young People Who Have Been Selected For The Pjb Scholarship
For the 2017-2018 school year, PJB Academy has promoted to its members 130 young people who bring together values uch as: discipline, team spirit, hard work, respect and who applies well in school by offering them scholarships for this year.
In the presence of the parents of the young people, the PJB technical staff, a member of the administration and some senior executive of the board of directors, the young people selected for the scholarship received patents from PJB for the congratulations for their courage and application.
After celebrating his 10th anniversary last summer (July 2016), Promo Jeune Basket Academy, had once again hosted the Adidas Volunteer Delegation for two weeks from August 06 to August 19, 2017 training, exchange during which the youth of PJB responded en masse and took part in these activities among others; sports, educational "workshop" The volunteer delegation intervenes in the framework of capacity building and partnership.
The Different Workshops And The Olympics Games Pjb/2017
Workshops organized "workshop" focused on the theme and learning in different fields: creativity, communication, computer science, cooking, dance and others.
As every year, at the end of these two weeks are organized the Olympic Games, bringing together altogether 12 teams of 40 youngsters each as well as 2 handi-basketball teams.
During the course of these games, all teams were subjected to different events: "basketball, high jump, Irish football, classical football, freesby, bowling and others.
Bismack biyombo playing for the magic orlando and Emmanuel Mudiay Nuggets member for the nba 2017 season
Bismack Biyombo and Emmanuel Mudiay two stars of the NBA were in Goma on July 26, 2017 for the launch of a basketball camp with the youth of the city of Goma
Two Congolese basketball players were welcomed in the PJB stadium at the youth center where more than 1000 young people were present..
Former member PJB Academy returned to the country
In its long-term vision, PJB Academy wishes to offer to its young athletes the possibility to go abroad. This is important to us as we believe such an experience can only lead to personal development, which in the long-term, will lead to better individuals and thus a better society. It is precisely in this aspect that PJB contributes to helping the Congolese youth and the country in general.
Merveille Muniga is an inspiring example of this vision. Major player of the 'France Espoir' championship, Kamanda Muniga Merveille 6.7 foot; (2m05) is one of our young players who has been trained at the PJB Academy for four years. Aged 18, he recieved a scholarship in France, in Nice precisely. This is due to his exemplary attitude and his respect for the PJB values. For the 2017-2018 season, he played in the training centre of Limoges CSP at a professional level.
Mchezo Inavunja Mipaka
"Breaking through barriers through sports"
April 6 is an internationally recognized and celebrated day for sports. It is a day to celebrate the power that sports has to promote peace and development across barriers, walls, bloodlines and cultures. In the spirit of this day, PJB teamed up with Gisenyi Basketball Club (GBC; Gisenyi, Rwanda) and Sport Pour Tous (Goma, DRC) to host a friendly event between our youth players at Promo Jeune Basket and the youth of Gisenyi.
This event was held in Gisenyi to show solidarity among the youth of the two bordering nations (DRC and Rwanda). The morning began with a march from the newly constructed Grande Barrière (Border) to the community basketball court in Gisenyi (Poste). Here players, coaches and fans alike were able to enjoy two friendly but competitive basketball matches between PJB and GBC.
After the basketball matches, the teams from both countries walked together to Tam Tam Beach in Gisenyi where players were encouraged to share a soda together and get to know each other. This was a great time of bonding for the two groups of youth. To finish the event, participants were asked to present a white card for the #whitecardcampaign, showing our support for development and peace in our region.
Celebrating the Strength, Courage, Sacrifice, Intelligence, Creativity, and Inspiration of Women Everywhere
On March 19th, 2017, Promo Jeune Basket held it's International Women's Day Celebrations at our main court at Maison Des Jeunes. In collaboration with four local schools and our partners at GOAL academy, Goma Cycling Club, and Umoja Acrobatics, PJB was able to give the young girls of Goma an opportunity to showcase their uniqueness and leadership within the community.
Beginning at 10:30am, over 100 girls from four local schools were invited to participant in soccer, basketball, cycling, and acrobatic activities. The goal of the morning was to introduce new sports and encouraging sports participation to girls who may have never had the opportunity before.
Though only 30 girls arrived from the schools, the enthusiasm for the new activities and sports was evident. We would like to thank Goma Cycling Club, GOAL Academy, and Umoja Acrobatics for their collaboration in this event. It was with the enthusiastic effort of all our organizations that we were able to promote sports within the community of the youth girls of Goma.
Starting at 2:00pm, the whole PJB family was invited to the Maison Des Jeunes court to participate in the afternoon women's celebrations. During these celebrations each female team of PJB was asked to prepare a performance of their choosing. In a wonderful display of talents outside of basketball, the PJB players performed dances, poems, raps, and both modern and traditional African runway shows.
It has been an active 2 months in January and February for Promo Jeune Basket. With two new partners, participating in two tournaments, the commencement of a new revamped life-skills program, and extensive in-house evaluations (Including website updates) we are excited to jump into the new year!
Between January and February, the first division PJB teams participated in two weekend tournaments to judge how prepared we are for the season to begin (Beginning March 5th). The first tournament took place between January 27-29th. We had four PJB teams participate: PJB Elite Boys, PJB Leopard Boys, PJB Leopard Girls and PJB Black Panther Girls. Unfortunately, the two boys teams bowed out in the first round of the tournament with close losses to Virunga and Goma Bulls. The girls teams battled each other in the final, and for their introduction into the league, the PJB Black Panther Girls won the tournament, showing that they belong in the league for their inaugural season.
The second tournament took place between February 16th and February 19th. This tournament was hosted by local organizations NICE and Jeunes Voluntaire, and only one PJB team was represented, PJB Elite Boys. The boys played two games, with their first scheduled game getting rained out. In the first game, the Elite boys dominated Gisenyi Basketball club from neighboring Rwanda. In the second game, the short-handed boys team lost by three points to local rival Virunga. Because of this loss the boys were delegated to the 3rd/4th place game, where they won by forfeit of the other team.
To begin the year the technical basketball team at PJB decided to evaluate the level of coaching and playing at PJB. In January, each coach and encadreur for PJB was evaluated at their different levels of coaching ability. These evaluations are helpful tools for each coach as they develop and prepare their teams for competition, but also provide an opportunity for the whole coaching staff to start a dialogue on their own coaches practices and techniques.
In February all the coaches began their evaluations of all registered players at PJB. These evaluations are used as a "PJB report card" for each player so they have a clear picture of their strengths and weaknesses. These report cards will be given twice a year to help players track their own development. Click here to download the PJB report card.
Solar powered flood lights were installed at our court at Maison Des Jeunes at the end of November and we began practicing with our Elite Boys team four times a week into the night in January. The lights have increased the time on the court for our elite players, and have helped increase the efficiency of our practice scheduling.
The life-skills program at PJB has been one aspect that sets our organization apart from other sports organizations. With a great focus on value development and important life-lessons, our coaches have helped develop players into not just great athletes, but also amazing people. In the new year, our life-skills program has taken on a new look with four new formalized off-court courses taking place each week.
The current courses are focused on leadership and physical health, and are being delivered to three teams at our Maison Des Jeunes location, and one team at our Kituku location. Each course is 8-weeks long, and participants will gain a life-skills credit for their participation. Once a PJB member completes 8 credits of life-skills courses, they will receive a coveted PJB Life-Skills Diploma. We hope that this diploma will become a staple in the community for employers and universities for employable and scholarship worthy workers and students.
*click on photo to view more information about Amani Festival and PJB's participation in it.
PJB is happy to announce it's collaboration with two new great partners, UEFA Foundation for Children and Peace and Sport. UEFA Foundation for Children is supporting our efforts through our life-skills program, and Peace and Sport is partnering with us to help us increase our impact in the region. We are very excited for all the great things we will be able to accomplish in the coming year with our new partners.
Player of the Month
Rest In Peace
On the night of February 9th, 2017, PJB lost a great friend in Djoo Paluku. He work alongside us at Maison Des Jeunes and helped create our family what it is today. As a dancer and teacher his impact will never be forgotten on the community of Goma. Rest in Peace our good friend.
Singing for peace- Playing for change
Festival Amani is a highly touted music festival, organized by Foyer Culturel, that takes place in Goma every February. The fourth edition of the festival took place this year from February 10-12 at the Maison Des Jeunes and College Mwanga campuses. PJB was asked to participate in the event as volunteers, vendors, security, and we were also given a promotional area for the festival which attracted about 10,000 people each day.
Because of the great relationship between Foyer Culturel and PJB many of our members and coaches were asked to volunteer to sell tickets, serve food to other festival workers, and help with set up and take down of tents and stages. The PJB members were praised for their hard work, sometimes working through the night, and continued to strengthen their relationships with the local community.
At the festival there was a great selection of food and drink prepared by local restaurants and vendors. Many members of the PJB handi-basket team help to run a restaurant in town and secured a stand at the festival. With pride they brought a PJB banner to their stand where they sold brochettes, French fries, sausage and a variety of drinks and snacks.
Head coach Kipere Mulolwa has assisted the festival for the past two years with their security detail. In planning and preparation, Coach Kipere was with the security team to ensure the festival area was secure for everyone involved, but also the whole downtown was secure for a relay marathon on Sunday morning. In collaboration with local security company, Latlong, local police and over 50 PJB senior players the festival ran smoothly with very little security concerns.
For the third year in a row PJB was given a promotional space at the festival. This year PJB focused the stand on the theme of “education through basketball.” At the stand we had PJB apparel for sale, information about our programming and also a “shots for scholarships” fundraising game. Set-up and ran independently by a team of 12 PJB encadreurs and team members, PJB was able to raise about $150 to go towards student scholarships. This will ensure that at least one primary aged PJB player will be able to go to school through the 2017/2018 school year. To help support PJB scholarships, please read through how we ran our fundraiser Shots for Scholarships.
The festival is a great time for PJB to support the community off the basketball court. PJB members were very busy but at the end of the day everyone found the time to sit back and enjoy the festivities including dances, drama, and great music by the likes of Sauti Sol, Jean Goubald, Fabregas and Boddhi Satva.
1st National Handi-Basket Tournament
Between November 28, 2016 and December 3, 2017 Goma was host to the first ever National handi-basket competition. The tournament hosted three mens and three womens teams representing the South Kivu (Bukavu), Kinshasa (Kinshasa), and North Kivu (Goma) provinces. From November 28- November 30 each team participated in a handi-basket clinic with coaches from each of the three provinces. PJB handi-basket head and assistant coaches, Jacques Assossa and Denny Dunia, taught coaching strategy and taught handi-basket exercises.
Starting on December 1 the tournament then began with both men's and women's teams competing over the three day tournament. The tournament drew a large crowd every day as the teams competed with most fans supporting the local North Kivu team. In the end, both the Kinshasa men's and women's teams ended up dominating the tournament to reign as the national handi-basket champions. The North Kivu women's team (all PJB players) came in second place and the North Kivu men's team came in third place.
The final game was played on December 3rd, which coincided with the celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This was a great event to celebrate the amazing hard work that all hand-basket players in the country are putting in, and an exciting show of the potential opportunities within communities for persons with disabilities to participate in sports.
International Day of Volunteers Friendly Tournament with MONUSCO
The International Day of Volunteers in 2016 fell on the same day as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, December 3. Hosted at PJB's main Maison Des Jeunes location, four teams comprised of MONUSCO employees, NGO workers and PJB players and coaches competed in a friendly tournament to celebrate the work of volunteers. It was a great day of camaraderie amongst the international NGO workers in the area and PJB players and coaches.
Holiday Camps and Tournaments
Christmas holiday began on December 23rd for all the primary and secondary students of PJB. For the two weeks between December 26th and January 4th, PJB held holiday camps every morning. These camps were held across all categories of PJB players: baby-basket, youth, beginners, second division and elite. Each camp was specifically targeted towards improving the needed skills and competencies of the particular groups of players. These camps took place every day between 7:30am and 11:30am.
In the afternoons between 2:00pm and 5:30pm each category took part in a 3 vs. 3 tournament. This tournament was a great opportunity for the players of PJB to compete as they wait for the local tournaments to begin. A great show of sportsmanship and competitiveness culminated on January 4th during the tournament finals. Each championship team won a new pair of basketball shoes which were graciously given by our family at Sal's Shoes.
FIBA Young Coach Certification Course
Between November 10th and November 17th PJB welcomed FIBA certifier, Seydou Sano, from Senegal to deliver the first phase of the FIBA Young Coach certification to all of our coaching staff. With 19 PJB coaches participating and 12 coaches from other teams within the community, over 30 coaches in Goma are one step closer to becoming internationally certified coaches.
Over 7 days coaches participated in lectures, on court demonstrations, and practical work with PJB in content areas such as adolescent development, practice preparation, basic kinesiology, and basketball fundamentals. Each coach now has their first phase complete, and PJB is already working with FIBA to have Mr. Sano return to Goma in the beginning months of 2017 to finish up the Young Coach certification.
Lights at Maison Des Jeunes
From a generous donation raised from a friend of PJB, we were able to install flood lights on the principle court located at Maison Des Jeunes. These lights illuminate the six hoops, allowing more time for PJB players to be on-court practicing, but 2 extra hours of programming will also offer more opportunities for Life-Skills and English classes.
For the first time ever, the PJB staff came together to celebrate the American holiday of Thanksgiving. With two turkeys, four chickens and endless sides of potatoes, green beans, carrots, stuffing and gravy all 28 member of PJB staff were introduced to the American tradition. After the meal each person at the party was given the opportunity to share one thing (Or in some cases a couple) that they are thankful for. It was a great activity to learn more about each other as a team and family. Unlike in the USA, there was no football to be watched and big couches to fall asleep on after the big meal, but instead the PJB spirit showed strong as the music turned up and everyone enjoyed dancing into the evening.
In a new initiative, PJB has partnered with a USA based organization called the Memory Project. For this project we will create an exchange between our youngest players and a number of art students across the USA. This will be the first project undertaken by our new media team, and we are excited to create a cross-cultural exchange through art and media.
On November 23rd and November 24th our media team took pictures of all players registering for PJB for the upcoming year. These pictures will be used to create new PJB ID cards (which will be issued for the first time in 2017), to be given to the memory project, and and to enhance our website with player profiles.
Player of the Month
Team: Eagle DII
Riphin recently moved from the rookie team to the Eagle DII team where he has really stepped up as a leader. With his great enthusiasm and effort he has really improved as a player, but also a teammate. He is always on time and prepared to work hard for every practice and has been very successful in helping his team develop a sense of responsibility over their own learning.
Deaf Basketball (SOURD Basket)
We are constantly looking for ways to increase the promotion of basketball within Goma and the DRC. In our work with physically handicapped players, we already have a wheelchair basketball team, but in August we reached out to a new community, the deaf and the mute. Since August we have been training a team of deaf and mute players in basketball skills.
The idea for the team came from a 16 year old PJB Elite Girls player named Amina Naseremba. Amina is fluent in sign languages and was excited to begin a program with this new community of youth. All of the players for the team come from a local school for the deaf called EFATA. Coach Amina, even though she is hearing and speaking enabled, has also attended EFATA for the past 4 years. Amina comments on her new program, "(Coaching basketball to deaf-mute players) is not easy because it is a very aggressive sport. Coaches must be attentive and sign clearly or else there can be a lot of disputes."
So far the program has gone well. There have been some obstacles in communication and integration while starting the program, but we at PJB are confident that we can fully incorporate the deaf-mute team into the family. This will also allow for a better understanding and camaraderie amongst our players and all communities of Goma.
Life Skills Courses
The PJB Life-Skills program began this month. The first division players, encadreurs, and coaches participate in the program once a week. The first round of the life-skills course is focused on developing a general knowledge of the key themes of the curriculum: personal development, communication, collaboration, professional development, and problem solving and critical thinking. At the end of the 12 lessons, PJB will evaluate the first course and plan to expand the course to other categories and teams.
The units covered so far in October are: the importance of personal values, writing SMART goals, and personal health.
Baby-Basket Story Time
PJB began collaborating with the Maison des Jeunes library this month to host story-time for the Baby Basket team directly after their Wednesday practice. Reading aloud promotes familiarity with books, inspires curiosity, and cultivates a love of learning early in childhood. The stories will also reinforce the teaching of PJB values - discipline, team spirit, hard work, and respect.
Sal's Shoes Distribution
As posted earlier this month, we were extremely happy to receive our first shipment from our new partners at Sal's Shoes. Thanks to a joint effort, along with Falcon Coffees, we were able to provide school shoes, toys, jerseys, and basketball shoes to members of PJB and our partners. We want to again thank both Sal's Shoes and Falcon Coffee for their generosity.
Player of the Month
Team: Elite Men
Location: Maison Des Jeunes
"Lajoie is quietly the most enthusiastic participant in PJB right now. He does not always stick out, or have the loudest opinion, but he is steady in his participation and effort. He currently participating in English classes, the life skills course and is always at practice on time. Lajoie has the unique ability to remember to do things after only being told once, and does so with effort and pleasure. His curiosity, team spirit, work ethic, and respect define him as a leader who truly leads by example." - PJB coach
It is an exciting time for PJB as we received our first shipment from a new partner, Sal's Shoes. We were able to award school shoes to our hard working and disciplined youth players, as well as some new tennis shoes for training to our Baby Basket teams. Across the three main courts of PJB, we held celebrations this past week (October 3-7) to recognize each deserving player.