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.