Festival Amani 2017

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.

PJB Stand

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.

November 2016 at PJB


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. 

Special Events


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.

Photo Days

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

Riphin Shamavu

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. 

2006-2016 PJB's Ten Years Old!


During the month of July, PJB celebrated it's 10th year anniversary. This month was filled with events, visits from partners and guests, opening of new basketball courts, and of course a lot of basketball. It was an exciting time for the organization and all the member of the organization. From the administration and board, all the way down to the baby-basket players, there was a lot for everyone to celebrate!


adidas Visit

Every summer since 2012, PJB has hosted a delegation of adidas volunteers to strengthen our partnership. This year we were able to welcome eleven members of the adidas organization to the PJB family. Over two weeks (July 3rd-July 16) the group of delegates ran daily activities in sports, education, arts, and culture. We are so lucky to have been able to share our family and experiences with the adidas team.   

Morning Warm-up Activities

Each day with the group begins at 7:30am with physical warm-up activities. This year we had a mix of warm-up activities including Yoga, Aerobics, and H.I.I.T. Every year these activities have been led by PJB staff or adidas volunteers. This year a group of PJB players learned to be fitness instructors and led the morning warm-ups for the second week of the trip.

Learn A New Sport

At PJB we understand the importance of cross training and appreciating all sports, not just basketball. This year's delegation of adidas volunteers brought their expertise in a number of new sports to introduce to the youth and share their athletic passions. This years new sports included: Volleyball, Hockey, Soccer, Capoeira, Irish Football, Body Combat, Frisbee, Crossfit and Tennis.


This year the trip made great strides in introducing education into the program. Through workshops and classes, the adidas volunteers gave valuable learning experiences to the players of PJB. The workshops delivered included: Environmental Protection, 3C's (Creativity, Collaboration, Confidence), Physiotherapy, Communication, Culture, and Photography. These interactive and engaging workshops gave the PJB members an opportunity to develop life skills in an exciting way.

Wall Painting

Each adidas delegation has left their mark on the environment of Maison Des Jeunes, which is the compound in which the PJB facilities are located. The walls of the compound are full of inspirational quotes and colorful murals. This year three new walls were designed and painted on the premises. Each wall signifies important values and ideas that PJB stands for. This year's walls signify leadership, duty and desire.

Handi- Basket

The handibasket program has been flourishing at PJB under the guidance of head coach Kipere Mulolwa and Handi-Head Coach Jacques Assosa. adidas has offered extra training for the players and coaches over the past two summer in hopes of developing the premier handicap basketball program in the country. This summer the adidas delegation trained the handibasket players along with Coach Jacques in the afternoons, as well as developed paralympic games to run in accordance with the annual PJB-adidas olympic games.

PJB-adidas Olympic and Paralympic Games

Every summer, adidas and PJB plan an olympic games with the members of PJB to celebrate culture, sports, and sportsmanship. This summer the olympic games were set-up in conjunction with a paralympic games, to create an inclusive competition among all members of PJB. Fifteen teams were created to represent a host of countries from Togo to South Korea. The day began with an opening ceremony with a parade through town and an entrance into Maison Des Jeunes, where all the activities were played. The ceremony continued with a cultural/team spirit presentation before the games of the day began. Each of the teams competed both mental and physical activities testing their teamwork, creativity, and athleticism. Games included games such as table bouldering, slack-lining, long jump, bowling, blind football, and different types of relay races. The culminating game was a wheelchair basketball match while scores were tallied and awards were decided upon. Everyone participating in the games received a country tattoo and a certificate of participation. The winning country for the 2016 PJB-adidas Olympic games was Argentina!

Professional Player Visits

In our 10th year anniversary we were very happy to welcome visits from two amazing family members of PJB- Guy Muya and Bismack Biyombo. Guy Muya is a professional basketball player in Brussels, Belgium and also a member of the Belgian National Basketball team. Guy spent two weeks with PJB in Goma and coached during the basketball camps, ran his own practices with the elite players of PJB, participated in the Olympic ceremonies, played in the PJB summer league, gave life-skills workshops, and brought an amazing enthusiasm to the program. Bismack Biyombo is a board member of PJB and currently plays in the NBA for the Orlando Magic. Originally from the DRC, this is Bismack's second year visiting the PJB program. This summer he ran camps for the PJB players, refereed and coached summer league games, and helped in inaugurating three new basketball courts around Goma. Both Guy and Bismack's presence in Goma gained great appreciation and admiration from the youth of PJB and their positive impact on the summer's programing went a long way in celebration of PJB's tenth year.

10 Year Awards Celebration

To Celebrate our 10 years, we brought together partners, fans, players, coaches and all supporters of Promo Jeune Basket on Friday, July 15th for a celebration event. This event included the final matches of the PJB summer league, a dunk contest and special messages given from key members of the PJB family. The exciting afternoon featured speeches from founder Dario Merlo, medals and pins awarded to all active participants of PJB's summer events, awarding of exclusive PJB adidas superstar shoes, and even PJB players dunking over motorcycles and NBA players!

PJB Boys Players to Represent the DRC U18 National Team

PJB Members (From Left to Right): Coach Kipere Mulolwa (1st Back), Lucien Mwamba (6th back), Patrick Mwamba (8th back), Michee Mianga (9th Back), Jospin Basima (1st front), Jerry Kabantu (4th front), Philipe Kasereka (5th front).

PJB Members (From Left to Right): Coach Kipere Mulolwa (1st Back), Lucien Mwamba (6th back), Patrick Mwamba (8th back), Michee Mianga (9th Back), Jospin Basima (1st front), Jerry Kabantu (4th front), Philipe Kasereka (5th front).

Head coach Kipere Mulolwa and six PJB Elite boys players have been selected by DRC's national basketball program to represent the country with the U18 national team. Since June 25th, the representatives from PJB have been in Kinshasa practicing with the other members from the team to prepare for the Zone IV African Cup qualifying tournament in Libreville, Gabon. The team departed from Kinshasa this morning. If the team succeeds at this tournament they will qualify to play in the 2016 FIBA African Cup in Kigali, Rwanda beginning on July 22nd. Please follow the blog to stay updated on the success of Coach Kipere and the boys.

PJB Elite Players Participating:

Patrick Mwamba

Philipe Kasereka

Jospin Basima

Jerry Kabantu

Michee Mianga

Lucien Mwamba