Peace, Music and Children’s Rights at the 2014 Amani Festival

From 14 to 16 February 2014 Goma played host to a very special event, the AMANI FESTIVAL, bringing together many national, international and local artistes and the region’s whole population in pursuit of peace through music and dance.

“Our stand was full to bursting!”

UNICEF's representative in the DRC with the President of the Children's Parliament of North Kivu.

UNICEF’s representative in the DRC with the President of the Children’s Parliament of North Kivu.

With the support of UNICEF and the technical support of the Observatory for Human Rights, we, child reporters of Goma, have set up a stand. A stand for children and young people where we gave out documents and organised games about children’s rights. Thanks to music from the band Back to school and dancing from the Rihna Crewnotre dancers, the stand was always full to bursting!

On 15 February, the second day of the festival, our stand was visited by Barbara Bentein, UNICEF’s Representative in the DRC, who gave us her impressions of all the children’s work, “if we can put on music with young people and children, all together, in Goma, where there has recently been war, it is truly magnificent. Contributing to this is very important, that is why we have a stand here, to support the festival. I can see that there is plenty of atmosphere here, plenty of enthusiasm, I am pleased to be participating in these two days.”

Visits from high-profile figures

Throughout the festival we were visited by important figures, artists, journalists and people working for peace in our region.

 If the spirit of peace can start to find its place in the hearts of our young people, tomorrow there won’t be any more wars or conflicts. His Excellence, the Governor of Nord-Kivu, Julien Paluku
With a broad smile, his Excellence the Governor encouraged the children with these words, “I believe that the work done by the children in Nord-Kivu, especially in Goma, is highly commendable. I appreciate your commitment and I encourage you to keep moving forward because we must work together, we must work for lasting peace. If the spirit of peace can start to find its place in the hearts of our young people, tomorrow there won’t be any more wars or conflicts.”

There were many children at the stand. They could find out about their rights, listen to music or watch shows specially designed for them on the TV.

There were many children at the stand. They could find out about their rights, listen to music or watch shows specially designed for them on the TV.

“An important message for re-establishing peace.”

For Martin Kobler, UNICEF is an extremely important agency in the great United Nations family because it works for children and their rights: “I congratulate UNICEF on having this stand. Children and young people’s participation in this festival where they can sing and dance together creates an important message for re-establishing peace.”

After all of these visits and wonderful encounters we have experienced with the children and famous artists of the DRC – such as Lexxus Legal and Innocent Balume – we know that our contribution has benefitted our brothers and sisters. This festival was a great building block in the construction of lasting peace in our province in particular and in our country in general.

It is the face of our city and our Province that we love and we want to see!

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 Photos: UNICEF RDC Ndiaga SECK / Observatoire des Droits Humains

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Carine

Carine a 18 ans et elle est Enfant Reporter de Goma. Elle est en 1ere avec une spécialisation en informatique. Passionnée de prise d’images et de rédaction d’histoires à caractère humain, Carine croit qu’à travers ces canaux elle pourra contribuer au respect des droits des enfants de la RDC en général et du Nord-kivu en particulier.

Carine is 18 years old and is a child reporter from Goma. She is in her sixth year of secondary education and is specialising in information technology. A keen photographer and writer of human interest stories, Carine believes that through these channels she will be able to contribute to the respect of children’s rights in the DRC in general and in North-Kivu in particular.

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