Two years ago, I had an incredible opportunity to visit Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo for the Salaam Kivu International Film Festival (SKIFF, now Congo International Film Festival), hosted by the Yole! Africa Cultural Center.
Goma in Eastern Congo was incredibly hard hit by the refugee crisis following the Rwandan genocide and the civil war in Congo that ensued. Goma suffered further disaster in the wake of the volcanic explosion that rocked the city and region in 2002, and again in 2014.
To add further instability, Goma was tied up in the middle of the fight between the M23 rebel group's fight against the Congolese state.
This is the most shorthand explanation of the horrors that have befallen Goma-- you can imagine that the human toll from all these events was immense.
Yet since 2002, the Yole! Africa Cultural Center has been the epicenter of culture in Goma. The Yole! Africa Center has provided classes in film production, music production, beatmaking, dance, art and entrepreneurship.
Yole! Africa has hosted the internationally-recognized aforementioned film festival that has brought the world of cinema to the people of Goma. The center has offered vital creative outlets for the people of Goma to thrive. Yole! Africa has provided the people of Goma with beauty, perspective and hope.
For this vital work, Petna and Yole! Africa has been recognized with the highest praise in international outlets like the New York Times and PBS News Hour.
Due to instability related to the upcoming election, Yole! Africa is being forced to pay its administration and overhead expenses earlier than expected. As such, Yole! Africa is conducting a crowdfunding campaign to help raise the funds to continue their priceless work.
This is the link to the Yole! Africa campaign on Generosity: https://igg.me/at/
I have contributed, and I hope you will consider doing the same. Generosity is Indiegogo's crowdfunding platform for education and nonprofit organizations, so as much Yole! raises in funds, it will be able to keep all donations.
I should also note that the figure Yole! Africa is seeking to raise is not a final number; and at present the more that Petna and Yole! Africa can raise gives them more leverage to negotiate with the landlord of the Yole! Africa Center. This means that any level of donation helps--from 5 dollars on up.
Please consider donating; please consider sharing this earnest request with friends.
Please consider sharing the campaign link (https://igg.me/at/KvhUwORZFrI
/x/588046) on your social media pages.
I thank you for your time and consideration of this important cause.