During our time in Kigali we spent a very special hour or so at the Niyo Cultural Centre. Organised by World Fusion Tours the time we spent with the kids watching their drumming and dancing and then trying to copy them ourselves was one of the loveliest things we did on our trip. The Niyo Cultural Centre helps kids to help themselves by teaching them skills to earn money for their own survival.
NIYONSENGA Pacifique is the founder of the Niyo Cultural Centre and he is dedicated to improving the lives of street children. He lived on the street from age 6 but was lucky enough to have met a Canadian called Bruno who befriended him and helped him get an education. As an adult he saw that not every child living in poverty in Kigali, Rwanda, whether on the street or not, has the same opportunity as he did, so he decided to use his 17 years of drumming , dance Art ( Painting) experience to support 112 children. He teaches them these skills so that they can perform or do their own paintings to earn money to pay for their education, medical expenses and day-to-day living. They don’t get paid for their performances; they rely on donations from venue patrons to help give these children a chance.
This is very much a visual post about our time at the Centre as the photos show the experience so much better than I can explain myself. The colours are so vivid and the smiles on the kids faces as they dance and drum are very special indeed. We were welcomed into their Centre and whilst the Centre relies on donations at no stage was I pressured into giving any money and the kids themselves didn’t ask for anything at all. I did of course leave a donation, and then went back to give more, because you know what their determination and their smiles was so very very precious.
There is a video of our full trip at the bottom of this post if you’d like to see it.