CONTEXT: The east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is currently the site of the deadliest conflict since World War II, with over 6 million dead and millions more people forcefully displaced. In this context, civil services (including schools) are often shut down, leaving young people without education, and with few choices.
YOLE!AFRICA’S STORY: In response to this crisis, in 2000 internationally acclaimed filmmaker and activist Petna Ndaliko Katondolo founded Yole!Africa, a cultural center that provides youth the space, skills, and alternative education necessary to thrive despite the conflict in the region.
YOLE!AFRICA’S OBJECTIVE: To empower young people to see themselves as agents capable of thinking critically and acting non-violently to shape their own realities; and to stand against all forms of exploitation and violation of human rights.
WHAT YOLE!AFRICA DOES: Yole!Africa offers a series of offline and online activities, workshops, trainings, and performance opportunities in video arts, music, dance, and journalism. The center brings international experts to conduct intensive trainings for Congolese youth and provides a platform for community development and cross-cultural exchange. Because of Yole!Africa’s commitment to reaching all members of the community, all activities are free to participants.
POPULATION SERVED: Yole!Africa is neither a political nor a denominational organization, through its programs it promotes and encourages value and respect for all human beings regardless of race, gender, religion, ethnicity, or socio-economic class. Currently Yole!Africa serves approximately 17,000 youth annually.