“HAPPY” – Tuna Furahi From Goma
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In North-Kivu, in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo, we have lived through a decade of endless wars with many consequences on the youth growth and development. Towards the end of 2013, we have had hope of reviving peace and this has allowed us to hold cultural activities to celebrate peace.
At the beginning of the month of May, I brought together my friends and lovers of culture living in Goma to present my idea to do “Happy” for the beautiful and wonderful city of Goma.
This was inspired by the song “Happy” by the American artist Pharrell Williams, you have surely heard this or seen it as it is an internet sensation on all communication channels. The trend is to put the clip on repeat, “Happy” at work and in life. Cities around the world have already done this.
#HappyFromGoma. We decided to form a campaign, #HappyFromGoma.
We have started to mobilize people through social networks, everyone just sending a photo of themselves expressing great joy so we can customize them on a yellow background, the color chosen for this campaign. After customizing them, we are publishing them on our Facebook page and our Twitter. Individuals are making these photos their profile and cover photos on their personal accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Whatsapp, Skype…). We have been doing job great mobilizing people as we have received photos from around the world.
We have dancers, musicians, Chikudeurs (Chikudu drivers), students, volcanologists, expatriates, vendors, and the list goes on. What is most surprising and gratifying is that we have found our own “Pharrell Williams” in the crowd of young people. The young breakdancer, named Guellord, and the American artist are as alike as two drops of water. Since the beginning of the shoot everyone has been calling him Pharrell.The idea behind this project is to pay tribute to our city of Goma, highlighting its values and celebrating the return to peace in our city. We are putting together the video which will be released June 15th and we plan to make a great Happy concert in Goma on June 16th to mark, at the same time, The Day of the African Child.
Working in the humanitarian sector and having seen the mobilization around #HappyFromGoma online, I also involved UNICEF and the Organization for Human Rights (ODH) in the dance and we have integrated the idea into the promotion of peace and child rights. To do this, the talented group of youth ambassadors for Back to School in Goma are in the Kivu Entertainment Youth (KEY) studio to record the song “Happy-Na Furahi from Goma” which means “I am happy from Goma.” Through this, children sing their joy about living in peace, going to school and having health care and the right to expression and participation.
While waiting for the release of all this work, let’s stay happy !!!
Article written on www.ponabana.com
By Kelvin Batumike
Kelvin Batumike has been an advocate for children’s rights since a very young age. A former child reporter, nowadays, he is head of the Department for Communication, Education and Training at the Observatory for Human Rights. As a producer, director and the founder of the creative centre ‘Kivu Youth Entertainment’, he has taken it upon himself to promote young people and their talents so as to enable them to assume their responsibilities for development of the DR Congo.
 A Chikudu is a kind of wood bike without pedals that is pushed and can transport 800kg
Translated from French by Kimberly Peven.