About our soli for
(TYA = openwork basin , BALA= tamtam)
This text is from the associated international grassroots kooperative and collectiv working group “Nomads”:
In 2009 a group of theater actors founded the acting company “Tyabala” in Conakry, Guinea.
Guinea is one of the poorest african countries (tehre is no water and electricity supplies) : more than the 50% of the population live below the poverty line.
In Conakry’s suburbs life conditions are difficult and unhealty, even worst than the rest of the country, and the streets are crowded of children. In the daily struggle for survival there is not that much time left to take care of children that are often victims of abuse and violence.
Two of Tyabala’s founding members, Momo Sylla and Veronique Lama, were standing out for their sensitivity to social issues. Worried for the street children situation, Momo and Veronique decided to start the “Centre diurne Tyabala” (Daily Center Tyabala) project.
Their goal is to educate these children through art and culture.
The project seat is in the “Maison des jeunes” (Youth house) of Ratoma, suburbs of Conakry.
The “Maisons the jeunes” are state buildings, usually every quarter has its own, where the different associations of young people in the area can find a place to conduct their activities.
Momo and Veronique’s work starts by identifying and recruiting the needy children living in the quarter.
Once recruited the children spend their day in Tyabala center from monday till saturday, from 7 till 17 where they attend literacy and painting lessons, learn theater, music and art and they are educated n basic sanitary norms and rules and hygienic standards.
There they can also find help and support when they are sick and need medical care.
Linked to the “daily Center” project activities Tyabala organize two events every year: “The childhood month” in June and the FESACOR ( Ratoma’s art Festival) in December.
Momo and veronique are helped in their daily activities by 2/3 volunteers that alternate their presence during the week.
Tyabala’s main problem is the lack of partners and economical supports. Indeed they don t receive any state or international fonds.
The “daily Center” project receives economical support only when guinean artists linked to Tyabala and working in Europe, come back to Conakry or when european people going to Guinea to attend music or dance workshop enter in contact with Tyabala.
The only income for the center is given by the children shows: during the music and dance lessons children use to prepare little shows that are sold to the rich hotels and restaurants for tourists in the center of the city.
Tyabala main needs are:
* DAILY MEAL
As children spend 10 hours a day at the center, the project plan considers at least a meal a day for them.
At the moment it only benefits of occasional donations from Tyabala’s supporters…that means that not every day the meal is guaranteed…
* A BIGGER PROPER PLACE
As we said above, at the moment the center is sharing the rooms, where its activities are taking place, with other associations; that means that a proper lessons program cannot be realized.
The children activities have to be chosen according to the presence of the other groups in the place (ex. If the Karate group is training, music and dance lessons have to be stopped because instruments sound disturbs the sportsmen…on the opposite if Ballet is practicing, literacy lessons are impossible because the ballet music is covering the voices of all the people in the rooms…).
Moreover Momo and Veronique wish to have a place with many rooms to be able to lodge the homeless children.
As Tyabala is not able to pay wages, it’s difficult to find teachers for the children.
When artists connected with the acting company are available for not paid works, children can have proper art lessons; unluckily when it happens, it’s always for short time periods, so most of the time Momo and Veronique are carrying on the lessons for all the disciplines alternating their daily tasks in the association management and teaching.
That means that children cannot be followed as they should and they don t have a proper education program.
* MEDICAL CARE
When one of the children is sick, Tyabala’s people take care of it, bringing it to the doctor or the hospital but usually they don t have the money to buy the medicines and follow the doctors‘ prescriptions…so they are forced to turn to traditional medicine that not always have an effective and fast solution to the problem.
In the “Maison des jeunes” there are no furniture so there is no possibility to collect all the association documents and to store the materials needed for the lessons (books, pens, music instruments) that get wasted in short time.
Books, Notebooks, Pens, Colors, Music instruments are always needed.
Momo and Veronique have a lot of ideas and projects to develop and improve their work with the children but they have first to find a way to provide for the primary needs listed above.
They would love also to increase the number of children attending the center that at the moment counts 14 children between 3 and 15 years old.
The spread out of Ebola epidemic during the last months worsened Momo and Veronique‘ situation and they have to face more daily problems to carry on the center and to try to give children food and at least the basic lessons.
As epidemic prevention Guinea’s borders were closed for some time lately and now, even if they are open again, getting a visa is becoming more difficult. That means that this year the european supports will be missing and Tyabala has to find a way to survive.
Es geht aktuell u.a. besonders darum, daß in Guinea die Seuche Ebola herrscht und solidarisch auch etwas dagegen getan werden muß. Also, kommt und spendet.