Yole!Africa, D.R. Congo
Meet Local Hero Petna Ndaliko, one of seven internationally recognized Congolese filmmakers. He is using his art to promote peace and to teach youth to develop their skills and talents so that they can secure jobs, broaden their horizons and make a positive difference in their community of Goma, DR Congo. He believes that “everyone is an actor of his/her life and of the society in which he/she lives and has the right and duty to make it a better place to live.”
In 2000 Petna founded Yole!Africa as a center for art, creativity, and cultural exchange. This special space is a platform for exchange, where young people from different backgrounds and social status can come together to express themselves through their talents. The center is a rare place in eastern Congo where youth can come to escape the chaos of Goma’s busy streets, do something meaningful, and relax in an atmosphere that feels like an alternate reality compared to the grit that surrounds the concrete and barb-wired walls. Yole! provides free equipment to youth, including microphones, speakers, laptops, and video cameras and free training for film editing, music, and other arts.
In the face of many challenges, when asked what motivates him to continue this work, Petna recounted an experience when he visited HEAL Africa, a local hospital and organization that helps survivors of sexual violence, to show a film. In the audience was a woman who had not spoken a word since she had been raped. Moved by the film, she found words again and opened up. This is why Petna does what he does—using his art to help heal the community. Read more about Petna’s project with GO below.