Help Rwandan Kids through Hip Hop
We need your help.
As Hip Hop celebrates its 45th birthday in 2018, there are a group of former street children in Kigali, Rwanda who love Hip Hop and aspire to be the freshest kids. If you don’t know there are four elements of Hip Hop – Dance, DJ’ing, MC’ing and graffiti. Hip Hop came from the streets and today Street Dance can mean a mix of lots of different dances, but in its original form the first street dance of Hip Hop is Breaking. A fifth element has always been considered to be knowledge and in Hip Hop culture the concept of ‘each one teach one’ is so important.
In 2011 Scanner’s Inc and Live 2 Break Crew joined forces with Arts Catalyst to take old school London B Boy Pervez to Kigali, Rwanda, to share his love of breaking with 120 former street children aged 5-20. Following the Genocide, many children live on the streets in Rwanda. These particular children have been given the opportunity to leave the streets and to receive an education and safe place to live by Les Enfants de Dieu, an incredible children’s centre (read more about them below). Filmmaker and B Boy Bret Syfert (7$ Crew) made the film ‘Yes Man’ of that first trip:
Bret and his wife Dorota returned to teach English and dance at the centre. Whilst there Bret met local B Boys and since 2012 Scanner’s Inc has paid for them to teach weekly breaking and acrobatics lessons for the boys. In 2012 working in collaboration with Southbank Centre and Festival of the World we brought two of the children from the centre to London and staged an event about the project and to increase support for the centre and the incredible work they do with traumatised children.
Jump forwards to today
Many of the boys still message us weekly via Facebook, their constant question, “when are you coming back?”
So … seven years after we started the project we wish to energise it for the next seven years and beyond. This autumn Pervez and Kate will return to Rwanda.The trip is about dance, its about community, mentoring and aspiration. Pervez will teach daily breaking classes for the children. Learning dance also will support their English language skills and the dance lessons will be scheduled around their school day.
We could have returned to Rwanda before now but chose to spend our money on providing employment for local artists. This trip is not just about teaching the children but about providing an opportunity for the local B Boys to receive training and to develop their skills. This in turn will support the children, as we will continue to support the dancers to teach them.
We need your support
Since 2011 we have maintained contact with the centre and many of the children send us updates about their lives, the qualifications they are gaining and their excitement at becoming upstanding members of their communities. All monies donated will be spent 100% on enabling this international exchange to take place. If we raise enough money it will also pay for weekly dance classes for the rest of 2018.
It was humbling, joyful and inspiring to work with the children and team at Les Enfants de Dieu. The simple act of travelling to Rwanda specifically to dance and share with the children was enormous for the children to comprehend. People had heard about them oversees, they were not voiceless, and people cared enough to visit and share with them. It’s time for a return.
Hip Hop is all about community, thank you to everyone who has supported our journey since 2011, we value you so much. We are reaching out now to ask for support once again to return to Rwanda.
Much peace, love and respect for your support,
Kate and Pervez
Les Enfants de Dieu
Les Enfants de Dieu transform the lives of Rwandan street children by meeting their basic and psychosocial needs, providing them with education and skills, and reintegrating them to be become valuable members of society.
Les Enfants de Dieu is a children’s centre in Kiagli, Rwanda. Tajdin and Khatun Jaffer founded the centre in 2002 in the aftermath of the genocide. The Jaffer’s have lived in Rwanda since the 1950s. The children have a strong sense of ownership of the centre. They are part of a pioneering system where they elect other as leaders or ministers. The elected ministers work with centre staff to manage key areas of the project – including healthcare, education, sports and culture. Les Enfants de Dieu equips the children with life-skills through formal education and vocational training to enable them to live independent lives as adults and get jobs or run their own businesses.
Live 2 Break
Live 2 Break is one of London’s old school B Boy crews. The original members were Halit, Billy Biznizz, Airborne and Pervez. Pervez remains active as a B Boy and still represents Live 2 Break today.
Scanner’s Inc was founded by Kate Scanlan. It’s a creative company based in London but working across the UK and internationally producing hip hop culture events, projects that upskill and inspire young people and training artists and producers in creative business skills.