In honor of #worldrefugeeday2020, African Artists for Development (AAD-fund) reflects back on its flagship program, “Refugees on the Move,” launched in 2011 in partnership with UNHCR in Sub-Saharan Africa. The program has since been developed in the camps of Moula (Chad), Yaroungou (Chad), Batalimo (Central African Republic), Bwagiriza (Burundi), Sag-Nioniogo (Burkina Faso), Mentao (Burkina Faso), Mole (DRC), India (DRC) and Dar-Es-Salam (Chad).
“Refugees on the Move” is based on the incredible idea of using dance as a tool for social and cultural mediation in a dozen refugee camps in Sub-Saharan Africa. This innovative program has three goals: to reduce violence in refugee camps, help build refugees’ self-esteem, and create a stronger dialogue between refugees and their camp neighbors through dance and physical expression. With these goals in mind, “Refugees on the Move” plans to have a team of about ten artists, dancers, musicians, and a local choreographer guide several sessions over approximately two years.
The program’s main objective is to provide refugees with a real sense of well-being and reduce intercommunal violence. These workshops are also an opportunity to communicate prevention messages on themes previously defined with UNHCR.