Youth Voices of Bandim and Enterramento

Bissau, Guinea-Bissau – Joined Rising Voices in 2011

BissauIn the Western African country of Guinea-Bissau, the organization Associação Amigos das Crianças (Association Friends of the Children) has built a strong relationship with the youth in the neighborhoods of Bandim and Enterramento located on the outskirts of the capital city Bissau. According to AMIC, the residents of these communities face challenging issues such as the lack of access to safe drinking water, a fragile sanitation system, poor educational infrastructure, and few safe places for children to play.

However, in these neighborhoods there is a also strong spirit of creativity and artistic expression thanks to the work of AMIC, in collaboration with the local cultural group “Cultural Netos de Bandim.” Together they have been providing alternative cultural activities such as art, dance, and theater workshops as a way to engage the local youth living in these two neighborhoods. Under the leadership of Ector Diogenes Cassamá, a local artist and activist, AMIC added digital storytelling to the cultural offerings available to the neighborhood youth.

The project has been teaching the youth of these two neighborhoods how to use digital photography and video to document life in their surrounding community. Even though the two neighborhoods of Bandim and Enterramento are not adjacent to one another, the project will allow youth from the different neighborhoods to interact with and learn about youth in another part of Bissau. Through community exploration and interviews of fellow residents, the youth are gaining a better understanding of the history of the neighborhood. The youth are also learning about the current challenges facing their surroundings, and how they can play a role in shaping their future.

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