29 October 2012

Clemence reciting her poem.

The culmination of our events inviting the Congolese youth to stand up for their forest environment was a moving one.

A year ago, we started with a poetry competition, and last weekend, we welcomed over 180 guests to a retrospective of the journey, in Kinshasa. That journey has been a dream come true in bringing our message to so many more people across the DRC and the Congo Basin – a message that now is the time, we need to prevent deforestation of the Congo Basin forests!

Over the past year, we’ve come to realize that the future of the forests truly lies with the Congolese youth. So it was only logical that the youth be the guest of honour at our closing event.

A photo and poetry exhibition welcomed guests on Friday night, followed by a presentation – live and recorded sequences from the “Voix de la Foret” projects.

Congolese audiences can be very particular about what they watch - if they don’t like what they see or hear, they’ll express their displeasure loudly immediately. But this night, people in the room were absorbed by the images of the documentary, and towards the end of the film, when the young Clemence finished reciting her poem, the whole room broke into loud applause.

29 October 2012

Singers and dancers performing "Voix de la Foret"

Later, the “Voix de la Foret” anthem was performed live by a band of young musicians, accompanied by modern and traditional dancers.

The feedback we received was warm, people were thankful and a few of them told us that, they really heard and believed the message behind the anthem – “Don’t touch my forest.”

We let the youth express itself in its own way on Friday and I think that many attendees realized that this message was not coming from foreigners, but from young Congolese wanting to preserve their forests.