Until the beginning of May most of us were sure about the arrival of the cultural youth groups in autumn 2020. The groups Arena y Esteras from Peru, Lima, KCC from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Circus Debere Berhan from Debre Berhan, Ethiopia have prepared themselves to go on tour in Europe.
Sadly, we are now fully certain that this will not happen.
Disappointed children and young people who have been training for months for their performances and workshops in Europe are now stuck at home. In the communities, the majority of youth programmes came to a complete standstill.
Due to COVID-19, which forces countries to a complete LOCKDOWN, the projects are starting to crumble. “And the debts with the landlords (who can't take a joke!) are piling up," says Brian Phakathi of M.U.K.A. Project. "All local donors have since then cancelled their commitments to support our programs until further notice because of the lockdown."
If they will not be able to practice their workshops and performances, no generation of income will be certain. In this difficult situation they are currently facing, any financial extra or income is needed, more than ever. Nobody is expecting supports from the side of the government.
Staying connected digitally
The project partners of CULPEER4change will not remain passive! Instead of live circus theatre, acrobatics, music, dance and workshops in European schools, youth centres and cultural institutions, we are now planning together different options for paving the way to great encounters. We are trying out what is digitally possible: We will carry out online workshop units with music, dance, theatre. In addition, we will realise mutual exchange via photos and small videos, e-learning with teaching units on climate change and children's rights. Beyond that an excellent online quiz is waiting for you all.
And as Ana Sofia Pinedo of Arena y Esteras writes and underlines: "We hug you from afar and trust that soon a time will come when we can hug again without fear and feeling our heartbeats!