Ndaro Culture (Bukavu, South-Kivu)

Ndaro Culture is a cultural association in East DRC, striving for the well-being of artists and the socio-cultural integration of children in difficult situations.

Since 1997, Eastern Congo has been marked by multiple conflicts and the city of Bukavu and its surroundings have not been spared. Thomas Lusango and his companions founded Ndaro in 2014, the first cultural centre in Bukavu. Before that, this city of almost two million inhabitants did not have a music school – unlike its neighbouring city in North Kivu, Goma. Today, Ndaro offers vulnerable groups (street children, former child soldiers and children from families with very low incomes) the opportunity to learn different instruments from more experienced musicians.

The collaboration between Music Fund and Ndaro started in 2017 with the donation of 180 instruments and the launch of the first training course dedicated to the maintenance of wind instruments and guitars. This was followed by training courses in violin making and piano tuning and maintenance. After a major fire in October 2018 that destroyed not only the premises of Ndaro, but also many of the instruments donated by Music Fund, Music Fund supported the reconstruction of Ndaro with a new donation of 235 instruments, including guitars, drums, synthesizers and sound equipment for the centre’s recording studio.

Our projects for 2021-2023

  • Further training of Ndaro’s technicians in guitar making, wind instrument repair and piano tuning.
  • Professionalisation of the recording studio and sound engineers at Ndaro
  • Supporting the development and diversification of educational and cultural activities organised by the centre

Goma cultural center (North-Kivu)

Goma Cultural Center (Foyer Culturel de Goma or FCG) aims to enable young people in Northern Kivu to discover art in all its forms. They actively work to train artists and promote culture in the Great Lakes Region.

To date, the FCG has become a cultural reference in Goma, with nearly 700 children, teenagers and adults taking theatre, dance and music courses. The musical disciplines currently include singing, guitar, piano and percussion. By supporting families and schools, the FCG makes a sustained contribution to the education of the city’s young people.

Every Saturday, the FCG organises ‘Sanaa Weekends’, offering artists from Goma the opportunity to perform in front of an audience of nearly 4,000 people. The FCG is also the creator of the Amani Festival, an annual festival featuring local, regional and international artists that has gathered more than 30,000 festival-goers from all over the region since its launch in 2013.

In 2019, Music Fund sealed a new partnership with Goma Cultural Centre by donating ten guitars and inviting some of its members to its training sessions organised in Bukavu.

Our projects for 2021-2023

  • Support in developing the courses offered by the Cultural Centre
  • Support for the creation of the “Lac Kivu” brass band, joining the work carried out locally by the French band Mortal Combo.
  • Building the skills of the members of the Cultural Centre in instrument repair (with a focus on wind instruments and pianos).
  • Professional training for sound engineers

Project in the spotlight

Self-study training in sound engineering in North and South Kivu (2021-2024)

Following a request of Thomas Lusango and his team and with a recording studio within Ndaro Culture, Music Fund and the NGO AfriSCENE organised for the first time in Bukavu in 2020, a training session in sound engineering which welcomed students from Goma as well.

Based on this experience, from September 2021 onwards the two organisations have decided to launch a long-term online training course in studio recording (2021-2022) and concert sound engineering (2022-2024) in Bukavu and Goma. Music Fund and AfriSCENE intend to create a high-quality teaching programme in the field of sound engineering, accessible to as many people as possible. There is a strong demand for this type of content in the region (largely thanks to the presence of the Amani Festival). Online learning which allows a continuous remote follow up, is an innovative and interesting addition to in situ courses, which are by nature limited and spread out over time.

By promoting directly employable and income-generating skills, Music Fund and AfriSCENE want to strengthen the financial autonomy of the projects they support and more broadly of the structures that are active in the field of music in the Kivu region. This independence is essential to develop other activities, whether cultural (organisation of events or concerts, etc.) or educational (music lessons, etc.).

Music Fund projects in North and South Kivu are supported by the Congolese Trust Merchant Bank.
The project for online training in sound engineering is supported by the French Institute.