Today I found myself in an interesting environment here in NYC, where I came to work on my documentary on African Migrants. I had an appointment with an extraordinary person, a Congolese activist named Kambale Musavili. We met at the Council for Foreign Relations in the upper East Side of the city on a sunny day, to talk about where Africans are living in New York City.
We met at lunchtime, because Kambale was going to present a workshop at 3pm "for some kids". That's what he said. As we entered the marble building and went over the brass doors, we entered in a large room where a series of tables were organised to form almost a circle. Sitting on chaired scattered all over the room, were teenagers who for appearance and accent, seemed to be coming from all over the world. But apparently they all reside in NYC.
I was so interested in learning Kambale's story, how he arrived in the US to escape the second war in the DRC in 1998, how he went to work ot McDonald's thinking about the movied Eddie Murphy's appeared on; how he fought his way in the American football team... that I completely forgot to ask him what was the workshop about and why was he invited.
Kambale was invited to talk about his own country to a group of kids younger than 17 and aspiring diplomats or presidents... Through the Global Kids Programme they were sent to participate to a three-week programme that included an entire day dedicate to the DRC: to what is happening there; what are the information known; how can it be reported about.
It was amazing!
Making the connection between this young curious brains, talking about women I had the honor to translate and talk to; talking about a country my roots are lay in. It was simply amazing. And Kambale, who is the spokeperson for a Washington-based NGO, was surprising in his way to engage them and make them aware of the DRC while being proactive. First thing he suggested? To make a call to the President of the United States, Barack Obama. And he did, right in front of their eyes and ears. He invited them to do the same and leave a message that could sound like this:
"Dear Mr President, I am leaving you this message because I am aware you are busy at this moment. But I would like to ask you to do more about the situation of the Congo, where people are being killed. Our country can do more!"
The thought of a dozen and more children doing that just moved my heart and made me want to call the President myself. It also gave me hope about what we can still share and transmitt to young generation.