Niyo Cultural Centre. Kigali, Rwanda

A message of peace through art

Niyonsenga Pacifique, is himself a message of peace, who through his art is redefining the culture of a town marked by human atrocities. He is certainly an inspiration not just to Rwanda, but also for Africa and to the whole world. Speaking with him, is not just listening about art and its paintings, it is about the living testimony of someone who is making a big difference by creating an art scene where there was nothing, and with it contributing to change the social fabric.

After the genocide, he lived on the street from age 6 but was lucky enough to have met a Canadian called Bruno who befriended him and helped him get an education and acquire the tools to work and aspire to a better future. With these life tools, he started painting and displaying his pieces in an improvised gallery, attracting the attention of tourist who quickly appreciated and valued his work. But he didn’t stop there, he wanted to do something else.

From his life experience, he has learnt to teach and share from his success, reason why following a philosophy of sharing, he opened a cultural centre where he teaches traditional Rwandan drumming and dance to impoverished children, providing them the confidence and inspiration to use their skills to earn money for their own education, medical expenses and day-to-day living.

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With expressive marks of movement, and with a colourful and vivid pallet his canvases convey the freshness of a new reality. In his view, painting is a way, by which he can transmit new ideals that could change the world, having the memory of the past, but not getting stock on it- “ People have to celebrate life, get the strength from the past and continue living, everyone deserves a better future” – comments Pacifique.

The community:

Niyo Cultural Centre  is a social enterprise that comprises an art gallery and a cultural centre dedicated to help children experiencing homelessness in Kigali. Nowadays he supports and work with 60 children, some from Rwanda some others from abroad (Burundi, Condo, etc.)

The challenge

Support his initiative and create an integral centre where he can provide the services to overcome the many social disadvantages these kids are facing and none is attending, such as:

  • health care and dental services
  • safekeeping of bedding, clothing and possessions
  • hygiene and sanitary facilities
  • healthy food
  • quality education
  • opportunities of employment


Contact Niyo and support.

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