The children and youth of Manila face street violence on a daily basis. This Street violence means fighting every day, young people fighting with people known to them for long time, fighting to stay alive and fighting with one’s self. It is a fight with drugs, knives and guns where long term friends can often turn into enemies in a split second.
Those doing the fighting are young people: children and teenagers whose life is determined by need to fight to survive in one of the worlds most challenging and impoverished slums.
These children should be full of dreams, ambition and hope. Instead they see dark holes, struggles and violence where they should see bright futures and possibilities. They should have the opportunity to live out their dreams and to find ways of improving their living situation by escaping the street violence which has become a daily part of their lives. That’s where Hip Hop can help them.
Our vision is to fight against street violence in Manila (Philippines), to defend the youth using our means, our strengths and our passion. Dance can give wings to people, it can start new fires, which previously seemed extinguished and it can bring people together. Hip Hop was born and grew up on the streets, exactly like so many of our children in Manila. Our team brings together an incredible collective of very different people from very different origins, but whom all share the same passion, using Hip Hop for Hope.
Together, we will fight street violence with street culture!
Slum Girl – Photo by Tanja Demarmels
There are a lot of children in the Philippines for example in 2009, 35% of the 92 million Filipinas and Filipinos were under the age of 14. Unemployment, drug addictions and domestic violence are part of many families’ everyday lives, destroying many people and the concept of what family life should be. Children grow up in a hopeless environment where they have no opportunity to work for more than a little food. This leads to frustration and fear, often, these children have no other choice than to join street gangs. The drug trade, robberies, killings and prostitution become part of daily life for these young children, creating a vicious circle. The hope for a life with dignity seems to turn to dirt in the dusty streets of Manila.
Together with numerous world renowned Hip Hop dancers (breaker) from different countries and in close cooperation with Onesimo, an aid organization active on the ground, we intend to build a series of dance (breaking) training spots, in March 2015. These venues will be open to all, providing long lasting opportunities for the children and youth of carefully selected slums in Manila.
Our aim is to give as many young people as possible an insight into the friendly and positive hip hop culture through workshops.
The aim of our classes is for the participants to deepen their passion for Hip Hop and, after a while, to be able to then teach other children. Hip Hop started out as a small group of artists in the Bronx (New York) decided to change their community, instead of violence, drugs and crime they focused on peace, love unity and having fun, employing music, art and dance to be a positive and productive alternative, this has now become a worldwide cultural phenomenon which brings together people of all races and religions.
Hip Hop will lead the youth on a new path to discover and assert themselves, building confidence and aspiration. They are inexperienced in receiving applause and recognition in a society where their government tells them again and again that they are not welcome because of where they come from. Yet, sharing through dancing out on the streets has already brought them praise and applause. Dancing is their opportunity to get the recognition they’ve longed for and to gain self confidence, away from self-destroying activities. Hip Hop dance (breaking) is there to help these teenagers to develop their identity away from street violence.
To shift the children’s attention for Hip Hop Dance instead of making trouble and being involved in crime.
Teach the kids in street workshops with dance and knowledge about the values of Hip Hop (PEACE, LOVE & UNITY – stay away from violence and drugs)
Build up sustainable dance practice spots / Hip Hop communities in slum areas of Manila.
Motivate the local dancers and Hip Hop community to continue the charity work and keep on teaching the kids in the slums with regular practice and jam sessions in slum areas.