The Cité des Anges is a recreational centre constructed during the first years of Maison Shalom’s existence that also houses income-generating activities. It was inaugurated in 2003, in the midst of the civil war. From the outset, the Cité des Anges has been an extraordinary symbol. During the long years of the war, it was a beacon of hope for countless young people from Maison Shalom. Today the civil war is over, but the Cité des Anges continues to be a synonym for hope, even in time of peace. It constantly reminds the children that they, too, are entitled to enjoy cultural and leisure activities opening them to the world. The Cité’s daily management and the activities it runs are the responsibility of the young people working there.
In terms of culture, the Cité houses the Cinéma des Anges and a library. A cinema ticket costs 500 Burundi francs (about 0.30 euros). On Saturdays, children can see the movies for free. The projection room is also used by the nearby schools. It is much appreciated as a teaching tool, especially for learning French.
The library has a large selection of books for children, adolescents and even adults. In exchange for an annual membership fee of 6,000 Burundi francs (about 3,60 euros), library users can borrow an unlimited number of books. In addition to books, Maison Shalom plans to install a number of computers with internet connection to allow readers to search the Web.
The yard at the Cité des Anges also has a swimming pool. Entrance costs 15,000 Burundi francs per month. Swimming classes have been organized to encourage more people to use the pool.
A multipurpose room
A multipurpose room situated next to the pool can be rented by community members for events (weddings, meetings, concerts, etc.). The Cité des Anges team can, on request, decorate the room and fit it for sound.
Maison Shalom plans to make of the City of Angels a true cultural center with diverse cultural activities. We started with the supervision during the holidays of children from the International School of Nyamutobo. Children learn reading, swimming, dancing, traditional and modern, and more. Later, in addition to the children from the International School, other young people from Ruyigi will be able to attend courses in drama, traditional and modern music, drums, and others. The rehabilitation of buildings to house all these activities is underway.