Children have a second chance in Guinea-Bissau and it is called "Netos de Bandim"

Netos de Badim performing

Created almost 18 years ago, and coordinated by Ector Diogenes Cassamá, Guinean traditional dances group "Netos de Bandim" seeks to help children living in poverty or risk of social exclusion, giving them the opportunity to finish their studies and have a better future. This summer, they have performed in various areas of Portugal and, on the 24th, they return to Guinea-Bissau.

Carel Baptista was a shy child who loved to dance. One day, Carel was in one of the streets of his neighborhood, Missira, when he saw a dance group with the name of another neighbor, Bandim. They were the "Netos de Bandim," a group that performs traditional Guinean songs and dances. The group was founded by Ector Diogenes Cassamá, who has coordinated it for almost 18 years with the help of the NGO Associação dos Amigos da Criança da Guiné-Bissau (AMIC).

"I already knew them because, on Thursdays, I listened to the theater plays they also did on the radio. I watched them on television doing their performances around the country, but I had never seen them dance live, I was fascinated," the 19-year-old tells DN before the group's performance at Lisbon this Saturday night. "I went to ask my parents to let me go dance with them. At the time, they did not allow me to do it because I was too small. To get to the Bandim neighborhood, I had to cross three roads," he explains. Because he didn't have transport, only much later could he join the project.

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