With 4 days left in 2019, the African Heritage Foundation (AHF) is taking this time to reflect on its journey, in relation to its mission and purpose.
We hold in our Afro-centered consciousness the duty of Sankofa. That is, the knowing that we must revisit our past, so that our steps toward our future might be guiding with purpose for prosperity.
The AHF has Afro-societal mandates that it continuously labours on in love. Below is a list of AHF mandates, and the steps taking by the organization to further develop them in 2019.
African Centered Media Creation. The AHF continues to develop its website, and has embarked on the use of video and audio recordings to speak on social issues from a grassroots perspective. AHF’s social media presence continues to grow and with that its voice in the community.
Exposure to African history in schools throughout the year. The AHF launched its pilot ‘Sankofa African History Calendar’ school initiative in February 2019 . This initiative saw the development of a calendar that featured the birth dates of people who made significant contributions to the African liberation narrative. It also highlights important dates in our liberation history. These calendars were donated to three secondary schools, with the agreement that one would be hung in every classroom. This would then give teachers the information needed to have on the spot, short informal lessons on the personality or event that took place on that particular date. This initiative was well received by the selected secondary schools. The AHF intends to expand this project in 2020 with the possible inclusion of more schools.
Social justice and advocacy. 2019 can safely be dubbed ” The Year of Cannabis” in Barbados. The government has initiated cannabis reforms in the law that have effectively excluded most Barbadians, caused great offence to the Rastafari community and violates the human rights of all involved. As such the AHF has been a loud voice of opposition against the drafting of the Cannabis bills and subsequent legislation.
Our advocacy includes cannabis education through its website and video recordings. Additionally preparations are being made to make a legal challenge against the government in the court of law as it pertains to the new cannabis sacramental legislation.
The AHF is also assisting with facilitating the initial planning of a national cannabis rally, that has been called for, by the cannabis community. This will include the gathering of persons that are willing to work in a cannabis cohort, grounded within a civil society perspective, mandated to champion the interest of the people, in national cannabis developments.
Community educational services for at risk youth. The AHF continues with its community homeschooling initiative. 2019 has seen several parents using the AHF for assistance to apply to the government to homeschool. The organization is making preparation for the expansion of this initiative as more youth get involved.
African history education. Along with its website, school projects and such, the AHF has started a Warri club. Warri is the oldest game in the region, and was a gift to us from the Africans who were enslaved, and brought the knowledge of the game with them. The Warri club is managed by AHF youth and guided by the older members. The club takes the game into communities and schools, teaching its history and how it is played. It also sells Warri boards. For this the AHF is super grateful for Mr. Farnum Badley who taught us about the game and donated the boards.
The AHF is also grateful to Dr. Nancy Jacobs who conducted a course in African art history at its headquarters earlier in the year. The AHF has also started a mural project that is themed “I AM AFRICAN” to assist with giving our heritage and history a more prominent place in our community. This initiative is youth centered and intends to give young artists the opportunity to “show their colours”.
Social services for those in need. From time to time people come to the AHF in need of assistance. We are pleased to say that with contributions of school bags, clothing, food and other items to the organization, the AHF was able to be of assistance to others who were in need.
Grassroots business/economic development. The AHF continues to develop its culture shop and host monthly fundraisers. However it is the intention of the AHF to initiate a group savings plan that with facilitate major business investment with substantial returns for all.
Outreach programs that assist other groupings in their development. Whenever possible the AHF will assist other collectives in their development. At present the AHF is working with the Ivine Order of the Nyahbinghi Theocracy Reign, in an effort to raise funds to repair one of their places of worship (the tabernacle). This is being done by the joint hosting of a reggae house lime at the AHF’s headquarters on the 3rd Saturday of each month.
Next session … 18th January 2020.
Community food security initiative development. The AHF continues to create a working model of a community food security program. It is intended that this model be ready for community trials by the middle of 2020.
There you have a brief synopsis of AFH activity for 2019. It must be noted that the AHF receives no funding or assistance from any government or private source. The organization depends on the contributions of its members to strengthen its ability to assist others. All members pay monthly dues of $20 and assist in the organization’s fund raising and business development initiatives where and when they can.
The AHF will be celebrating 5 years of existence in 2020. It will have it first general meeting on the 12th January. All members will be renewing their commitment to the organization and its mission.
AHF general meetings are open to all. You are invited to join us as we actively work on building community strength and people empowerment.
“I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.” – George Bernard Shaw
For more info on the general meeting or how to join the AHF family please call/whatsapp 260-4795.
Join us for the lighting of the Kwanzaa candles each evening this week at 6pm at the AHF’s headquarters.
African Heritage Foundation