Our Afrikan Heritage (OAH) digital publication celebrates the 100th anniversary of The Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). The UNIA was founded on July 20, 1914 when Marcus Garvey recruited its first member, Amy Ashwood, and held the organization’s first meeting at 121 Orange Street in Kingston Jamaica.
A month later the UNIA began holding weekly public meetings at the Collegiate Hall on Church Street and by 1920, was the largest Pan African Organization.
In thoughtful reflection, acknowledgement and respect for the work of Marcus Garvey, OAH has registered and is now an organization that is founded on the visions , principles and some of the working methodologies of the UNIA. What is also significant about this action taken by the OAH is that it came at a time, when United Nations(UN) was about to launch the Decade For People Of Afrikan Descent.
Over the past several years OAH has been hosting community events with its most noteable to date, being the SANKOFA Festival which was launched in 2011.
The hosting of cultural events brought OAH to the stark realization that contrary to the ideal of Marcus Garvey, and the essence of Pan Afrikanism, there are no cultural organizations that have sufficient economic power or sufficient numbers to the critical paradigm shift for substantive change. OAH noted that Pan Afrikan movements in Barbados had no websites, no strong social media presence, no newspaper/newsletter, no regular radio or television programming precipitating the movement in Barbados to be carried by a small grassroots group.
OAH through its community activities, activism and online interactions found itself in a solid position to usher forward what is intended to be, the most revolutionary cultural organization for the empowerment of the people seen in Barbados since 1937.
The "AFRICAN HERITAGE FOUNDATION "
What is the African Heritage Foundation (AHF)?
The AHF is a Non Governmental Organisation (non-profit) that has brought together people of various backgrounds and social standings to work together to effect tangible positive social change. The AHF is working under the principle of reparations with a focus on self repair.This organisation is for the economic benefit of people who have historically been disadvantaged by the existing social, economic and political structures. The economic development of our people will be based on a system of pooling minimal resources to achieve substantial returns. It is also geared toward empowering those who yearn to see greater social and cultural integration between the Afrikan consciousness and the greater Barbadian society, with special focus being placed on the youth.
How does the AHF intend to effect great social change?
The AHF will initially create a solid economic base that will fund educational and social projects and programs. These projects and programs will the be developed into models of collective business development, holistic educational services and social responsibility initiatives. These models once proven tangible and effect will influence others to implement them in their communities. It is also intended that, the demands for the implementation of these models in mainstream society, will influence the government to act accordingly. It is because our organisations do not have firm, sustainable economic bases, that they cannot operate to their full potential.
How does the AHF intend to build this firm sustainable economic base?
The AHF has at present a number of persons who have committed themselves through thick and thin, to being members of the organisation. This is enough to start formulating various businesses and programs that have the ability to create revenue for the charity. With vision and sound management, small businesses will grow into big businesses. Although it is a charity, the AHF knows that for any model of communal development and economic empowerment to have meaning to poor people it has to start where they are, and that is with very little. Collective security through work is the answer to our collective economic and social salvation. Grants and handouts from big international agencies will not do it. The AHF is not opposed to assistance from any agency. However the ethos of the AHF is community/collective self reliance.
All members advocate for, and demonstrate the power of collective activism through their services to the wider community. At present the AHF is of the mind set that, the more valued contributions to the society are made by the organization, the more people will see the worth of the AHF and join in to make it greater.
Initial registration administrative costs will be covered by a membership fee of $10. The organisation’s revenue collected from dues will be used to facilitate small expenses incurred in the daily operation of the AHF. They will also be used in the development of AHF businesses. Note that the foundation of the AHF's economic sustainability will come from the various businesses developed through the collective.
Registration fee $10 … Membership dues are $15 monthly. All persons that are members for over 3 months will be issued with the Afrikan Home Bank (shown in images below). These banks are to be placed in the homes of members and serve as reminders of their collective economic responsibility to the AHF and by extent the wider community.
What activities will the organisation be involved in:
Through the establishment of 9 Operational Orders (OOs) as it grows, the AHF will address various aspects of our social and economic development:
- Education. School programmes, vacation camps, national youth debates, reading materials and activity books for children will be developed through this OO. At present the AHF is in the process of developing a home school system and an Afrikan academy called B.A.A.S.E ( Barbados Alkebulan Academy for Social Empowerment.
- Events/Social Programme Planning. This OO plans and executes several social events throughout the year. Examples of events are the annual Afrikan heritage fair (Sankofa), cultural shows, lectures, panel discussions, rallies, community assistance activities.
- Agriculture. The AHF will acquire agricultural land to develop an organic farm. This OO will also affiliate itself with other organisations and farmers who have their grounding in organic farming. At present the AHF is engaged in an organic farming project. This project is being done on an acre of land a supporter of the AHF is allowing it to use, on their organic farm. The AHF is presently seeking land to expand its farming project.
- Marketing and Promotion. All AHF businesses, activities, AHF supported businesses and the foundation itself are marketed and promoted through this OO.
- Business Development. The AHF will establish several businesses and make investments that will effectively increase the Foundation’s revenue. It will also issue loans and business development assistance to ensure the success of all AHF supported and funded businesses. This OO will also be responsible for the creation and management of the AHF civil service and bureau of work engagements.
- Social Care. Community outreach programmes focused on our elders and youth will be developed through this OO. A nursing service, a youth and elder interaction programme, rehabilitation services, nurseries and babysitting services will be established through this OO.
- Security. A Security Service will be used to ensure the safety of persons attending all AHF events. It will also be for hire outside of AHF activities. This OO will also be responsible for instruction in self defence courses for AHF members and the general public.
- Health. This OO will operate a holistic health clinic and manage a herbal dispensary. It will work closely with the Social Care OO to oversee health related issues in our membership and the general public. An online herbal dispensary has been started by the AHF. You can find the dispensary here on the website.
- Sports. Sporting activities will be developed in this OO. The OO will establish various AHF sports teams such as a football team, a cricket team and a netball team and it will support the development of promising athletes. The AHF Sport's OO will host numerous tournaments in various sporting disciplines.
What are the benefits for members of the AHF?
Members of the AHF are afforded special privileges at AHF organised events. Privileges will vary depending on the event and will be determined by the collective. These privileges will include discounted prices on tickets for any event hosted by AHF. It will also include free access to space to promote and sell their products or services at any AHF hosted event. For any event that has limited space for attendance, AHF members will be afforded the first option to attend and will pay a discounted price. AHF members that would like to view events that are streamed live via our website discounted rates or free viewing.
AHF members are afforded access to our health services at special rates.
Members with businesses will be offered free or discounted advertising on this website and any form of media representing the AHF.
Members with new businesses will be offered assistance with its development. Financial assistance, technical assistance, marketing support, accounting or bookkeeping services, legal support and administrative assistance will be offered.
Members with children attending primary and secondary schools will be offered a book grant as the AHF develops its various operations. It is intended that members will take full advantage of B.A.A.S.E and its home schooling service.
Members will be offered one small loan per year to help with personal utility bills that are in danger of being terminated. This service will commence when the AHF is operating at a level that the organization is financially able to do so.
Members may receive the AHF Afrikan food basket once per month. This service will commence in conjunction with the establishment and successful functioning of the agriculture programme. Due to logistics, this service is restricted to local members.
Members will be afforded emergency assistance. Cases seen as emergencies will have their matters prioritised and solutions discussed and implemented expeditiously.
Members wishing to repatriate to Africa, will be offered assistance with the move. This service will be offered after the AHF has been effectively functioning for 5 years or more and is able to do so. Please note the AHF is working towards establishing a branch of the AHF in an African country that will assist members with their move home.
Members will be afforded special discounts at all AHF created and assisted businesses/institutions. It will be mandated in our loan agreements that all AHF assisted businesses be listed in the AHF directory and offer all AHF members agreed discounted prices on goods and services. The percentage of discount would depend on the product or service.
All loans will be offered interest free with terms and conditions.
All updates of the Foundation's progress and all related matters will be circulated via AHF meeting minutes. The OAH will remain the official media source of the AHF. All activities previously hosted by the OAH will now come under the auspices of the AHF.
AHF is a Barbados based organization with membership open to the international community.
Should you want to be a member of the AHF please indicate this by email to firstname.lastname@example.org