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  • Organisation

    The Africa Caribbean Heritage Alliance (ACHA) aims to reunite Africa and the Caribbean in several sectors. The tagline, positively reconnecting the Caribbean with Africa envisages sustainably developing the countries through connecting its peoples.

    ACHA aims to achieve its mission through the positive connections between the continents. The focus, therefore, is on bringing and building awareness to both Africa about the Caribbean and vice versa and facilitating the opportunities in various sectors as listed and those that may arise thereafter.

    The objectives of ACHA are:

    • To teach African, Caribbean and American histories and cultural similarities and unique differences through related lecture series, hosting and participating in workshops
    • To organise events and festivals in folklore, music, dance, arts, crafts, cuisine and fashion
    • To promote tourism and business opportunities through business match makings, organizing joint expositions, trade missions, conferences, seminars and entrepreneurship trainings
    • To organise exchanges on transnational education, heritage research and sports for development
    • To promote economic partnerships between Nigeria as a strategic hub to Africa with the Caribbean, Americas, Europe and globally through research, sharing of knowledge and information, and provide access to a wide network of strategic partners
    • To make recommendations on critical areas for joint projects, develop relevant proposals, seek funding possibilities and provide relevant trainings
    • To do whatever may be instrumental or useful related to the aforementioned objectives.
    • Organisation

      The Africa Caribbean Heritage Alliance (ACHA) aims to reunite Africa and the Caribbean in several sectors. The tagline, positively reconnecting the Caribbean with Africa envisages sustainably developing the countries through connecting its peoples.

      ACHA aims to achieve its mission through the positive connections between the continents. The focus, therefore, is on bringing and building awareness to both Africa about the Caribbean and vice versa and facilitating the opportunities in various sectors as listed and those that may arise thereafter.

      The objectives of ACHA are:

      • To teach African, Caribbean and American histories and cultural similarities and unique differences through related lecture series, hosting and participating in workshops
      • To organise events and festivals in folklore, music, dance, arts, crafts, cuisine and fashion
      • To promote tourism and business opportunities through business match makings, organizing joint expositions, trade missions, conferences, seminars and entrepreneurship trainings
      • To organise exchanges on transnational education, heritage research and sports for development
      • To promote economic partnerships between Nigeria as a strategic hub to Africa with the Caribbean, Americas, Europe and globally through research, sharing of knowledge and information, and provide access to a wide network of strategic partners
      • To make recommendations on critical areas for joint projects, develop relevant proposals, seek funding possibilities and provide relevant trainings
      • To do whatever may be instrumental or useful related to the aforementioned objectives.
    • Project

      On the basis of a shared African heritage, the project Innovation and Reconnection provides interventions towards increased opportunities for youth through:

      Arts and Culture:

      To uplift those suffering in silence due to limited access to social services. This is done by linking urban youth with service providers and building understanding how to access resources. Furthermore, the project creates an enabling environment where performing arts and edutainment provides employment opportunities for talented youth to strengthen their skills, stage presence and performances in dance, music and artwork.

      Sports:

      Sports for development has been evidenced to show positive advances in the early childhood development of youth. Sports is used to bring together youth within the communities to interact with each by playing varying sports. The youth is taught on how to compete ethically and nurture healthy competition habits.

      Education:

      The project addresses the lack of educational wholesomeness in schools and communities whereby the current practice is strictly confined to a formal curriculum, making the society bereft of life building skills, recreation, entrepreneurship and knowledge about their heritage.

      In financing, where youth are illiterate about financial planning and management which inhibits their ability to make proper investments, the project trains holistic approaches to financial management balancing African heritage indigenous knowledge with modern concepts of banking, loans and savings. The project also trains and strengthens skills in income generation, planning and overall financial management.

      Entrepreneurship and Trade, where artists lack opportunities to expand their client networks and markets and talented youth lack training and performing spaces for their arts and sports, the project ensures to harness these creative energies. In addition, where possible, they sensitise and lobby for the integration of edutainment policies in the curriculum. This contributs to a gradual shift in mindset towards creative cultural industries.

      The method is unique and addresses edutainment, awareness, employment, empowerment and effective use of performing spaces and sports facilities.  The project empowers indigent youth through the arts, sports and education to transform their lives to speak out, organise themselves and acquire the necessary skills to sustain these new livelihoods.

  • Project

    On the basis of a shared African heritage, the project Innovation and Reconnection provides interventions towards increased opportunities for youth through:

    Arts and Culture:

    To uplift those suffering in silence due to limited access to social services. This is done by linking urban youth with service providers and building understanding how to access resources. Furthermore, the project creates an enabling environment where performing arts and edutainment provides employment opportunities for talented youth to strengthen their skills, stage presence and performances in dance, music and artwork.

    Sports:

    Sports for development has been evidenced to show positive advances in the early childhood development of youth. Sports is used to bring together youth within the communities to interact with each by playing varying sports. The youth is taught on how to compete ethically and nurture healthy competition habits.

    Education:

    The project addresses the lack of educational wholesomeness in schools and communities whereby the current practice is strictly confined to a formal curriculum, making the society bereft of life building skills, recreation, entrepreneurship and knowledge about their heritage.

    In financing, where youth are illiterate about financial planning and management which inhibits their ability to make proper investments, the project trains holistic approaches to financial management balancing African heritage indigenous knowledge with modern concepts of banking, loans and savings. The project also trains and strengthens skills in income generation, planning and overall financial management.

    Entrepreneurship and Trade, where artists lack opportunities to expand their client networks and markets and talented youth lack training and performing spaces for their arts and sports, the project ensures to harness these creative energies. In addition, where possible, they sensitise and lobby for the integration of edutainment policies in the curriculum. This contributs to a gradual shift in mindset towards creative cultural industries.

    The method is unique and addresses edutainment, awareness, employment, empowerment and effective use of performing spaces and sports facilities.  The project empowers indigent youth through the arts, sports and education to transform their lives to speak out, organise themselves and acquire the necessary skills to sustain these new livelihoods.

  • Results

    The setting up of Abuja as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria led to the Gbagyi people of Karu suffering great loss.  The Gbagyi are the indigenous and original inhabitants of the region currently occupied by Abuja.  The urbanisation of Karu into the city resulted in the Gbagyi being marginalised and almost forgotten.  The indigenous culture is also under threat of being forgotten, the youth are fast forgetting their indigenous language, dances, festivals, arts and crafts and their very way of life.  This loss means that their identity is gradually fading away and getting swallowed by the city while their needs are left unmet.  The authenticity of the Gbagyi voice is gradually fading and they are gradually being forgotten as the original peoples of the Federal Capital Territory.  As a marginalised community the dividends of democracy hardly ever percolate down to them hence leaving them poor, uneducated, disempowered, voiceless, and most importantly, deprived of the core of their existence, their beautiful cultural heritage.  Some of these cultural practices link directly to women and youths’ livelihoods.  

    The Africa Caribbean Heritage Alliance (ACHA) through their project Innovation and Reconnection sought to reverse this cultural appropriation.  The organisation aims to reunite Africa and the Caribbean in several sectors, with the tagline “positively reconnecting the Caribbean with Africa”, envisaging sustainably developing the countries through connecting its peoples. The project aimed to promote positive connections between the continents with a focus on bringing and building mutual awareness to both Africa and the Caribbean and facilitating the opportunities in various sectors such as arts and culture, sports, education, finance and entrepreneurship and trade.    

    Owing to the project interventions. Rightsholders started becoming aware of the importance of preserving their culture and heritage. They understood their role in making this reality and as a result some people starting taking iniative, they demonstrated ownership by conducting awareness raising initiatives within their communities. For instance, Mr Mike Gideon, a person with disability and a Karu community volunteer leader specifically initiated cultural awareness and conservation efforts within his community. He became a champion for the voices of the People with Disabilities (PWDs), youths and Gbagyi people through the promotion of their arts and crafts, their history, festivals, story-telling, preservation and bringing back to life a fast-disappearing sports called, Baram. He late decided to take his new leadership skills and empowerment to the next level by taking a bold step towards campaigning for the Local Government Counsellorship for his ward. His venture into politics was a success, proving that People with Disabilities are just as talented and can provide leadership. “I am doing this to change the narrative of my people and represent their voices”. He said proudly.   

    Another example is Mama Binta who makes beautiful fabrics and beads but was never able to scale up to showcase her skills and rich cultural heritage. When ACHA met with Mama Binta, during the rightsholder selection process, she was quickly chose as a cultural ambassador through her crafts. She was trained during the shades of Nigeria activity and showcased her works during the ACHA organized arts in the park activity. Since then, Mama Binta’s business has gained popularity in her community as she expanded her business using the support funds from the project. She is also a registered member of the ACHA Multipurpose Cooperative Society, which was registered, with the government of Nigeria to sustain the various arts and crafts initiative of the rightsholders in the communities.   

    Important lessons have been learnt from the implementation of the project including the revelation that empowering a small group can escalate upwards to the entire community and that inclusion in activities is key.  The targeting of youth and consistent coaching and mentorship are critical to their capacities and interventions should be done to guarantee or encourage rightsholders’ capacities to maintain continuity. Partnerships with external bodies e.g. both civil society, private sector, community gatekeepers, area Council representatives, and other groups are instrumental in achieving desired impacts of the intervention. 

     

    Understanding the ethics surrounding diversity inclusion is important for inclusion of indigenous peoples in the development process, preservation of their culture and use of such to earn a living. ACHA hopes to continue seeing indigenous peoples’ culture being showcased, to see indigenous people in places of leadership, to see their arts and crafts being displayed on international platforms and to see their local indigenous Baram sport included in the National Sports festival as well as being played in the Olympics. To achieve this, it plans to continue assuming bigger roles in mentoring smaller civil society groups and developing their capacities, monitoring socio economic spaces for lack and providing interventions/ solutions, ensuring continuity through ownership of concluded projects, and forging more partnerships capable of solving both local and international problems 

     

    The project is a testament that marginalized or endangered cultures can still grow and evolve through trans-cultural collaboration and innovation. Stories such as those of Mike Gideon and Mama Binta are important in demonstrating to marginalised communities that they are still an important part of progressive societies and that diversity need not be sacrificed in the quest for progress.  

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