Beautiful and diverse People of Africa
They call it Africa we call it HOME. We are not Africans because we are born in Africa; we are Africans because Africa is born in us. Africa has 3000 distinct ethnic groups, 2000 languages, home to the most genetically diverse people on Earth. So diverse that two Africans are more genetically different from each other than a Chinese and a European are from each other. Africa is the world’s second-largest and second-most-populous continent, at about 30.2 million km², it covers six percent of the Earth’s total surface area and 20.4 percent of the total land area, with approximately 58 countries. It occupies a wide dynamic latitude has; deserts, forest, snow, temperate climate, tropics, sub-tropics, lakes, the longest river, lowest point on Earth, mountain ranges. Now we have to ponder over these figures when we have these vulgar sweeping generalizations, which fit all of this diversity into one and two monolithic boxes. There are generalizations, which do define Africa, but none that are exclusive.
African: is a term which super-umbrellas all the indigenous ethnicities of the African continent. Therefore, an African is exclusively a person from the indigenous ethnic groups found on the continent of Africa and people who trace their ancestry to these groups in the African Diaspora. (African Race) There are at least 3,000 distinct ethnic groups in Africa. Africans, in full diversity, are the natural people of the African landscape. The hair, the skin, cultures, heritage and our History are all specific adaptations to living in the African landscape.
Motherland Africa we unapologetically called for African unity, self-determination and the African rebirth during our two days 1st Annual Pan-African Carnival, Parade and Dialogue of Metro Vancouver 2016, where over 1.400 People of African Descent gathered together at Vancouver’s Arts gallery on 10th of July 2016 for the open dialogue. Our 2nd Pan African Carnival, Parade and Dialogue 2017 is our cultural heritage celebration is a pivotal milestone for Africa Great lakes Networking Foundation (AGL) that allows us to connect with our past, celebrate who we are, honour our exceptional achievements, and build a legacy for tomorrow. The celebration aims to promote Canadian and the People of African Descents’ Values, Beliefs, Customs, Principals, Cultural Heritage and our History that generates national Pride bringing communities to celebrate together.
Cultural Heritage in Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, the protection of cultural heritage by humanitarian law (IHL), international human rights law (IHRL), and international criminal law (ICL). Exceptional treatment of cultural heritage in general international humanitarian law instruments including those covering non-international armed conflicts, and its overlap with international human rights law. It’s linkages between conserving cultural heritage, maintaining cultural diversity and enforcing human rights.
While there seems to be a growing awareness of these linkages in international heritage and human rights circles, they remain poorly understood by many heritage practitioners who see their conservation work merely as a technical matter, it is essential for practitioners engaged in heritage conservation projects to understand the broader economic, political and social context of their work. However, heritage scholars and teachers, too, need to recognize that there can be many motives behind official heritage interventions, that such action is sometimes taken primarily to achieve political goals, and that it can undermine rather than strengthen community identity, cultural diversity and human rights. Providing and engaging communities with opportunities to actively participate and/or celebrate together, promotes and builds a deeper understanding of Canada, its people and what it means to be Canadians; and recognizing and promoting exceptional Canadian people, places, achievements and events that continue to shape our country such as: Community building activities and events; Sport and active-living activities and events.
Cultures and Cultural History –
Culture can be defined in numerous ways. In the words of anthropologist E.B. Tylor it is “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of Society. Alternatively, in a contemporary variant, “Culture is defined as a social domain that emphasizes the practices, discourses, and material expressions, which, over time, express the continuities and discontinuities of social meaning of a life held in common.” Culture is “the way of life, especially the general customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time. Terror Management Theory posits that culture is a series of activities and worldviews that provide humans with the basis for perceiving themselves as “person[s] of worth within the world of meaning”—raising themselves above the merely physical aspects of existence, in order to deny the animal insignificance and death that Homo Sapiens became aware of when they acquired a larger brain.
Cultural History – Cultural history combines the approaches of anthropology and history to look at popular cultural traditions and cultural interpretations of historical experience. It examines the records and narrative descriptions of past matter, encompassing the continuum of events (occurring in succession and leading from the past to the present and even into the future) pertaining to a culture. Cultural history records and interprets past events involving human beings through the social, cultural and political milieu of or relating to the arts and manners that a group favors. Cultural history studies and interprets the record of human society by denoting the various distinctive ways of living built up by a group of people under consideration. Cultural history involves the aggregate of past cultural activity, such as ceremony, class in practices, and the interaction with locales. History is just one tool to shape our understanding of our world. And every tool is a weapon if you hold it right.
History isn’t what happened, but a story of what happened. And there are always different versions, different stories, about the same events. One version might revolve mainly around a specific set of facts while another version might minimize them or not include them at all. Like stories, each of these different versions of history contain different lessons. Some histories tell us that our leaders, at least, have always tried to do right for everyone. Others remark that the emperors don’t have the slaves’ best interests at heart. Some teach us that this is both what has always been and what always will be. Others counsel that we shouldn’t mistake transient dominance for intrinsic superiority. Lastly, some histories paint a picture where only the elites have the power to change the world, while others point out that social change is rarely commanded from the top down.
Regardless of the value of these many lessons, History isn’t what happened, but the stories of what happened and the lessons these stories include. The very selection of which histories to teach in a society shapes our view of how what is came to be and, in turn, what we understand as possible. This choice of which history to teach can never be “neutral” or “objective.” Those who choose, either following a set agenda or guided by hidden prejudices, serve their interests. Their interests could be to continue this world as it now stands or to make a new world.
As our society becomes more culturally diverse, at AGL we are understanding the need to work with other organizations in order to “turn up the sound,” so all the voices are heard and issues addressed. This means that individuals and institutions can no longer deny the sometimes uncomfortable realities of cultural diversity. With a group of our organizers and activists we are realizing that we have to come to grips with our multicultural society, or we won’t get anything done. But how do we do that? “We want to include communities of color, but we just don’t know where to begin, keep holding open meetings, but no people of color even show up. We have begun to come to grips with diversity issues, even though they may not have all the answers, we realize we have to develop new strategies and tactics to attract multicultural interest in our collaborative initiatives. We as well know that there will be problems to solve if our collaborations are not to be effective with people of different cultures.
At AGL we value Unity in community development activities, by engaging and connecting to build and strengthen understanding through sharing cross-cultural diversity, making meaningful improvements that respect each other’s traditions, values, beliefs, customs and aspirations; Multiculturalism builds the new national identity of Canada. “Canada is strong because of the many diverse and vibrant cultures that come together to form the base of its identity, It’s why each generation has welcomed newcomers seeking liberty and the promise of a better life. “We seek to be greater, we do greater things, with more compassionate, more accepting, more openness to those who have different cultures from others and we are strengthened by these”. Healthier Communities through Cultural Diversity are built, at AGL Cultural diversity is a very important thing to hold on to, It’s really worth holding on, when communities migrate from one country to another in any way , displacement is created, it leaves the lose of identity, language, culture, food, history, traditions and values.
We build short term coalitions, and collaborate with other organizations locally and in other countries which share similar goals through cultural, history and Arts that include: “Musical performances, Art and crafts/art exhibits, international/local cultural festivals/events, youth exchanges programs and Peace concerts. The concerts help to bring people of all nations together to reaffirm hopes for peace in the world, celebrating lives and universal humanity and promotion of Humanitarian assistance.
WHAT IS MULTICULTURAL COLLABORATION?
First of all, what’s the difference between a coalition, a collaboration, and a multicultural collaboration? We are involved in more than two different coalitions working together around some issues or a common set of interrelated issues that can’t be addressed on our own . The purpose is to harness enough influence and resources to have an impact on an issue beyond the grasp of one group alone. The life of a coalition has usually been shorter than the life of the complex issue or issues it faces. When the issue or issues are resolved our coalition disbands and we go our separate ways. Our coalition members understand that there will be shared risks, responsibilities, and rewards, and the level of commitment is moderate. At AGL we believe in diversity in a coalition that is a strength as well as a problem because there is often dissension.
Our collaboration involves more organizations working together with us on multiple issues and goals in a long-term commitment. This is the highest and most difficult level of working with others, involving formalized organizational relationships and there is basically a long-term commitment and a focus on a range of issues of wide concern. We us “Turf protection” that is high and with the ability to let go of control over the direction of the group if critical. Involved organizations share resources (develop, implement, and evaluate programs), establish policy, and jointly conduct educational programs. Our core values of collaboration are mutual respect, a valuing of difference, and a high level of trust.
“Turf protection” is guarding what you see as your rightful control over an issue, a funding source, a job function, or other area, even when sharing that control could both make our job easier and make our efforts more effective”.
We formed many multicultural collaboration between different groups or and organizations, each comprised of members from different cultural backgrounds and orientations (e.g., Latino, Native/Aboriginal, Indian, white and our own different African) or with goals or missions oriented to populations with differing cultures (e.g., First nation, African-Canadian, African/Africans, Caribbean, American, American, Asian-Canadian etc). The cultural differences among these groups may consist of ethnic heritage, values, traditions, languages, history, sense of self, and racial attitudes. Any of these cultural features can become barriers to working together. Unless they become part of the relationship, the collaboration will probably be challenged. Culture is one of the most powerful forces in our world, it is central to what we see, how we make sense of our world, and how we express ourselves. As people from different cultural groups work together, values sometimes conflict. When we don’t understand each other we sometimes react in ways that make a partnership ineffective. Often we’re not aware that cultural differences are the root of miscommunication.
In an effective multicultural collaboration, as with any other collaboration, the participants are encouraged to have a sense of common purpose. however, they must consider that different cultural groups may have differing ideas about how leaders are chosen and exercise power, and about how conflict and disagreement should be managed. For example, someone from an American Indian tribe may believe that a leader can be respected only if they are an elder, while this may not be an important factor to someone in another group.
We have put in place a plan requirement in our multicultural collaboration as, lots of patience, and determination to confront old attitudes in new ways by pulling in partners usually not involved in order for a multicultural collaboration to be effective, the groups involved must overcome differences to promote a unified effort. Because of different skill levels and expertise, the collaboration seem uneven sometimes at first. And, initially, participants may come for different reasons. For example, some may have been invited to take on responsibilities others don’t want; others may want a scapegoat in case things don’t work. But if the focus is on the common goal, shared decision making, defined roles, and setting time lines, the organizations involved have made it work.
WHY IS MULTICULTURAL COLLABORATION IMPORTANT?
- It gets everyone to the table: Because most groups have some community-wide concerns, it’s essential to get them to the same table, uneven or not. According to John Gardner, the biggest problem of having many groups in society is the war of the parts against the whole. Separately they don’t have the power to resolve a problem, but because they are all tied together, one part can hold up the others for ransom — everything can be frozen if one group’s efforts are focused on thwarting another’s
- It emphasizes common interests rather than differences: Though it’s odd and self-destructive, in-fighting has increased dramatically in recent years. Becoming more aware of our similarities, along with cultural differences, doesn’t have to paralyze or divide us. Through common interests we can learn to translate “different from me” and “less than me” into “like me in lots of important ways.” As a result “difference” becomes less of a barrier to effectiveness.
- It makes for more effective communication among groups: Understanding how people communicate is the first step toward understanding and respecting each other.
- It enriches everyone’s life when there is shared knowledge of others’ cultures: Different communication styles reflect philosophies and worldviews that are the foundations of cultures. New understanding gives us a broader view of our world and the opportunity to see a mirror image of ourselves.
- It takes advantage of “strength in numbers: ” History shows that when groups are organized through common purpose they can wield great power and succeed, because no one group is responsible for a problem and no one group alone can solve it. Competition among groups doesn’t aid survival in today’s turbulent world.
- It creates community: As our population becomes more culturally diverse, some cultural groups are experiencing more problems. If we learn to understand and value other cultures, we can look at each other as neighbors with similar interests rather than adversaries, we will be more vested in the idea of taking better care of each other and caring about our neighbors builds a sense of community and unites us in solving community-wide problems.
- It leads to a more just society: Multicultural collaboration can build collective capacity to help make things better, and promote the consensus that it’s important to do so. This offers a good chance at solving complex problems in an atmosphere of trust, cooperation, and mutual respect.
Arts, culture and our history
This helps the people of African descent to learn and live together in the increasing diverse of other societies, we continue to accomplish every day’s fundamental humanist mission to encourage other communities to share and understand each others’ culture and the suffering our ancestors endured, we use arts to celebrate and share our history and stories by others when participating in building a better tomorrow and lasting peace is complex and fragile web of daily practices embedded in local settings. With the global challenges and threats such as inequality, exclusion, violence and sectarianism worsened by local tensions and conflicts which undermine humanity’s cohesion, learning to live together among all members of the global community is important while celebrating our cultures and our history
Through our educational activities in Arts, Culture and our History, individuals become inter-culturally competent; they become prepared to appreciate diversity as well as managing conflicts in accordance with the values of pluralism and mutual understanding. Protecting the cultural values and Heritages and foster creativity and innovations, our multicultural activities power and transform our societies and is clear in today’s interconnected world. Its diverse manifestations, from cherished historic monuments to traditional practices and contemporary arts form enriching lives in countless ways in everyday’s life
Heritage constitutes a source of identity and cohesion for communities disrupted by bewildering change and economic instability. with creative ideas, protections and contributions to build, opening doors, inclusiveness and pluralistic of societies. Heritage and creativity lay the foundations for vibrant, innovative and prosperous knowledge to our societies.
No development can be sustainable without a strong culture component with a human-centred approach, based on mutual respect, understanding and open dialogue that lead to lasting, inclusive and equitable results. Our Cultural education- programs provide unique platform to establish a holistic cultural governance system based on human rights shared values, valuing Natural heritage that include: Ancient archaeological sites, intangible and underwater heritage, museum collections, oral traditions and other forms of heritages globally respecting what our ancestors left behind for our history and or where they lay to rest as a pioneers. We at AGL, encourage participation in creativity to improve the quality of life and social cohesion: develop, attract and retain skilled and innovative thinkers for the creative economy; foster the identity of the people of African descent, celebrate African diversity, sense of place and economies.
Sports – as Catching Device (Mijezo ni Mtego)
We use cultural activities and sports as a method of support to children and youth who experience trauma from disasters, wars and abuse, it is an application in the field of sport and development. Sports is an attractive activity for participants and is often used as a draw card to recruit children and young people to health, education and other community services programs to deliver educational messages with a focus to youth development education. Healthy Development of Children and Young People through Sports has impact on educational, Physical and sports. Motor skills development performance and educational potential are seen as “changes” in the children. This shows the positive relationship between being involved in physical activities and psycho-social development. Sports and physical education is critical and fundamental to the early development of children and youth, the skills learned during play, physical education and sports contribute to the holistic development of young people. Through participation in sport and physical education, young people learn about the importance of key values such as: Being honesty, building teamwork, fair play, respecting themselves and others, adherence to rules and academic excellence at school.
Sports provide forum for young people to learn how to deal with competition and copping. These learning aspects highlight the impact of physical education and sports on a child’s social and moral development in addition to physical skills and abilities. In terms of physical and health aspects of their development, overwhelming amount of evidence is to focus on positive effects of sports and exercises on physical health, growth and development. Long-term involvement in physical activity- Is to build health activity habits that encourage life-long participation in physical activities. This extends the impact of physical education beyond the schoolyard and highlights the potential impact of physical education on public health. To achieve broader goals in education and development, our sports programs focus on the development of the individual and not only on the development of technical sports skills. While the physical benefits of participation in sport are well known and supported by large volumes of empirical evidence, sport and physical activity have positive benefits on education as well.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Helping Children Overcome Disaster Trauma through Post-Emergency Psychosocial Sports.
We organize and conduct pilot projects as Inter-cultural Dialogue programs, by means of education and inter-cultural exchange, we curry out research in the areas of cultural diversity differences, Sport and Development. We promote the constructive management of pluralistic and multicultural societies as sports is also potential for personal development, social inclusion, peace-building and youth empowerment. We seek to increase the use of sports and play programs to encourage young people, particularly girls and young women, to attend school, colleges, go back to school intiative through vocational and trade, to obtain employability skills locally and with the partners abroad.
In addition, UNICEF has a strong focus on using sport to campaign for girls’ education, promoting education through events and awareness campaigns.
School learning performances
Sport-based programs improve the learning performance of children and young people, with encouraged school attendance and a desire to succeed academically.
Promotes the development of women’s football and pledges to support women’s football financially. Live Your Goals aims to encourage more girls and women to play, participate and stay involved in football. Join our campaign and help us to try and grow the number of girls and women playing football worldwide from 30 to 45 million in time for the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019