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Monday, December 8, 2014

RITES OF PASSAGE FOR GIRLS: A PAN AFRICAN/HARAMBEE PROJECT PROPOSAL



RITES OF PASSAGE: Proposal for Young African Females, Globally

PROLOUGE:
As part of the Harambee Project (Let's All Pull Together) we have focused on Rites of Passage (ROP) as a generic model for young boys and girls. However, upon further analysis and observation, it is apparent that young ladies and girls need a gender specific model and program to deal with the complexity of the challenges they face in society. In addition to having to deal with racism and classism, young ladies also have to face sexism, which is prevalent in most societies around the world. Therefore, we intend to build an ROP curricula which accounts for all factors affecting the growth, well being and nurturement of young African women, on a global scale. Rites of Passage is not just an abstract ritual. It is a structured and organized means of transferring and transmitting cultural values, ethics, community accepted standards of behavior, and life skills.  There are certain areas where boys and girls mix together in ROP, but certainly some areas remain gender specific.This outlined Curricula will reflect that. Their are several societal issues which must be considered when developing an ROP for girls:
1. Maintaining a balance between Divine Femininity and living in Male Dominant Societies
2. Personal and Collective means of dealing with abuse, rape, and domestic violence issues
3. Breaking the Glass Ceiling in male dominated areas of Governance, Sports, etc.
4. Public policy in areas of Education, Child Rearing and Child Care, Minimum Wage and Reproductive Rights
5. Fashion and the Objectification and Fragmentation of the Female body.
6. Challenging the stigma of Women's pursuit of Intellectual and Scientific Aspirations
7. Reorientation to African Identity, Values, History, Traditions, Languages and what Franz Fanon refers to as the recapturing of the "African Personality". These together, create the foundation for a New African Vision and Global Community.

Given the above factors, a Rites of Passage program must, of necessity, not only respond to the aspirational needs of young African females, but must, at the same time, serve as a healing and correctives for past transgressions, many of which still remain significant factors in our historical memory. The following curricula may not exhaust the range of correctives, but does attempt to be a beginning point which can  be amended and/or revised to accomadate
time, conditions or circumstance.





PROGRAM:

1. Spiritual Orientation
Introduction to African Spiritual systems - Their basic philosophy, cosmology, tenets, rituals and practices. 
Kemet should be first, as it is the classical, and has should be greatly influenced many of the others thru migration patterns. Any combination after is at the discretion of the mentor or instructor, but should be inclusive of Yoruba, Zulu, Twa, Dogon, Ashanti, Maasai and Akhan. In group settings, groups can choose one and develop a skit, play, song or dance representing one system and value can be given by judges in a competitive framework.

2. Developing a Multi Dimensional Personality from an African Perspective -
    A. A stimulating introduction should be given to initiates in the areas of art, music, dance technology, architecture, storytelling (Griot art form), Languages ( learning at least one other African language), Poetry or Spoken Word, and Gardening.
    B. A basic knowledge of African history starting with local history, then  Punt, Kush, Kemet, Songhay, Mali and Ghana Empires, resistance to Slave Trade, Role of the Caribbean, Civil War, Reconstruction, Harlem Renaissance, Garvey Movement, the migrations and Paul Robeson, Civil Rights, Black Power and Black Arts Movements,A ry 
    C. A cursory survey of the Tribal Structures of Africa and other Indigenous African Descendant peoples in Diaspora (India, Caribbean, Australia, Americas, and Melanesian Islands - their organization, beliefs, practices, and rituals.

3. Social Skills
     A. Relationship training - The Spiritual dimension and context for a relationship, and it's relevance to community building. Responsibility of setting and adhering to community standards of behavior which reflect community values. Love-making as a spiritual pursuit, as opposed to merely a satisfaction of bodily urges (Sonbufu Some, "The Spirit of Intimacy"; Margo Anand "The Art of Sexual Ecstacy") Techniques can be taught and/or supervised by a Queen Mother.
     B. Role and Responsibility in Community building - 
earning the value and skill of building institutions in our communities, and linking them to a Pan African network where ideas, social practices  and goods can be exchanged. Establishing communications channels to other Pan African communities. This can be translated into mutually beneficial economic benefit by making it possible to market to each other. This marketing can also be expanded globally.
     C. Value Orientation for Community Building - 
The Foundational Principles for Community Building in the Pan African world, are the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa which are universally accepted by 50 Million African descendants worldwide (www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org). Mentors and Instructors can instruct on how to apply these principles in practical ways into our everyday lives, and those of initiates.
     D. Food Sovereignty and Health 
This area is so important for young women to know, because of the threat which major food companies pose to our food sources, our health and well being. As our ancient ancestors taught, "Food is our Medicine, and medicine is our food". OUr youth must be taught the value for protecting and preserving the soil of Africa against any foreign and/or alien invasion. To neglect this fact would alter food production in Africa for the next 1-2 hundred years, as the soil would be corrupted by GMO seeds and fertilizers. Additionally, an agrarian lifestyle provides the foundation for African culture, which is its most valuable asset.

4. Physical Development and Sports Programming for Females
    A. Sports programming on a Pan African level for females has yet to be defined or established, while the potential is great. While Soccer, Basketball, Baseball and Volleyball are standard sports, but we also have cultural sport, such as jumprope, martial arts, boxing, swimming, dance, etc. The old Negro Baseball League can be used as a model or prototype, only now, competition could be set up on a Pan African level and with the talent in the Pan African community, the revenues for such programs could help in building Pan African Universities, Theme Parks, Resorts, and Hospitals, Clinics and Health Clubs.
     B. For those young ladies who choose not to be involved in Team Sports, they should be introduced to Martial arts training, Kemetic Yoga, Meditation, Capioera, etc.
     C. Establish the value for daily forms of exercise, including running, bicycling, swimming, walking, stretching, pilates, etc.
      D. Survival and Disaster training to provide various forms of emergency services on the continent or anywhere in the world, upon request and/or demand.

5. Community Building and Orientation
     A. Training Cadres which can mobilize and organize block by block Block Clubs which can form the nucleus for the building of a National Assembly which will be comprised of representatives from every locality and region who unite to formulate policy and program, for development. This model can be transferred to any country, much like the Kenyan  Simba Wachanga model is being emulated by others.
     B. Formation of a Pan African and National Youth Corps which engages youth in productive activities which shape and build Civil Society. In addition to training for Disaster Relief, Youth Corps can establish Community Alert Patrols, do Senior Escort and Delivery Services, Community Clean, participate in political campaigns, conduct Science and STEM Fairs, etc.
      C. Regularly scheduled Field Trips to museums, book stores, Marketplaces, Zoos, Plays, Poetry Readings, Family Reunions, Planetariums, Camping, Expos, building Community Gardens, and Ecological trips to Forests, Oceans and Lakes.

6. Basic Education Skills and Tutoring
    A. In order to do well in college, Students must have proficiency in writing, basic math, reading and language skills. For the student about to enter college tutoring in these are would be helpful and in some cases, mandatory.
    B. Basic introduction to African languages, and seek to learn at least 1 other African language.
    C. African centered Architecture and efficiency in computer technology and communications in order to exchange news with other Africans around the world.
    D. Maatian Governance; and Matching Career Choices with the needs of community.

7. Personal Development
    A. Advancing the concept of Divine and Sacred Femininity and balancing it with 
being practical and functional in everyday life. Allowing the former to create a positive self concept, and that belonging to this sisterhood creates social family and a community which provides a global (Pan African) support system. 
    B. Building a Global Sisterhood which provides a Shield against abuse, rape, domestic violence and the Rights of Women to have decision making control over their bodies. This Sisterhood will be designed to provide support, counseling and/or shelter from any and all attacks against Womanhood, anywhere. Ka Meritah University will network with other such entities, worldwide which will engage strategies for women to become fully integrated into the social fabric in order to become equal partners in community building. This kind of networking is designed to enhance women's self concept, self confidence and reinforcement to make the kind of contribution to social construction of which they are capable of.

8. Economic Value Orientation
    A. How to develop, follow and evaluate a personal budget
    B. Understanding and appreciating the importance of a personal savings and investment strategies
    C. Practicing collective economic investment and/or wealth building strategies
    D. Understanding Triangular Trade and Commerce (Africa, Caribbean, North America, and other Diaspora communities)
    E. Cooperative Economics - Definition of and Orientation to the concept.
    F. Basic understanding of Micro and Macro Economic and Development Planning

9. Work Habits and Schedule
    A. How to plan, use and assess  a personal schedule. 
    B. Learning to set and accept responsibility for personal priorities
    C. Learning the concept and practice of collective decision making and community organizing to achieve collective goals and objectives.
     D. Learning Time management skills
     E. Learning how to balance home management, children, significant other, work, and relaxing/recreational time.

10. Spiritual Development
    A. Understanding the fundamental difference between Spiritual and Religious. Spiritual is an intense, emotional appreciation for the higher values which promote life, nourishment and development. Religion is just adherence and allegiance to a set code of conduct and tenets as defined by a dogma.
    B. Incorporating the arts of massage, Reiki, acupuncture, reflexology, and meditation in the process of becoming a full person and woman.

11. Incorporating a Study Abroad Program
      A. Especially in Africa and the Caribbean where our people own the land base, and the culture is the richest.



PROCESS

Ideally, where the budget will allow, each section should be taught by a specialist in each respective fields. Where only one or two are mentoring, never present yourself as a specialist in all areas, but state the main purpose is to stimulate interest in the initiates to learn and study on their own. Where possible set up competitions between groups of initiates, as this can have the effect of pushing initiates to their learning potential. Promote the concept that the New African Ascendent (Renaissance) Person, is one who is multi-dimensional, and one who promotes, protects and preserves the integrity of African Culture and Life. It is key, therefore, that the mentor or instructor have a list of minimal requirements which must be fulfilled in order for one to receive a Shahada (Certificate), and that a Graduation Ceremony and Celebration follow completion of the program. 

                               Copyright@Simbamaat Consultants, 2014
                                             
                                                   

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