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November 10, 2005

African American-Kenyan Women’s Interconnect

My friend LueRachelle Brim-Atkins is part of a local group of women who travel to Kenya regularly as part of a “cultural reconnection mission”.   The group, called AAKEWO, African American-Kenyan Women’s Interconnect, go to Africa to build relationships, talk with their African sisters in Kenya and, as they say on their website, “repair the disconnect caused when ancestors of today’s African-Americans were taken from their homes and families to work as slaves in America.” 

They go as women and focus on building relationships with women because “women generally take on the role of custodians of the culture and serve to transmit culture to their families and to the next generation.”  A bit more from their website:

Past cultural reconnection missions have ventured to the international metropolitan center of Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya; as well as the ancient trading town of Mombasa, at the edge of the Indian Ocean. We have spent time in Western Kenya at the shores of Lake Victoria, the largest fresh water lake in the world and the majestic Kakamega rain forest in the interior of the country.  We have explored the ancestral homelands in small rural villages rich with history and culture. Along the way to our destinations we have viewed some of the natural breath-taking sights of Kenya, such as the Great Rift Valley, Kit Mikai Stone formations, and of course, wild life adventures in internationally acclaimed animal safari parks. We have also had plenty of time to relax and shop at various stops along the way.

There was also a great write-up in the Seattle Times about these women and their missions prior to a trip they made this spring.

I have heard about this cultural reconnection mission twice through LueRachelle and her friends and thought I might want to share the beauty of this project.  I was prompted to do so now by an invitation I received this week to go to a Holiday Bazaar and look at and buy hand-made cards and other handicrafts that the women involved in AAKEWO will offer for sale this Saturday, November 12, 10:00 - 5:00 at the First AME Holiday Bazaar.  Address is 1522 14th Avenue, Seattle, the Leona B. Jones Fellowship Hall. You are welcome to come do some holiday shopping as well.  Proceeds will benefit their projects in Kenya, which include providing books for a school library, showers for an orphanage as well as scholarships, water tanks and solar-energy technology.

I'll be sharing more about this mission in an interview with LueRachelle sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Posted by Lynn Allen on November 10, 2005 at 10:24 AM in Washington Culture | Permalink

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Comments

I listened to representatives of your organisation being interveiwed on Radio victoria in Kisumu Kenya on 25th march 2007 and was impreseed and amazed with the work African women in diaspora are contributing towards supporting women initiataed projects supporting children in Kenya.

We have a women group in the interior of siaya district nyanza province in kenya reaching out to the OVC especially education of children how can we get connected to you?

Posted by: Rozilla Adhiambo Isalambo | Mar 25, 2007 2:53:19 AM

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