Open letter to Tony and Christie (Facilitators of Makers Lab at the ISL)
Tony ad Christie,
Just wanted to say thanks you for doing such an excellent job at sharing “maker culture” and your time and interest in doing workshops and working with us in solidarity. Your work has added an interesting dynamic to the idea of community development work and social justice work and has given us a new understanding about how technology can be integrated into community development work. I think technology and making things is an important component of working with people now because it is a lot of the world we live in. Technology is also important because it helps us to imagine our world as different or better. Designing making and repairing are a necessary part of a liberation practice. And liberation is our essential fmission. Bless and love
“Miss what Africa look like?” She leaned over the table waiting for my answer. I told her it was beautiful. She asked me like where? I could see she really wanted to know and although I was pleased I was surprised.
A few months earlier this little girl and a few other children who came to the Di Institute for Social Leadership (ISL) were distressed about the rumors that we were going to take them to Africa. They said they wanted to talk to me and settle this matter. Was I taking them to Africa? They did not want to go. They did not like Africa because it was full of people who would eat children, take them away from their parents and kill them. It was full of starving people. After a long conversation with them, listening to their fears explaining that I was not trying to take them to Africa, but I have been there and I am African and I love Africa, they slowly stopped coming. So I was surprised when I saw them again that evening and the little girl whispered to me “Miss, what Africa look like?”
Her question is all I could think about for the rest of the evening. How could I tell her more? There must be others like her who want to know. Little girls and boys who have the same question. Little African Girls and Boys living in Jamaica who didn’t know what Africa looked like expect what the adults told them if they did tell them anything or what they saw in some Nigerian films. There must be more children out there with the same curiosity.
I decided I was going to show them photos. I thought that I could collect photos about Africa and create an exhibition. An exhibition about Africa, especially for children. We could call the exhibition “Looking at Africa”.
For those who couldn’t come to the exhibition at the ISL we would take the exhibition to them, maybe libraries maybe schools.
The exhibition will open on Monday Feb 2, 2015 at Di Institute for Social Leadership and continue running throughout the years in different locations.
We are asking people who live work or travel to Africa and who have photographs to contribute them to the exhibition.
You can be a part of the exhibition by submitting your photos of Africa to firstname.lastname@example.org or telling us if you would want to give a talk our presentation about Africa during the exhibition.
For more information
Afifa Badiliko Aza – Creative Director and Co-founder
tel: (876) 799-0102
Di Institute for Social Leadership( ISL) was started in December 2013. After one year we decided to ask Uche Onobe his thoughts on the space and to share with us what the space means to him.
This week we are doing registrations for learners for a CXC Mathematics, English and Reading Programme at the Institute for Social Leadership. CXC or the Caribbean Examination Council is the certifying body for Regional examinations. It is the most basic requirement for acquiring a a job and gaining admission into colleges or Universities locally.
Many students graduate from High School without any CXCs and often struggle to get some after or end up having much more limited options for employment because of this lack.
At Di Institute we thought that if we were able to provide them with an opportunity to do CXC subjects, at a minimum Maths and English we would be helping them to open opportunities for employment and further studies.
As we began registration I became more puzzled by the situation and began to question our decision to offer Maths and English or even my view that CXC provided a solution.
We have been talking to youth 14-22yrs and this is what we have been understanding;
Are we trapping youths like these in a cycle of poverty with CXC preparation and qualification for these jobs?
So as early as 16yrs old youth are prepared to go and find a job.
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