Inclusivity

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Description

“I have been a head teacher for over 15 years but I really don’t know anything about Africa”. These were the surprising remarks made by a head teacher of one of the large academies in Newcastle upon Tyne.

In ‘The Future of Multi Ethnic Britain’, the Runnymede Trust (2000) reported that ‘Britain is and should remain a vibrant and democratic multicultural society that must combine respect for diversity with shared common values’.

However, many Africans (along with other minority ethnic groups) in the UK irrespective of their gender or profession have experienced some form of discrimination and/or racism in the society.

As the debate about the nature of multiculturalism in Britain rages on, and the UK prides itself as a multicultural society, it becomes inevitable that UK citizens should be willing to learn about the cultures, customs, traditions, values and beliefs of other ethnic groups in order to have a more cohesive and inclusive society.

This is the aim of KNOW AFRICA LOVE AFRICA Schools and Communities SHARED VALUE INITIATIVE (KALA-SAVI) which is being introduced by Book Aid for Africa (BAFA), a UK registered Charity that has been making a difference in the educational landscape in Africa for 10 years.

During this period, we have sent over 250,000 educational books to different countries in Africa. These books, which have been generously donated by individuals, schools and other organizations in the UK, have been used to equip desolate libraries across all levels of education (nursery, primary, secondary and tertiary institutions) in Africa, and have made a substantial contribution in the quality of educational provision in different African communities.

An important landmark of this 10th Anniversary is the launch of Know Africa – Love Africa Schools and Communities Shared Value Initiative (KALA-SAVI) to help advance the education of people in schools and local communities and increase their knowledge, understanding, appreciation and tolerance of other cultures, customs and traditions, especially of people from African descent. Through this initiative we are reciprocating the support we have received from schools, communities and other organizations in the UK, and promoting inclusivity and societal cohesion.

One of Britain's strengths is its diversity. We cannot have cultural diversity without tackling inequalities. We believe that a better understanding of Africans, their customs and values will minimise inequalities and increase tolerance.

How do we intend to do this? It is through the love of football, a sport that has become the world’s most prominent, and which plays an important role in society and culture, and to which all levels of society can relate.

Incidentally, the number of African footballers in the different leagues has increased over the years, and it is also one of those sports in which racism has featured prominently. There are currently 27 African players in the Premier League, 24 in the Championship, 13 in League One, 8 in League Two and 7 in the National League. These players represent 17 countries in Africa.

Using the football players as an avenue, we will be able to teach about the history of their countries, their cultures, customs, traditions, beliefs and values.

The Aviva Community Fund will enable us get this project started. We have a number of schools interested in this. The fund will enable us to acquire different materials (arts, books, crafts, clothes, food, etc) in relation to all the African countries, in addition to items that will be used for presentations, workshops and demonstrations in schools and local communities. The fund will also enable us pay for the expenses of volunteers who would visit local schools and community interest groups in the 12 local education authorities (with over 940 schools) in the North East of England, as well as the remuneration of a part time administrator that will help to coordinate and manage the initiative.

Book Aid for Africa (BAFA)

Location: Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom

This project is exciting because it has the potential to promote inclusivity in the UK through using Britain's love of football to educate on tolerance of other cultures & societal cohesiveness that would otherwise be difficult for people especially the younger generation to grasp.
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