It takes a village | CRY Forum 2024Africa
In 2023, following several conversations and surveys amongst our project partners in Africa, in faith, we have decided to pilot an Educational forum for African educators in West Africa. The forum gathered leaders from across 8 nations and it was held in Conakry, Guinea. The concept behind this forum is that it was led 100% by local and native African leaders or long-term overseas workers. We gathered the expertise from our partners in different areas (micro-finance, orphanages, schools, street children ministries), and these delivered workshops to other partners working in the same field across West Africa.
As a charity, based in the UK, we do not have the full knowledge, experience, or understanding of the various African dynamics, cultures, and ways of operating. And therefore, who else is better than leaders on the ground to share good practices, teach, educate, and shape one another?
The first forum was an amazing gathering. Following the success of the pilot forum and the tangible outcome that emerged in the lives of our partners and their beneficiaries - in faith, we decided to go again in 2024 - but this time, we have invited all our partners and friends across Sub-Sahara Africa.
We will be all gathering in Nairobi, Kenya in May 2024.
Below is a moving article written by Gotname Bitrus-Ibrahim CRY's project partner in Nigeria regarding the upcoming forum and its ethos.
It takes a village
In the heart of Africa, where the sun kisses the earth each morning, there exists a timeless wisdom that has been passed down through generations. It is a wisdom encapsulated in the words of a famous African proverb: "It takes a village to raise a child." These words, woven into the very fabric of African culture, speak to the essential truth that the upbringing of a child is a collective endeavor. It speaks of unity, collaboration, and the power of the community in nurturing the next generation. Yet as we gather in the vibrant city of Nairobi, we seek to expand upon this wisdom. We believe that the nurturing of Africa's children requires not just a village, but a cross-continental community of educationalists and leaders, both from within the continent and those who have traveled from distant lands to lend their expertise.
In every corner of Sub-Saharan Africa, from the verdant plains to the bustling urban centers, we are drawn together by a shared purpose – to shape and raise the next generation of African children. We understand that the challenges and opportunities facing today's child are as diverse as the landscapes they inhabit. To address these multifaceted needs, we must leverage the collaborative knowledge, experience, and vision of a wide-ranging network of educators, thought leaders, and change makers.
As we come together in Nairobi, we do so not merely as participants, but as partnerrs in a collaborative journey. This humanitarian conference serves as the pot where our ideas simmer, our experiences merge, and our resolve fortifies. We recognize that the nurturing of young minds demands an ecosystem of support, one that transcends borders and embraces diversity. It is within this rich mosaic of perspectives that innovative approaches are born and transformative solutions take root.
It is important to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of those among us who have devoted their lives to the education and empowerment of Africa's youth. Their perseverance, knowledge, and passion have been instrumental in shaping the aspirations and potential of countless children. Simultaneously, we extend our gratitude and welcome to the long-term overseas educationalists and leaders who, through their experiences abroad, bring a global perspective and fresh insights to the table.
In the spirit of unity and shared learning, we converge in Nairobi, eager to lead, share, and teach one another. The exchange of ideas and best practices becomes the fertile ground from which innovation blossoms. Each voice, with its unique cadence and resonance, enriches the symphony of possibilities that we collectively orchestrate for the benefit of Africa's children.
Our mission, as stewards of the next generation, demands boldness and resilience. It calls for open dialogue and a commitment to continuous improvement. Through harnessing the collective expertise of this cross-continental community, we aim to unlock the untapped potential that lies within every child across Sub-Saharan Africa.
The humanitarian conference in Nairobi represents more than a mere gathering; it symbolizes a convergence of purpose and a celebration of our shared humanity. Here, amidst the energizing pulse of this dynamic city, an air of optimism and transformation permeates the atmosphere. It is a call to action, an invitation to ignite change, and a commitment to ensure that our children inherit a world brimming with promise and opportunity.
As the days unfold and discussions unfurl, let us embrace the thought-stimulating and empowering nature of this collective endeavor. Let us be fortified by the knowledge that as a community of educationalists and leaders, we hold within our hands the power to mold the destinies of the next generation.
In closing, let us heed the words of the African proverb – "It takes a village to raise a child" – and expand our village to encompass a cross-continental community. In this shared vision, we find the path to nurturing, shaping, and empowering the future leaders, innovators, and custodians of Africa's rich tapestry.