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OUR
MISSION

Ensure the unification of the African and Caribbean Communities in Milton Keynes and the wider UK Areas.

Stronger Together.

The African and Caribbean Arts & Heritage Union (ACAHU) was brought together by Mike Kasibo of GOFMKn in 2019 by the belief that we are stronger together, especially but not limited to residents of greater Milton Keynes (MK). Evidence based tells us that the UK based African and Caribbean communities more especially young people, experience similar challenges (knife and gun crime, identity, indefinite suspension from schools, NEET category, under achieving, bullying etc) which could be solved easily through working together. The drive is also aimed at addressing issues such as representation, inclusion and recognising the contribution of black people in the UK, through black history month. The Union was also formed to promote the black lives matter and social justice movement. The UK has always embraced diversity and therefore the Union was formed to support all young people across MK to develop their sense of identity, culture, self-worth, confidence, motivation and practical life skills through our projects such as the carnival.

 

It is also worth noting that for so long, there have been existing internal differences between African and Caribbean communities, stemming from slave trade. These differences are reflected in the division that exists between young people of African and Caribbean descent. In trying to bridge the gap, many organisations labelled themselves as “Afro-Caribbean” to represent people from the Caribbean region while African organisations always represent individual African countries ONLY. Throughout history it is evident that the approach of working in isolation does not bring unity, on the contrary, it has caused division and increased knife and gun crime, lack identity, self-worth and lack of a sense of belonging amongst young black people. Evidence also shows that the challenges faced by black and mixed heritage young people of African and Caribbean heritage are the same and hence the need to use a collaborative approach. Therefore, for the first time ever, the two long separated communities are coming together as a beacon of hope under African and Caribbean Arts & Heritage Foundation with strong beliefs that:

 

  1. It takes a community to raise a child.

  2. Just like a tree, we all need our roots to grow.

  3. Young people form images of themselves through reference to those around them.

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26.3%

of MK is BME

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181/354

MK ranking in the index of multiple deprivation

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20.2%

of children living in poverty

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170+

children at risk of joining gangs

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16

died to gang violence between 2011-2019

We aim to achieve unification of the African and Caribbean Communities through the delivery of the following Objectives:

The advancement of Education  

Our focus is on the development of an enhanced support learning framework to re-engage disadvantaged, excluded or marginalised children under 18 within the community back into formal education by engendering:

 

  • positive attitudes to learning and educational engagement through the development of identity, self-awareness, self-esteem, and effective communication skills to enable positive socialising,

 

  • positive identity and confidence reinforcement through cultural appreciation and heritage awareness,

 

  • the development of greater mental/ emotional, physical, and moral resilience, through training, mentoring, the encouragement of critical thinking to increase confidence and engagement in curricula education.

Provision of relief and enabling pathways for the marginalised or persons in need within the community

We will focus on the provision of relief for persons within the community who have been marginalised or are in need because of disadvantages posed by personal situations related to youth, age, ill-health, disability,  financial hardship or other disadvantages such as situations that may arise from natural disaster events – (COVID-19)

 

We exercise this charitable object through our public outreach, community engagement activities and online forums to provide support and to offer pathways for reintegration into the community.

The advancement of community development

An important aspect of community development is a collective focus on developing pathways to build resilience, reduce inequalities, promote positive self-identity and create a sense of belonging and value in the fabric of nation building.

 

We enable this object through community programmes  and activities delivered through a transmedia approach, which through its many formats, enables a wider dissemination of knowledge and appreciation of heritage and also promotes the celebration of the many components which underpin the diversity of the community through different communication modalities.

 

Our activities help communities to develop a greater understanding and appreciation of the inherent value and multifaceted nature of its cultural diversity and heritage.

 

These include carnivals and festivals and historical lectures which communicate significant aspects of heritage and history, promote and celebrate cultural diversity, encourage intergenerational participation and inclusion, as well as engender a greater sense of belonging.