The elders’ reception is the first of several events highlighting the ‘Rites of Passage’ programmes scheduled to take place in London and other UK cities throughout 2007. The programmes are based on an African ‘coming of age’ tradition which is founded on providing strong, compassionate discipline to youngsters, encouraging them to support themselves and gain self respect in society.
The speakers will lead workshops, designed to strengthen African orientated communities, in schools and neighbourhood centres. They will also lecture at conferences and feature on radio and television programmes.
Workshops will be offered to different sectors of the community separately and include sessions for all male, all female and older groups. Topics covered will incorporate confidence building, trust, relationships, challenging shame and low self esteem, understanding cultural differences and how to work together as a community for a better future. A celebration to bring friends and families together will take place at the end of each series of events.
Glenor Roberts, partner, says: “As adults of African descent, we have to consider how much guidance we can give to young people without breaking their spirit and while still allowing them to define themselves. Over the years, the right to discipline them in an effective manner has been gradually taken away from us by the state. We cannot afford to be hands-off with their discipline when, in our hearts, we too are dissatisfied with how they conduct themselves. We need to contribute to this society and be proud of our contribution.”
As a result of high demand, an additional half day seminar for teachers, social workers, carers, mentors and other practitioners working with families and young people from the African and African American communities will take place on 27 November, 2006, at the London Voluntary Service Resource Centre, 356 Holloway Road, London N7 6PA. This additional seminar will cost £25.00 GBP per delegate and will run between 9:30am to 1pm. Places are limited and booking is recommended.
Events taking place next year include: Elders Certification Programme, 29 November-2 December, 2007; Youth Females, Friday 7 – 9 December, 2007; Youth Males, 7 – 9 December, 2007; and Community Celebration, 9 December, 2007.