March For Freedom Against Slavery in Libya and Beyond

 
Coalition of organizations and supporters that is uniting the citizens of Massachusetts, civil society leaders, and all those who are against the enslavement of African migrants in Libya and beyond …

 

Boston, Massachusetts – Saturday, December 16th 2017 !

Africans in Boston led a coalition of organizations and engaged citizens to denounce the situation of African migrants in Libya and beyond by marching in Boston on Saturday, December 16th 2017. The event was part of  number of strategies to bring awareness around the issue and to propose solutions !

Link:  www.marchforfreedom.us

The following manifesto was drafted and signed by all participants of the march:

The Preamble:

The ‘March for Freedom’ is an inclusive social movement formed from a coalition of organizations and supporters that is uniting the citizens of Massachusetts, civil society leaders, and all those who are against the enslavement of African migrants in Libya and beyond. The ‘March for Freedom’ movement is based in Boston, MA., we organize our communities, mobilize our supporters and raise awareness through all forms of media in order to pressure those with the power to  remedy the Slavery situation into   action.

It has been established that African migrants are currently being enslaved and traded by criminal elements operating in Libya and these unfortunate souls have been the victims of barbaric forms of abuse in many locations along the Mediterranean Sea. We, the organizers and supporters of the ‘March for Freedom’ strongly condemn the practice of slavery and advocate for a world free of slavery.

The enslavement of Africans in Libya and beyond is a human rights issue that violates the following UN conventions:

Universal Declaration of Human Rights in its Article 4 states, “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms;”

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in its Article 8 states, “No one shall be held in slavery; slavery and the slave-trade in all their forms shall be prohibited,” “No one shall be held in servitude,” and “No one shall be required to perform forced or compulsory  labor;”

Our Goal:

We, the coalition of organizers and supporters of the ‘March for Freedom’, have set a goal to eradicate slavery in all its forms, bring all culprits of the slave trade to justice, address the root causes driving the slave trade and provide the much-needed support to the victims of the modern-day slave   trade.

Our Demands:

We, the coalition of organizers and supporters of the ‘March for Freedom’, demand for all parties, International Organizations including the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, Multi­ national corporations, the governments of the United States of America , all other Governments and their elected officials to increase efforts to condemn the practice of slavery, bring to justice all individuals engaged to justice, implement local, national and international strategies to resolve the root causes of economic migrants and provide substantial support for the  victims.

Our Pledge

We, the coalition of organizations and supporters signed below, hereby pledge our solidarity to the Manifesto of the ‘March for Freedom’, and agree to:

  • Work within the agreed ‘March for Freedom’ organizational structure and by-laws.
  • Remain vigilant in our efforts to monitor, pressure and hold to account all actors in the slave trade as we progress towards our
  • Maintain inclusive, professional & innovative branding for the ‘March for Freedom’.
  • Advocate tirelessly for those affected by Slavery.

We, the coalition of organizers and supporters of the ‘March for Freedom’, now and forever march for Freedom, Equality and Justice for all.

 

    

AiB inks new partnership with Wave

Boston, Massachusetts – 11.30.2017

On Nov 20th 2017 , AiB  Executive  Director Jeff Siaw sat down with Wave Ghana Director Of Growth Jessica  Wamala to discuss partnering up to support Africans in the diaspora. The conversation centered around remittances and  how the wave app could make that process fast and cheap for Africans in the US, Canada an the UK.

Wave  is an App that helps send money to Ghana, Kenya. Uganda and Tanzania. Within thirty seconds the recipient can pick up the money at a mobile money location in their home country. In Ghana recipients must be MTN or Tigo users to be able to receive the money transferred.

Today over 100,000 diasporans choose wave to send money to Africa since competitors like Western Union, Moneygram and Vigo charge the sender a higher fee.

Wave will be giving first time users a $5 bonus when they use the Africans in Boston promo code “AiB” during the process of their first money transfer.

Dinner with Mayors and members of Parliament from G5 Sahel countries

Dinner in Cambridge with Mayors and members of Parliament from G5 Sahel countries ( Chad, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania) and with Cambridge Police Commissioner Dr. Branville G. Bard, Jr. and Parents Forum founder Eve Sullivan and AiB President Voury Ignegongba

Cambridge, Massachusetts – Tuesday, November 7th 2017

As part of the State Department International Visitor Leadership Program: Empowering Communities to Combat Violent Extremism, Mayors from G5 Sahel countries ( Chad, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania) were invited at a house dinner in Cambridge, Massachusetts hosted by Parents Forum founder Eve Sullivan and co-hosted by AiB President Voury Ignegongba. Cambridge Police Commissioner Dr. Branville G. Bard made a brief appearance to meet the representatives from Africa.

The dinner’s agenda was to foster cultural understandings and bridge the Gap between Africans and the World through strategic development and educational initiatives.

 

 

AiB Executives attend CAF America Diaspora Summit in Washington, DC

   
Washington,DC – Thursday November 2nd 2017 to Friday November 3rd 2017

AiB President Voury Ignegongba and AiB Executive Director Jeff Siaw attended the CAF America Diaspora Summit in the nation’s capital from Thursday November 2nd 2017 to Friday November 3rd 2017 ! The summit was organized by CAF America in partnership with Boston University Pardee School of Global Studies African Studies Center represented by research associate and lecturer Daivi Rodima-Taylor.

Founded in 1992, Charities Aid Foundation of America ( CAF America) is a US 501(c)(3) public charity whose mission is to make giving internationally safe, easy, and effective for US donors. To accomplish this mission, CAF America streamlines the global grantmaking process, reducing risk, reputational exposure and administrative burden, while at the same time enabling its clients to make strategic, cost effective, and tax-advantages grants. CAF America provides global reach as a member of the CAF Global Alliance, with offices and partner organizations in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, India, Russia, Bulgaria, South Africa and Brazil. CAF America makes an average of 1,500 grants annually, totaling more than $300 million since 2001 alone, to legitimate organizations in over 90 countries around the world. CAF America works with many types of donors including individuals, corporations, and foundations, offering a wide array of international grantmaking and advisory services.

The event brought together a broad array of Diaspora organizations to explore different models and partnerships to further advance their respective agendas!

    

Kinga Ile – Vice President, Thought Leadership and Communications, CAF America
Jeff Siaw – AiB Executive Director
Voury Ignegongba AiB President

 

Hakuna Sundays at Suya Joint Nigerian Restaurant on October 22nd 2017

Boston, Massachusetts – 10.26.2017
On October 22nd, Hakuna Sundays took place at Suya Joint Nigerian Restaurant located at 185 Dudley Street in Boston. A eclectic crowd of 30+ from places such Malawi, Algeria, US, Chad, Niger, Mali, Ghana, Togo, Congo, Nigeria, Senegal, Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and France attended the event. Namalimwe Ward Councillor Getrude Chirambo from Malawi was among the guests as she was visiting Boston to garner support for a Senior Center initiative in her district in Malawi. The event gave an opportunity to Diaspora members and area residents to enjoy various appetizers, meals and drinks on the Suya Joint restaurant menu. It provided also an opportunity to meet venue owner Cecila Lizotte who is an inspiring entrepreneur.

Boston’s 7th Annual African Festival

Saturday 29th July was marked by the colorful celebration of music, food and culture from different countries on the African continent. Boston was privileged to enjoy the 7th Annual African Festival presented by the Shalupe Foundation. With performances by Georgette Adjie from Cameroon, and a special appearance by Miss Africa New England, Sabrina Ali, the Greenway Park was bustling with art and wonder.

Vendors from Worcester were selling beautiful, handmade attire from Zimbabwe, Cape Verdean jewelry makers were beckoning with their shiny merchandize, the calming whiff of  African black soap, natural shea butter, essential oils, and of course the mouth watering and tantalizing spicy food from Africa. Congolese fried plantain, Cameroonian Beignets and beans, and Jollof were all present, vying for the attention of hungry buyers.

Members of AiB were in attendance to participate in the day’s festivities, interacting with people of African descent, and lovers of different African cultures.


Elisa Miranda and Flossy Azu, Events Manager and Communications Manager of AiB enjoying the event

The festival was well attended

 

Author:  Flossy Azu, AiB Communications Manager 

Audiofrica Music App Launches

Music is a beautiful part of African culture and lifestyle, hence, a lot of Africans have cultivated a passion for, and find joy in music. Sharing in the music that unites Africans, across the globe, is the vision behind Appsfrica,’s mobile music App and online music platform, Audiofrica.

The first of its kind, Audiofrica is a music platform which brings Afro and Afro-Caribbean music from well known and beginning artists to its listeners. Being fully comprehensive, engaging and easy to use, the app possesses a number of unique features in its design. Not only does it contain a plethora of music, and podcasts, it also allows its users to stream music videos, and utilizes both text and voice search features.

Audiofrica is the go-to app for live streaming thousands of African radio stations, to listen, buy, and download songs and albums as well as chat with artists and other users.

The nonprofit arm of the app, Audiofrica Cares will be giving a portion of generated revenue to feeding the homeless, both in the local communities and in Africa. Speaking on this venture, the founders touched on the spirit behind AudiofricaCares, the victims of the Sierra Leonean civil war, many of whom still struggle today.

Getting to be a part of the star studded Launch Party night at the Hibernian Hall, AiB enjoyed performances and music by CodeWine Deejays

                                 

AiB Communications Manager, Flossy Azu and Executive Director, Jeff Siaw with a few of the founding members of Audiofrica

 

Author:  Flossy Azu, AiB Communications Manager 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

 

Miss Africa New England Beauty Pageant, 2017

The contestants of the 2017 Miss Africa New England
From left to right: Miss Ghana, Miss Liberia, Miss Mali, Miss Nigeria, Miss Somalia and Miss Congo

On Saturday, the 15th of July, Africans in Boston had the pleasure of attending the Miss Africa New England Awareness beauty pageant, which was put together by Miss Africa New England-USA Org, and held at the Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts. The aim of the pageant being to unite young women of African descent, in order to empower them, and to unite members of the African Diasporan community to address issues they face. Additionally, the pageant will be used as a platform to organize community activities, events and service projects to support and assist the underprivileged Africa and in the New England area.

This year’s pageant was geared towards raising awareness of mental health, and the winner of the pageant, serves as the ambassador educating people on mental health, especially  in the African community. In addition to creating awareness, the winner of the pageant will be assisting the organization to implement basic health care benefits, infrastructure and education amenities and creating unity and networking opportunities within the African Diaspora community.

The eight beauty queens represented countries from Africa, which they trace their heritage to, and they participated in different segments, including a talent segment where the queens showcased some of their best work. The hall was abuzz with electrifying spoken word pieces and captivating performances as the ladies kept the audience enthralled with beauty, brains, and composure.


Miss Nigeria preparing for the talent section of the pageant

The judges critically considered each participant’s articulation, pride, demeanor and contribution to the community, as the criteria for the competition. This seemed to be an easy feat for the contestants who showcased the best of themselves on the stage before the bustling audience of about 300 attendees. Kayla Ezeama- Nigeria, Amanda Kuffoh- Ghana, Judith Lushike- Democratic Republic of Congo, Karelle Sylla- Cote d’Ivoire, Musu Yengbeh- Liberia, Sabrina Ali- Somalia, Prisci Mwanza Zambia and Korotoumou Dienta of Mali were the breathtaking contestants, displaying their national cultural richness.

At 4pm on Saturday afternoon, the doors opened with the red carpet event and the night was underway! The success of this pageant holds a lot of significance in the local Diasporan community because mental health is a crucial issue that affects many people. However, mental health is seldom addressed in African communities, so the topic is little understood as it is treated as taboo.

This year, Africans in Boston (AiB) was honored to be a part of the VIP invitees to the pageant. Impressed by MANE-USA’s important work in the community, especially where there is alignment with AiB’s own mission of empowering members of the African Diaspora through creating opportunities for beneficial networking.


Miss Ghana, doing her spoken word piece for the Talent Section


Miss Ghana Somalia presenting a piece on Mental Health stigma in the community


Miss Mali presenting a piece during the pageant


Miss Congo captivating the crowd with her presence

The night was marked with beautiful young ladies showcasing their intellect, their public speaking skills, issues that they are passionate about, and aspects of their culture.


First Runner Up (Miss Ghana), Second Runner Up (Miss Zambia) of the Miss Africa pageant with the 2017 Winner of the Pageant

At the end of the night, Miss Somalia, Sabrina Ali was crowned Miss Africa New England. Along with her crown, she received a modelling contract, and eligibility to compete in the Miss Africa USA contest. Becoming the ambassador in the community, she will raise awareness on mental health among the African Diaspora, helping to educate people and change notions that currently exist. The beliefs among the community now prevent people from seeking professional help they need because of the stigma that exists surrounding mental health, and people viewing them as evil or cursed. Sabrina Ali, the 2017 Miss Africa New England will be talking on early intervention, and treatment ad the importance of support groups to assist people who are struggling with poor mental health.


Jeff Siaw, AiB Executive Director with Miss Somalia, who won the pageant


Miss Africa New England 2017, with First runner Up, the MCs for the Night, Obayaa Ajeiwaa and MC Omo

Author:  Flossy Azu, AiB Communications Manager 

 

 

 

 

 

 

African Health Cup 2017


Delicious food, great matches and body moving music, were the order of the day

On Saturday the 15th of July, the 8th Annual African Health Cup was held at Cawley Stadium, Lowell, where twelve teams representing African countries played for the coveted title of champion.

The event was put together by Africans For Improved Access (AFIA) and the Multicultural AIDS Coalition (MAC), and their sponsors and partners, like Lowell Community Health Center, which was providing free and confidential health screening.

Food vendors, selling famous African cuisine like jollof, fried plantains, and goat stew, and vendors making signature smoothies made the event a fun filled and family friendly affair. Various community groups were also present, engaging the crowds with information about goods and services that they provide and how they are available to the community.

The crowds were entertained by Afrobeats and Afro-Caribbean sounds provided by DJ Emteezy, who played an array of current hits, and old school from all over the continent.


Leadership of AiB at the 2017 African Health Cup


Ghanaian Members of the AiB Leadership Team with the Ghana Worcester Soccer Team

Members of the African Diaspora, Africans and friends of Africa were present at the event, meeting each other, connecting and participating in fun-filled activities that brought them closer giving them an opportunity to learn about different ways in which they can be supportive.

Africans in Boston garnered a good group of new members with skills in the financial, technology and the social benefit worlds. These new members were excited to get to know more about the organization and build forward the mission of AiB.

Flags of Africa

More Flags of Africa

 

Authors/Contributors:  Flossy Azu, AiB Communications Manager – Joshua Mendes-Yesufu, AiB IT Manager