At African Friendship Society we believe that we all deserve to experience the real story of Africa and its people without prejudice or discrimination. We bring communities together through the celebration of joy, friendship and African arts and culture. We are especially committed to serving our black and African communities.
Africa is the birthplace of a rich cultural heritage. The African Friendship Society aims to showcase the rich cultural and artistic diversity among local African communities and promote unity around a shared cultural identity, while building a bridge and extending the hand of friendship to all other cultures to create a more culturally educated, accepting and inclusive Canadian and global community, in British Columbia and beyond.
Our mandate is to educate while entertaining, to promote mental and emotional well-being for all, social inclusion and community engagement and connectedness through African arts, and help build self-esteem and empowerment within the African community (especially the youth) through positive cultural identification. We also provide opportunities for people of all backgrounds to learn about and experience African culture, values, history and traditions in friendship and mutual respect, while embracing and celebrating diversity. Our offerings are in French and English (and soon in Swahili), and are especially suited for:
· Children (especially the children of the African diaspora, of mixed relationships and of African descent who have been adopted by non-African parents) - they are *our primary audience*
· Persons with disabilities (our culture teaches us to embrace all souls)
· The Village (i.e. families and the community at large)
To empower, spread joy and honor our heritage through the cultivation of authentic friendship with all, and the acknowledgement and celebration of the value, dignity and diversity of African cultures and traditions through artistic, social, cultural and educational projects, events, workshops, festivals and activities.
We hold a vision of a Canadian society that enjoys, appreciates and celebrates the value and contribution of people of African descent, where all African communities are successfully and happily living the Canadian dream while freely and proudly preserving and sharing their rich heritage.
· We believe in the value of cultural contribution and the positive impact of a strong and healthy cultural identity for the well-being of individuals of all ages. It’s especially important for African people to be reminded of the positive impact of their heritage and contribution in Canadian society, whether they are perceived to be “successful” or not, and regardless of the widely spread misconceptions about “poor Africa”.
· We believe in Inter-connectedness, i.e. we are not separate from one another (including nature), which fosters a greater sense of collective responsibility and care.
· We believe in Respect and Dignity for everyone regardless of their “net worth”, especially for the elders.
· We believe that people can be united and empowered through African arts & culture.
Our approach is rooted in traditional values of unity, friendship, community and inter-connectedness, and on age-old wisdom from indigenous cultures, that are suitable for our modern world.
Our intention is to:
· Bridge the gap of multiculturalism by extending the hand of friendship to all individuals and all cultures
· Identify and unite the various African communities of GV and BC, through the arts
· Educate our local community and beyond about the cultural diversity of Africa, through the arts
· Support and empower individuals and communities of African descent in creating a Canadian experience that is firmly rooted in a strong and positive cultural identity
· Assist African artists in their efforts to share and promote their traditional art & culture
· Spread joy
What we do
· Cultural and Artistic Education
· Community, Connection and Entertainment
· Self-Growth, Wellbeing and Support
We invite you to come and discover Africa the way Africans experience their own culture!
For us, hospitality is a way of life, so rest assured that you will be welcomed like family at all our events, and received in celebration. Join us at our next event.