African Family Cultural Festival: Peace and family were the key words

The first edition of African family Cultural Festival was held in April 28th, 2019 in Manhattan (New York) and was initiated by Universal Peace Federation (UPF) USA and African Diaspora Ambassadors for Peace.

The event focusing on peace, was also an opportunity for UPF to appoint a dozen of new ambassadors of peace among them Mory Kouyate the chairman of African Immigrants’ Commission of New York and Connecticut, and Marceline Lynn Tenakoua Areyerehoue of Femmes Sans Frontiere.

The different nominees are from Burkina Faso, Benin, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Togo …

“We are beyond of the illusion of boundaries,” said Dr. Kone Drissa executive director of UPF USA African Affairs as he pictures the world as one family. “We are making a covenant to become a tribe to support the nuclear family,” he said.

Talking about peace, Dr. Taj Hamad vice president of UPF International has focused his speech on the recently visit of Pope Francis in Sudan in Africa where he has kissed the feet of some religious leaders as he has appealed them to stop the fight. “That is a kind of understanding we need,” Dr Hamad said and adding that peace has to start from the individual, the family and the community.

Reverend Ricardo de Sena who appointed the new ambassadors of peace see them as people who are going to “contribute to the fulfilment of a unified world of peace.”

Because the gathering was about family, two speakers have developed two important topics related to family.

“Hybrid education for better upbringing for the African children” was the first topic and the speaker was Dr. Aluya who highlighted the advantages and disadvantages of a kind of education for African children who live in the U.S. In this very difficult clash of culture, Dr. Aluya concludes that “the one who does not know his story is like a branch that does not know it is a part of a tree.”

“Family beliefs and community values: A closer look at the African immigrant families,” was the topic developed by Dr. Kani Diop, professor at Montclair University New Jersey. She said they are approximately 2.5 million African immigrants in the United States of America and they are come in different ways legally or undocumented. And they are three types of immigrants: Highly skilled professional, refugees or asylees and undocumented immigrants.

The truth is they all come for the American dream, which has its mystery and surprises.

Ms. Annick Capet Bakou, Consul general Ivory Coast, and Bagname Simpara, adviser Mali Permanent Mission were also there to support the appointees.

It was also a time of joy as people danced and sung as African artists played music and other musical instruments.

As the first edition was a success, the initiators are ready for a second edition. “We are going to do it again,” said Dr. Kone who was very thankful to Khady Racidat Kone Diaby and Mamourou Cisse for making the event great as they work hard to make that happens.  

By Bazona Barnabe Bado

Here are the appointees:

Lord Elyphase Seka

Lynn Marceline Tenakoua Areyerehoue,

Makani Diaby

Mory Kouyate

Mis Nkechi Ogbodo

Sere Sanoh

Dosso Kassimou

Salimata Ballo

Fanta Kouyate

Ibrahim Fofana

Lountandy Diabate

Noha Fofana

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