Àsàlayé Academy is an educational initiative of the DuniaForé Foundation. In collaboration with the Araba of Osogbo, Baba Ifayemi Elebuibon and his family. Sharing a deep commitment to education, arts, and culture in Africa and the diaspora, DuniaForé and members of the Elebuibon family partner to run Àsàlayé Academy, which is an educational program for traditionalist children in Osogbo, Nigeria.
In 2005 the Osun Grove in Osogbo, Nigeria was designated a world heritage site by UNESCO. Osogbo is also a burgeoning tourist location where people go to experience Yoruba traditional culture. Neither the Osun Grove nor the huge festival that has brought Osogbo so much fame would be possible without the tireless devotion of hundreds of traditionalist families in Osogbo. The children of these families are the future of traditional Yoruba culture in Osogbo, and Àsàlayé Academy will be providing an important service for them.
Designed as a “summer” or “holiday” school, Àsàlayé Academy teaches an enrichment curriculum to traditionalist children ages 8-18. In addition to standard age-appropriate curricula, Àsàlayé Academy will have cultural components that motivate and instill pride in Osogbo’s traditionalist children as cultural custodians of the future. Last year Academy enrolled 125 students and operated for 4 weeks in the summer. We provide all funding for operations including: renting chairs and tables, providing school lunch, paying teachers and administrators, buying supplies and uniforms for the children, and paying for educational equipment like computers and projectors, shipping etc. Thus far, Àsàlayé Academy has run for two fabulously successful years. We were unable to run for 2020 because of the global coronavirus crisis but anticipate being up and running again as soon as the world opens up and it is safe for us to travel.
We need and are eternally grateful for any monetary contribution our donors can make. Every bit counts. Please, also spread the word and share our campaign! The more people working together to bring this vision to fruition, the easier it will be to birth the dream! Àsàlayé Academy has been a huge success and we expect it to continue to be in the future. Contribute now and be a part of our legacy…If you value African culture and wish to preserve it, please invest in its future…support Osogbo’s traditionalist children by supporting Àsàlayé Academy.
The Old Cotton Tree is a national symbol of Sierra Leone. Situated at the town center, the tree is believed to have been the site of a thanksgiving service held by freed black loyalists who settled in Freetown. They arrived in Freetown after first being freed by the British after the British lost the American War of Independence in 1783. Having fought for the British in exchange for their freedom, several thousand freed people of African descent left with the British 1783 and 1785; some of them settled in England, some settled in Nova Scotia. After several years of hardship in Nova Scotia, a contingent of the loyalists asked to be resettled elsewhere and were brought to Freetown, Sierra Leone in 1792. Upon their arrival, they held a thanksgiving under a huge cotton tree and they named the new settlement Free Town. Our newest educational program is named after this tree.
Slated to open in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Kɔtin Tri Akademi is a cultural enrichment and educational program for youth. This project was delayed for 2020 by the coronavirus crisis. We look forward to launching it as soon as the world opens for travel again!
Ojú Isèsè or “The Face of the Tradition” is a series of 15 short documentaries on the contemporary orisa tradition as it exists in Osogbo, Nigeria. and one full length documentary called “Aiyé Àla” or “A life in White Cloth,” which follows an important woman ol’Obatala who is a devout practitioner and community leader.
The goal of this work is to provide a snapshot, a sensory h’ors d’oeuvre, into Isese Yoruba as it is practiced in one area of Osogbo, Nigeria. It is also our hope that devotees of related traditions who are less familiar with Isese Yoruba as it appears in Yorubaland, whether they are elders or novices in their practice, can experience a bit of the basic principles, values and aesthetics of these traditions. Educators and scholars may also find utility in the series as it provides introductory information alongside aspects of practice that are slightly more subtle which can be analyzed and discussed at length in teaching and learning environments. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, as part of our mission of preserving, documenting presenting, educating, and more, we hope that this series provides a glimpse into these traditions as represented by the devotees themselves rather than through the voices of others.
Living Roots also regularly develops and hosts workshop on ATRs and ADRs locally and digitally. Here are a few of our past programs. Stay tuned for future projects, workshops and classes!
“Before you go around criticizing other people, be sure to clean your own back yard.”
DuniaForé’s initiative, “Backyard Business” is all about thinking globally and acting locally. It’s about charity beginning at home. It’s about taking responsibility for coming up with solutions for challenges in your own communities. To that end, we have created local workshops, Simple Civics and Understanding Racism, which we offer free to the public and which help us serve, educate and advocate for members of our community.