Blogi (Simulizi)

Womn & Water: Why water is life.

There has been a spotlight on climate change, and issues related to climate change this year. Finances have been pledged towards mitigating various crises that have emanated due to legacies of extraction, industrialization and environmental degradation.

In Africa, water access, management and distribution remain key issues that affect womn. At UAF-Africa, we know that the water crisis is very personal for women. According to UNESCO (2016) an estimated three quarters of households in sub-Saharan Africa fetch water from a source away from their home and 50% to 85% of the time, womn are responsible for this task. Currently, through climate financing, water management projects are largely privatized leading to womn facing more nuanced struggles with accessing safe and clean water. Typically, due to climate financing being controlled by multilateral finance institutions – projects are largely proposed/bid for by private entities, funded by development institutions and the management of water is shifted to private control, leading to monetization of a natural resource which is a human right. This means that for many living on the margins, the cost of water is now prohibitive and yet this is a vital resource for sustaining life.

SOMA ZAIDI
Blogi (Simulizi)

Equality for Growth (EfG) Success Stories from Informal Sector Traders

The past 12 years of working with informal sector actors, Equality for Growth (EfG) has continued to provide women with access to rights and business knowledge, opportunities, resources, and legal justice. Through utilizing an approach of collaboration, we have worked in partnership with our beneficiaries to empower them in raising their voices and awareness of their agendas.

EfG have trained women market traders to be paralegals and legal community supporters who have been working on preventing and handling Gender Based Violence in marketplaces and deliver free legal aid and support to market traders, through this platform they have been able to reach 10,360 market traders, handled over 630 cases for the past 3 years.

SOMA ZAIDI

Philanthropic Nostalgia: African Giving revisited through an analysis of the Abagusii marriage ceremony

Love may be the universal language of philanthropy, but those of us born in an era of severe individualism may think of kindness only in monetary terms and fail to understand the depth of the African deposits of other philanthropic traditions such as marriage. Traditional African marriages embodied the spirit of philanthropy in many ways; the spirit of collaboration, the volunteerism, the gift giving in all manners, the celebration of union. And of course, at its core: a strong relationship underpinned by love that is said to transcend even death.

But we must not fall prey to the philanthropic nostalgia of it all. Even as it remains a cornerstone of African tradition, marriage still often lends itself to the unfair treatment and perception given to the women in the biases of patriarchy. The marital procedures for the Abagusii people of Kenya is a great illustration of this.

My late grandmother (Alexina Momanyi) once told me that when a young Omogusii man has reached marital age, the first step is that scouts (chisigani) are sent to comb through families in the community looking for a potential wife. The scouts that spy for the lady they consider a potential wife are always male. Once a lady is chosen, they have no voice, but rather have to be submissive to what the parents would decide. The parents of the young man are informed about the finding. Negotiation of dowry price would follow. The women are commodified as a product in the market, ready for purchase with the physical inspection of beauty that would ensue before confirmation was given. When both man and woman are content, they shake hands and swear to keep the promise of marrying each other. This part dimly brings the woman into the picture of choosing her lover, although it is just a formality because the parents generally have the final say.

Before the wedding day, the fiancée visits the fiance. She enjoys a sleepover but a young boy sleeps in between them to ensure no sexual intercourse. Sex is for married couples. This is said to be a philanthropy of good values. The willingness of being faithful is evident in this sleepover. Patience is conspicuous too. It is eminent as well that love is beyond sex since the two would sleep in the same bed without sex on that day.

On the wedding day, the fiancée is escorted to her matrimonial home by other women her age. On such a big day, many people are present and there is a chance that one of the finacée mates will be admired by a potential husband, so they are encouraged to come in droves. This act also portrays the idea that the married girl comes from a community of many like her, hence any injustice to her symbolizes an injustice to other women like her, and her whole community by extension. In the same vein, respect shown to her in her matrimonial home would mean respect to her family, friends and the whole community. This is philanthropy of mutual love and co-existence.

The young man’s party comes a day before. A large pot (embiru) and some blankets are handed to the fiancée’s mother. A fat goat is tied with a rope on one leg and handed to the fiancée’s dad, an appreciation for the good work done in the nurturing of the hardworking girl. The girl’s parents give her a wooden table, three chairs and some utensils. This element of giving support to the daughter is a plausible form of women empowerment, but it is telling that the supplies given to her already point to her responsibilities ending at homemaking duties.

A round metallic bracelet, egetinge, is given to the wife and fitted onto her ankle. Its purpose is similar to that of the wedding ring as seen in other communities. It symbolizes the commitment and willingness of the wife to remain in her matrimonial home even after the husband dies. Not even death sets the couple apart. This is philanthropy of eternity to love and marriage. It therefore inherently invokes patience, tolerance, understanding, commitment, and true love in marriage because of this eternal bond.

Through the lead up to as well as the marriage ceremony itself, it is evident that philanthropy is not just about giving money. The scouts helped in the spying for the best potential wife for their friend who had reached the age of marriage. The giving of the table, utensils and chairs to the new couple is philanthropic. The marriage ceremony fostered the spirit of sharing. The egetinge ankle bracelet symbolized a commitment in the marriage that transcended even death. But what is also evident are the negative aspects of male dominance and belittlement of the woman in an occasion that is just as important to her life as it is to her husband’s. There is still a clear sense of dehumanization of the woman.

 

SOMA ZAIDI

New members join the APN!

On the 6th of December 2021, APN had its 10th Annual General Meeting (AGM), through it APN is delighted to inform you/the public that the AGM approved the recruitment of 14 new members from 11 countries across Africa that are; the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. This is the first time ever for APN to recruit such a large number of members in a year since the begging of its operation. To date, the network has a total of 53 Members (50 from Africa, 1, from Belgium, 1 from the United Kingdom, and 1 from the United States of America (USA).

SOMA ZAIDI

In Conversation With: Professor Damian Ugwutikiri Ọpata

Professor Damian Ugwutikiri Ọpata is a 76-year-old traditionalist, as well as a retired Professor of English and Literary Studies in the University of Nigeria Nsukka. Writing about him in the book “Coloniality of Knowledge in Africa: Essays in Honour of Professor Damian Ugwutikiri Ọpata”, Professor Chielozona Eze, a Professor of Africana Studies Northeastern Illinois University said, “Professor Damian Opata is one of Africa’s homegrown theorists who remind us of the structures of European theories about Africa. He alerted us in his own unique way that what the European colonizers foisted on Africans is only the European view of the world… Professor Opata is a theorist of coloniality.”

SOMA ZAIDI

Eligibility for APN Catalytic Grants 2021

Are you eligible?

  • A Journalist
  • A Writer
  • A Storyteller
  • An Artist
  • A radio and TV presenter/producer
  • A Philanthropist
  • A Social Entrepreneur
  • A Social Researcher

 

Is your organization eligible?

  • APN Members Organization
  • A community philanthropy organization
  • A community foundation
  • A Journalist Club /Association
  • A Media organization
  • A Human rights organization
  • A Social enterprise
  • Professional association
  • Trade union/association
  • Any other kind of organization that identifies with the concept and practice of African philanthropy.

 

Are you based in:

  • This funding opportunity is limited to individuals and organizations based in Africa and in the diaspora.

If the answer is “Yes!” to most of the above questions, then you may be interested in applying for the APN’s Catalytic Grant.

 

 

SOMA ZAIDI

APN ESSAY COMPETITION ON THE POWER OF PHILANTHROPIC GIVING TO ADDRESS SOCIAL CHANGE FOR STUDENTS FROM AFRICAN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS

APN is implementing the Giving for Change Program funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Giving for Change is a consortium program that is implemented in collaboration with the Wilde Ganzen Foundation, Global Fund for Community Foundations, and Kenya Community Development Foundation in partnership with National Anchor Institutions in eight countries in the Global South:  Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Brazil and Palestine including the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Together we form a Giving for Change Alliance.

SOMA ZAIDI

APN STORYTELLING COMPETITION ON THE POWER OF PHILANTHROPIC GIVING TO ADDRESS SOCIAL CHANGE FOR AFRICAN YOUTH AGED 25 – 35 YEARS OLD

APN is implementing the Giving for Change Program funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Giving for Change is a consortium program that is implemented in collaboration with the Wilde Ganzen Foundation, Global Fund for Community Foundations, and Kenya Community Development Foundation in partnership with National Anchor Institutions in eight countries in the Global South: Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Brazil and Palestine including the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Together we form a Giving for Change Alliance.

SOMA ZAIDI
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