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Imbaseni Village Community Water Project

A collaborative effort between UAACC and the Kuji Foundation

A Strong Example of Unity of Will and Positive Purpose!

"Our focus on community involvement in all our projects allows us to determine the best way to serve the people because we consult with the people and have a genuine connection to the communities we serve", says Geronimo ji Jaga

Libations poured onto the ground as water site is inaugurated

By Charlotte Hill O’Neal

  UAACC founder Pete O'Neal prepares to fill Unity Gourd with water, symbolically mixing the efforts. the brotherhood and positive cooperation with Kuji Foundation

Also pictured are Kuji Foundation founder, Geronimo ji Jaga, Joju Cleaver ji Jaga and Imbaseni Village Chairman, Emanuel Pallango

Sons and Daughters of Africa have participated in a most historic endeavor! The true spirit of brotherhood and positive cooperation between the Kuji Foundation and the United African American Community Center UAACC has brought water to an East African village!

On August 25, 2002, the drumbeats and songs of the African Traditional Dance Group musicians heightened the excitement as more than a hundred and fifty people crowded together at the site of the newly built Imbaseni Village Water Project outside of the United African American Community Center (UAACC) compound walls.

The water project, which will serve many families in Imbaseni, near Maji ya Chai, is a partnership effort by the Kuji Foundation and UAACC. The Kuji Foundation which is based in Morgan City, Louisiana, U.S.A., was founded in 1999 by international human rights activist, Geronimo ji Jaga; community elder James Harris and U.S. defense attorney Ed Jones. Mzee Geronimo and his wife, Joju Cleaver ji Jaga, also of the Kuji Foundation, had traveled to Arusha especially for the occasion.

   
Dancers from the African Traditional Dance Group 
clap in praise of the Maji Spirit!

We had made preliminary speeches and danced most of the afternoon away and the time had come to cut the blue satin ribbon, officially inaugurating the site.

Guest of Honor, Imbaseni Village Chairman Mzee Emanuel Pallangyo, had much to say in praise of the project and vigorously acknowledged the community spirit of both UAACC and the Kuji Foundation. Pointing to the vibrant red, black and green African Liberation colors of the sign above the shiny brass water tap, he cut the ribbon freeing the tap, declaring that "it is the responsibility of the community, the people who will benefit from the water, to make sure that the site is maintained and kept clean, tidy and functional."


UAACC, Kuji Foundation and Imbaseni Village leaders join hands in an exemplary effort!

A ritual copper cup was filled with the newly flowing water and libations were poured onto the ground in honor of the Creator and our Ancestors who surely were smiling on the event.

That was the cue for Mzee Pete O’Neal, Founder and Managing Director of UAACC and Mzee Geronimo ji Jaga, founder of the Kuji Foundation, to, together, fill a huge Unity Gourd with the sparkling stream, symbolically mixing the efforts of Kuji and UAACC. Mzee O’Neal affirmed that "sons and daughters of Africa have participated in a most historic endeavor! The true spirit of brotherhood and positive cooperation between the Kuji Foundation and the United African American Community Center UAACC has brought water to an East African village!"

In the ancient traditions of Africa, two trees were planted to mark the occasion and the freshly combined waters were poured out of the gigantic gourd onto the seedlings.

 
It was a day of celebration!
Sister Joju and Bro. G planted trees to honor the day...and the crowd enjoys the impromptu performance by a zeze (traditional guitar) musician
.

Mzee Geronimo acknowledged "what we have accomplished will continue to serve the community for years to come. Because Kuji and UAACC are small organizations, we are able to avoid many obstacles that impede the success and mobilization of large corporations with a great deal more resources than we have. Our focus on community involvement in all our projects allows us to determine the best way to serve the people because we consult with the people and have a genuine connection to the communities we serve."


The community water project will benefit many in the Imbaseni Village!

The drumming and ululating filled the air as we all streamed back into the UAACC compound to enjoy the rest of the program which included more selections from the African Traditional Dance Group as well as performances by the CCF Children’s acrobatic troupe and the widely acclaimed rap group, The Bongo Street Boys.

The Kuji Foundation is presently working with Ghanaian President Kufforu on a ‘Special Initiative on Cassava" project. Cassava is one of the major food staples in a large part of Africa especially in the West. The first cassava-processing center sponsored by Kuji is now under construction near the town of Nsawam, Ghana. Another processing center will be installed in the village of Nyanyano, just east of Accra later this year.

The name "Kuji" comes from the Kiswahilli word, Kujichagulia, which is defined as "self determination".

 

  Stand by for more photos of the Imbaseni Community water project! ...  
 

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