Launched in 2009 by DaraMonifah of KWANZAA365, (Per Ankh, Inc., The Rock Collective & the University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Ex…tension Service), we have taken the initiative to continue uniting common goals of local Non-Profit public service organizations, Governmental Agencies, Private Businesses, Individuals & Grant Agencies. We are centered around learning, teaching & passing on cultural traditions & values, while strengthening, supporting & celebrating the role(s) of young people in educating their peers & communities.
The Sankofa Saturdays Youth Cultural Education Initiative, a project of KWANZAA365, Inc., works through Per Ankh, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non profit & non-governmental organization. While learning about our past, we also learn to use digital photography, videography, web design/maintenance and social media including facebook, youtube, skype and twitter to document and share cultural events and happening…s in our present, or of our past, within or related to our United Virgin Islands community. This project has been funded in part by the V. I. Academic and Cultural Awards Endowment, the Virgin Islands Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, the V.I. Lottery Youth Education Initiative, the office of the First Lady Mrs. Cecille deJongh and managed by Per Ankh Institute and KWANZAA365.
Passing on the torch of culture bearing and preserving (traditions and values) through experiences in the arts, cultural education, and community service.
Sankofa can mean either the word in the Akan language of Ghana that translates in English to “go back and take” (san=return, ko=go, fa= take) or the Adinkra symbols seen as our logo(s). It symbolizes one taking from the past what is good and bringing it into the present in order to make positive progress through the benevolent use of knowledge.Adinkra symbols are used by the Akan to express prov…erbs and other philosophical ideas. These ideas are numerous and are used throughout the world because of their aesthetic and spiritual beauty. Sankofa has since been adopted by other cultural groups in the area and around the world including here in the United Virgin Islands where genealogical research has proven that many of us still here are offspring of our original West African Ancestors who were brought here to these islands during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
During these first years, the programs are limited to a small number of youth as the foundations for future programming and opportunities for access to various experiences are created and standardized. Learning the tools, values and traditions from present culture bearers and community elders, the goal is to teach and train youth that will serve as assistants and/or trainers in the years to come. Trainers, volunteers, staffing and experiences are being recruited and organized in order to provide a well rounded holistic experience for the youth. Anyone with a skill to share, a story to read, a lesson to teach to contribute should contact us immediately for inclusion in this year’s calendar.
While learning about our past, we learn to use radio, photography, videography, web design & social media including facebook, youtube, ustream, skype & twitter to document & share cultural events in our present within or related to our United Virgin Islands community.