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African Genesis Institute to build housing, school in Ghana

By Michael Z. Muhammad -Contributing Writer- | Last updated: Sep 11, 2019 - 9:57:23 AM

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ACCRA, Ghana—The African Genesis Institute announced a highly ambitious plan to build housing and a school in Ghana. The organization announced the plans Aug. 22, to 95 travelers the group brought to Ghana to help celebrate the government-sponsored “Right of Return.”

Group shot of travelers with the African Genesis Institute.

Located in Philadelphia, the institute has been at the forefront of educating then taking children to the African continent, with the mantra “It is Better to Build a Child, than to Repair an Adult.” The African Genesis Institute is a nonprofit “School Without Walls” for African American and Latino youth between the ages of 7 and 14. Over a 27-month period, students and group leaders learn of their rich and extraordinary ancient African history through classes held in Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C. through reading and writing assignments, oral presentations and field trips in the United States and Canada with the focus on developing an understanding and awareness of the African experience in America.

During a sit-down interview with The Final Call following the announcement and groundbreaking ceremony for the school, African Genesis Institute co-founder Helen Saluhuddin stated, “African Genesis Institute has always had a connection to Africa, specifically Ghana and Egypt. We have a program for youth where we teach them about African history. We bring them to the continent. Our relationship with Ghana has always been solid.”

Ms. Saluhuddin explained the national elder of the program is Nana Kwa David, who was instrumental in helping to plan many of the programs that happened during the trip. “He is a chief and lives in Ghana. We were able to partner with him. Also, he has a tract of land that he was granted by the chief to build on and has constructed a beautiful home,” she explained. “He offered to have us look at the land and see if we would be interested in bringing African American’s who might be interested in living in Ghana. We combined these efforts. The area sits on the ocean. It is ready for development. Our next step is to provide programs for older adolescents. We want to build a leadership academy and camp where youth from America can come to Ghana and study for two weeks. It will be built on Nana’s land.”

Sister Helen Muhammad breaking ground for the school.

Regarding those who participated in the trip and the groundbreaking ceremony, Ms. Saluhuddin said, “I hope each one would benefit from the spiritual experience, convening with their ancestors remembering that all of us who are African in America and throughout the Diaspora have had someone go through the dungeons; remembering we are representing them.”

She added, “You have that cultural experience and hoping they get a connection with the motherland and bring something back. There is so much that needs to be done, and we have so much to give. It’s us connecting with them and them connecting with us.”

Regarding housing construction, Nana Kwa David conducted the presentation to the group on the actual land to be developed. “The housing will be built on land owned by Chief Nana Kwaheem. He is chief of the village Kwaheem Krom in this Central region. The chief of this village is the same chief that granted me my land,” he said.

“Kwaheem Krom village is small, with only 500 people and half are children. They have few people and tons of land. They are unable to develop it. They will allow us the use of 10 acres of land initially. Depending on how successful we are, the chief has agreed to give us 100 acres. So African Genesis will acquire this plot of 10 acres initially with the idea of putting 40 homes here.”

Mr. David pointed out the land was ideally suited for development because it is close to the main road. “It is located near easily available power lines. The next phase would be to build business infrastructure and collaboration with the village.”

He encouraged those present to consider partnering with others in building their house. “We have people here who will look out for your place when you are not here,” he said. “If you want to rent it when you are not here we can make that happen. I think that if there is nothing else you can see; we have this all hooked up. We know the right people to get the things done in a reputable way, so nobody is scammed,” he concluded.