project leader
Abdulkadir C
location
524 mt pleasant rd
(Northview Heights Estate)
latest update rss
No updates yet.

the project

Twenty years ago, most Somali Bantu never imagined we would be living in cities, or another country, let alone a continent on the other side of the world. Today thousands of Somali Bantu live across the United States as refugees. Here we are learning a lot about the possibilities of life, seeking new careers, bigger goals, and success through education. Even though much is changing for us and our children in this new country, we must still celebrate the importance of our ancient culture, the stories of our past, and skills we have developed over generations.

The Somali Bantu National Heritage Event is a free three day gathering of Somali Bantu refugees from across the United States.  Through sharing of stories, food, traditional dance, and sports, Somali Bantu from the nearly 12,000 families resettled across the United States will reconnect with each other AND connect with neighbors in Pittsburgh by sharing our unique culture and history.  

Friday evening will begin the event with a summit of community leaders to discuss challenges we are experiencing as refugees in this country, exploring the knowledge and support of Somali Bantu living in other cities.  Can we join forces to tackle common struggles? Are we achieving our dreams in America and how are they changing? How are we all supporting young leaders to shape our future? How can we amplify our voices in the cities where we now live?

Saturday will be activities for all ages: traditional and contemporary storytelling, dance, and music performances, henna artists, a fashion show, and a feast of traditional homemade Somali Bantu foods.  This will happen alongside a soccer tournament where teams from across the United States compete for the 2018 National Somali Bantu Games title.  We have some incredible soccer players, a best kept secret in the US. The festivities will go all day and Sunday will be the final tournament games, the awards ceremony for the winners and farewells.

Your money will be doubled!! All contributions to this project under $1,000 will be matched by the Buhl Foundation's One Northside project.

the steps

The 2018 National Somali Bantu Festival will be held on Pittsburgh’s Northside at and around Northview Heights  from August 31 to September 2. We expect attendance from Somali Bantu communities in Amarillo, Huston, Dallas, Salt Lake City, Portland, Buffalo, Erie, Pittsburgh, Lewiston, Vermont, Utica, Rochester, Louisville, Cleveland, Columbus and New Hampshire - including soccer teams from seven cities, as well as attendance by representatives from the UNHCR Refugee Congress.

Starting July 15 we will be training local Somali Bantu documentarians to collect and share stories and performances at the event. 

By August 1st, we’ll have park permits, reserved meeting spaces and security, and confirmation from local and regional musicians, performers and traditional culinary artists. Marketing and promotion will include flyers, press releases, and social media beginning also August 1st. We would seek to collaborate with community leaders and agencies. The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council's Office of Public Art and the Buhl Foundation are some of our confirmed supporters.

why we're doing it

As new residents to Pittsburgh we are facing a lot of challenges and this event helps us unify solutions, form allegiances and learn from each other.  In the struggle to balance our cultural identity with the culture of our new home, this event provides Somali Bantu an opportunity to remember and pass on to our children a breath of traditions from the diverse Somali Bantu now scattered across the United States. Youth will always adapt to what is popular, but understanding their history and finding community in sports gives them more strength to face adversity to direct them away from dangerous gang activity we see some joining. This event will build the foundation for connections between groups, engaging youth programs, and moving even further toward academic and economic success.  

We also believe that sharing our rich culture with our new neighbors in Pittsburgh builds connections with others living here.  As Pittsburgh is becoming an increasingly international city, it is important that we all understand the cultural assets existing within our borders.  In this country as we are nearly all immigrants, coming to the US for a better life. As we share stories of hopes and dreams, we can connect with the histories of everyone in this city, the experience both of being newcomers, and even having been colonized in our native Somalia. Connecting through stories, sharing cultural traditions, realizing the assets we each hold, will do nothing but enrich the strength and vitality of our city. 

We have hosted similar events for our traditional holidays with great success and attendance, but this will be the first where communities from multiple cities will be brough together.  Hopefully Pittsburgh is the first location of a regular national Somali Bantu event that will benefit cities across the US.  Thank you for joining us in this endeavor.

 

budget

Traditional Foods for 800 people -- $3300 

Security --  $1000

Interpretation - $200

Other Activities - $1000

Performance by Acclaimed Traditional Somali Bantu Dance Group --  $5500

Soccer tournament: Permits and Awards --  $3100

PA System and Generator - $500

 



Project Subtotal =  $14,500
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $435
Total to raise on ioby = $14,970

 

updates

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photos

This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration

donors

  • JOHARA SAId
  • Sally Rafson
  • Anonymous
  • Chirambo Migwa kawaga