In Conversation With . . . Africa Genesis Foundation, Part I

The Africa Genesis Foundation (AGF) was born in the Labour Ward of Lwala Hospital in Northern Uganda in 1991 and was registered as a not-for-profit corporation in 1994 by American feminist theologian Dr. Colleen. The foundation is a joint American-African organization that fosters health improvements for underprivileged peoples in rural parts of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Recently, Hosea Ayienga Masiga, Executive Secretary of AGF’s Regional Board of Directors, took the time to answer some questions from Wanda Waterman St. Louis.

The Mission

AGF focuses on human development from a health perspective?especially of women, because women give birth to a nation. Economic, financial, and technological developments are secondary goals.

The underlying rationale is that economic, financial, or technological developments are passing elements. [W]hen people are developed, they in turn can initiate [these] developments. With these developments comes social justice and peace.

About Dr. Colleen

Dr. Colleen . . . a feminist theologian . . . is the founder, president, and CEO of the Africa Genesis Foundation.

Dr. Colleen almost single-handedly raises financial resources for the foundation. She is meticulous and diligent, and this has kept AGF in the good books of all the authorities; she always sees a facet that I and other AGF officers may ignore.

What We Do

AGF focuses on development of the human person. At AGF we believe that when humanity is well- developed, other elements of development will follow. Thus, self-reliance is an important tenet of AGF’s Program Service undertakings, especially listening to the voice of the people. In simple imagery, we give a bicycle ride with the intention of giving the bicycle, but if one does not know how to ride, we help them learn.

For our Health Promotion and Disease Prevention programs for malnourished people, AGF bought initial foodstuffs, then provided seeds and fertilizers for a village in Western Kenya. But the people planted, harvested, and sold, and with the profits they provided for their own nutrition the next year.

For a family with no shelter, AGF built a house and put the breadwinner back on a TB regime so that he could take care of his family. For another family, AGF started a maize and fish business. For a widow with six children, AGF bought initial food, then baby chicks, three goats, a cow, and a tract of land. The widow successfully provided milk, protein, and crops for her sick, starving children.

AGF has sent students to tertiary institutions for development studies [and] midwifery, and [facilitated] a pre-medical degree for a young man who aims to be a physician. Investment in human education of students will bring an uplifting return to their local communities, their countries, and the world at large.

Fundraising

AGF sells artifacts from Kenya and Tanzania: in particular, batiks, hand-carved wooden African animals, sisal purses, beaded necklaces and bracelets, katenge, and the like. We have a special occasion Taste-of-Africa, where we prepare African foods such as matoke, mbuzi, ugali, sukuma wiki, and simsim chicken, and auction the aforementioned art and craft work. In the near future, we plan to sell advertising space on the AGF website and [offer] other online services such [as] Kiswahili lessons, local travel insights, and individual guided tours.

All these products are sold for the benefit of AGF Program Services. Our current initiative involves marketing children’s art and literary work for the benefit of a school with orphan girls, some of whom have HIV/AIDS. We plan also to finish the clinic near Lira in Northern Uganda which was begun by our local director there, who, with his two sons, unfortunately, succumbed to AIDS.

To be continued next week . . .

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