Nkabom - Centre for the Arts, Creation, Innovation and Community Cultural Development
Ghana, West Africa
Asanti Dance Theatre proudly support their NGO 'Nkabom' and their sister company 'Asanti Ghana' by donating 10% of all profits to these projects.
Nkabom is based on 16 acres of land in a small village in Ghana, West Africa. The village is called ‘Dawurampong’ and is situated in the Central Region between Accra (the capital city) and Cape Coast (the capital of the central region and a major tourist destination). Dawurampong consists of around ten different rural villages, each of which are governed by separate chiefs as well as one district government representative. Their main source of income comes from farming and there is little else for the local community to do in terms of employment. As a result many of the youth have little to do and unemployment rates are high. Many of them travel to Accra to seek employment, with little training or skills to offer prospective employers. The housing is basic and most are built from traditional mudbrick. There is real sense of traditional living and practices with the area.
The Nkabom project was initatiated by Appiah Annan, a Ghanain born artist who now resides in Melbourne, Australia. Appiah has always had the vision of helping the local community to move forward and did this in many ways while living in Ghana, even when he had nothing himself. He initiated Asanti Dance Theatre in 2003 to help the local artists work and express themselves as well as spread messages of peace, tolerance and understanding among all people. This project grew from a few artists living and training together on the beach, with nothing but the will to use the art to move forward, to an internationally recognised 15 piece drum and dance theatre company that worked with students, travellers, locals and the like. Asanti is still running in Ghana today and is helping the lives of many in the community.
On coming to Australia in 2007, Appiah initiated the second branch of Asanti- this time with a more multicultural approach, working with both Ghanaians and Westerners to bring their cultures closer together. Asanti Australia draws upon the same values as its sister company in Ghana and is becoming known quickly in the Melbourne and Australian arts industry.
With both of these projects underway he, along with his wife, Belinda Annan, began thinking about how they could use their position in the Australian community to help the locals in Ghana who are struggling to get by each day. They drew on their knowledge of the arts, education and community cultural development and devised the structure of ‘Nkabom’. Nkabom means togetherness in Fante (the language spoken in the region where the project is situated) and it draws upon a very simple idea which is outlined in our mission statement;
The mission of the project is simple - to help people help themselves. This mission is what underpins all of the programs run at the Nkabom site and guides the concepts, development and implementation of each and every initiative. It aims to reduce poverty rates, spread awareness and support local enterprise.
The following are a list of values that the NGO was built on and strives to uphold;
The Arts: Preservation of the arts is at the heart of the project. It is essential that the traditional arts are respected and carried forward, along with the knowledge of why they exist and where they come from.
Creation: Creation of new works, ideas and initiatives will be embraced and supported where ever possible.
Innovation: Nkabom will continually create innovative opportunities for local, underprivileged children and adults.
Community links: The project is run for the community, by the community. It endeavours to build strong partnerships between local and international groups, organisations and individuals.
Cultural Development: Nkabom strives to embrace local culture and support people to share this with the wider community. Cultural development also incorporates the development of ‘global citizens’, aiding cross cultural understanding, respect and interaction.
Education: Nkabom draws on education as a basis to relieve poverty through providing opportunity to gain skill sets, making locals employable and able to enter the workforce.
In April 2011 we initiated a pilot program with 30 underprivilidged children from the area aged 9-15. Thanks to some very kind donations these children now have to opportunity to attend school two days a week, studying English and a cultural arts program. These children are the first of what we hope will be many to gain from this venture.
If you would like to know more, be a part of this project or have anything you would like to donate (ie, school supplies, 2nd hand computers, mobile phones, clothing, bicycles etc) please contact us.
web: www.asantidancetheatre.com / email: firstname.lastname@example.org / phone: (03) 9738 1485 or 0415 729 145