July 1st was a very special day for Windsor, Ontario. Not only was it Canada Day, but it was also the day of the Canada Day parade. The parade started from Ouellette Ave and Giles Blvd W then continued onto Pillette Rd. The day was very hot, but nonetheless everyone was excited to be apart of the parade.BCCEEP (Black Canadians for Cultural, Educational and Economic Progress) marched in the parade with a colourful float to represent both African and Canadian colours. The aim was to represent both halves of Black Canadians and encourage others to be proud.The float had African music playing and many participants waving flags from countries of Africa, of course Canada as well. The African Children’s Dance group joined BCCEEP in waving flags, holding the organizations banner and dancing in front of the float.The day was filled with lots of laughter and infectious smiles! To all who watched, we are reminded that we are all Canadian no matter what. Canada is a place for us all to be ourselves and be part of a huge multi-cultural community. Nevertheless, it is also important for all who migrated here to remember that their cultural backgrounds are just as important as Canadian culture. Balance and harmony exists when cultures are brought together and acknowledged.Overall, the day was a great success! All the members, volunteers and participants had fun and walked onward with BCCEEP. BCCEEP would like to thank all those who came out and as well as those who marched with BCCEEP in the parade. This parade was a beautiful representation of what we can all do when we come together. BCCEEP hopes to continue to grow their family and encourage community progress.
Omoluabi and Good Mental Health
Mental health is the foundation for thinking, communication, learning, resilience and self-esteem. Mental health is also key to relationships, and emotional well-being in the community or society.
Mental health also includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and behave. It helps to determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.
Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.
Every “Omoluabi” (a person of good character) needs good metal health. Good mental health allows Omoluabi’s to think clearly, develop socially and learn new skills. Also, good friends and encouraging words from adults are all important in helping an Omoluabi develop self-confidence, high self-esteem, and a healthy emotional outlook on life.
Basics for an Omloluabi’s good mental health care include:
Unconditional love from family
Love, security and acceptance should be at the heart of family life
Children need to know that your love does not depend on his or her accomplishments.
Confidence grows in an environment that is full of unconditional love and affection.
To be an Omoluabi self- confidence and self-esteem must be nurtured.
Encouraging their ability, a new game helps them develop a desire to explore and learn about their new surroundings.
Parents/adult should be an active participant in their child’s activities.
Your attention helps build their self-confidence and self-esteem.
An Omoluabi needs realistic goals that match their ambitions with their abilities. They can be helped to choose activities that test their abilities and increase their self-confidence.
An Omoluabi is honest and does not hide his/her failures from others. It is important for an Omoluabi to know that we all make mistakes and that adults are not perfect.
Mental health consists of our thought-life. King Solomon admonished his son “Guard your heart above all else for it impacts everything you do”
“For as a person thinks in his heart so is he.” Our thoughts control our attitude. What you think is what you are. You are what your heart is.
“For a person thinks in his heart so is he.” Your thought controls the rest of your life. What you think is what you are. Your thoughts—positive, negative, good or bad control your attitude which lead to actions.
Some one said:
“Sow a deed reap a deed
Sow a deed reap a habit
Sow a habit, reap character
Sow a character reap a destiny”
Help is available
Without good mental health we cannot be healthy. Any parts of the body including the brain can get sick. We all experience emotional ups and downs from time to time caused by events in our lives. Good mental health is necessary for the development of good character. Seek help if any condition causes changes in your thinking, your feelings or mood so that you can develop good character.
Tea Time with African Seniors
Tea Time with African Seniors is a program that was started by the Nigerian Canadian’s for Cultural Educational, and Economic Progress (NCCEEP), to provide a space for the African Seniors in the Windsor-Essex area where they can share stories, play games, learn new skills, and meet new people. Many African seniors saw this as a need because there were few places they could go in the city to be among people of their own culture. Tea Time has created this space so the seniors feel free to be who they are as well as converse with those who understand them.
Tea Time is probably one of the most successful programs that NCCEEP runs, with seniors continuously coming and bringing their friends.
The seniors started the day with snacks of fruit and some activities like sewing lessons, computer lessons, and games. Later a light lunch of chicken, potatoes, and green beans was offered, along with a cake to celebrate national seniors month! (P.S. June is also national Caribbean heritage month as well!)
After lunch the seniors aer free to pick from many activities like sewing, story telling, or computer classes.
The goal of this program is to bring African seniors together in a place they feel they belong and can be themselves. Before this program started many seniors felt as though other seniors groups would not accept them or they felt as though they could not be their true selves.
It is important to respect that elders need their own space and also people around them that respect, love and care for them. These seniors are more than a group that gets together, they are a family that support and uplift one another.
Tea Time with African Seniors runs every second Saturday of every month, from 12:00pm – 3:00pm at the Caribbean Centre in central Windsor. Small donations are accepted to help with the continuation of the program.
The success of this program has made many seniors happy and given them something to look forward to every month.
Viola Desmond: An example of an Omoluabi
Viola Desmond encompasses all the traits of an Omoluabi. She was a Canadian businesswoman born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and is known to be a major civil rights icon. On November 8, 1946 she challenged racial segregation at a cinema in Nova Scotia. She was physically injured by police and wrongly convinced and fined by local courts.
Desmond’s case is one of the most publicized incidents of racial discrimination in Canadian history and helped start the modern civil rights movement in Canada. As a minority, Viola rose above the challenges she faced being a minority and a woman and launched an empire in the beauty industry and in the black community.
She is honoured today by being the first Canadian woman to appear on the Canadian ten-dollar note and the first historical woman of colour to be featured in a Heritage Minute. She possesses the fundamental principles of an omoluabi by showing bravery, hard-work, having excellent character, good will and embodying hard work.
What it means to be a leader
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, friends and family. Today we are going to talk about what it means to be a young leader. To me being a young leader means you’re kind, honest, trustworthy and resourceful. “The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own example.”- John Wooden
Being a young leader is about your attitude and how you handle difficult situations. For example, you are playing with your friends and you notice someone being bullied. You go to your friends and urge them to help, but your friends are reluctant. Then, you tell them, “what if it was you being bullied, wouldn’t you want us to help?” After, leaving your friends with the question you go on to tell a teacher and start playing with the person who was bullied. Do something to show you care. That is how you can be a young leader at school! “There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to help others without expecting anything in return.” – Nelson Mandela
Being a young leader is also about being generous, kind, honest and instructive. If someone just arrived in the city show them around, introduce them to your community and offer to help them with anything they need. Make them feel at home! Hold a welcome-to-the-city party for them. Introduce them to your friends and family. Do something to make them feel welcome. “It’s the friends we meet along the way that help us appreciate the journey” – unknown.
A young leader also takes charge at all times. For example, you noticed that there was a fire starting in a kitchen. The first thing you do is call the fire department and get everyone out to the nearest exit, making sure that no one was left behind.
Being a young leader is very important. You must be organized, responsible and use initiative. If you’re a young leader you try not to make fun of people as people
will look at your example and follow it. A young leader takes courage and faces responsibility. Young leaders also take charge, like in school and in any situation.
That is what I think is it means to be a young leader.
The African Cultural Show
Compliment instead of compete. Enhance instead of duplicate. These are some of NCCEEP’s (Nigerian Canadians for Cultural, Economic and Educational Progress) goals and exactly what was accomplished at the 2nd Annual African Culture Show. Hosted by ACSOO, the Cameroonian Association of South Western Ontario, people from the African and Black Canadian community came together to enjoy food, dance, fashion and the opportunity to learn more about African culture.
Now more than before, Africans are enjoying the benefits of working together. So much can be said of a person who gives back to the community in both deeds and action. There is a philosophical and cultural concept used by the Yoruba people to describe a person of such good character, Omaluabi.
Abiola Afolabi, Executive Director of NCCEEP, gave a brief, but information packed, presentation on the programs offered at NCCEEP and the concept of Omoluabi. An overall person of integrity, Omaluabi encompasses someone who believes in hard work, respects the rights of others and gives back to the community.
We may all come from different backgrounds, but we are all united. T.J Travis, a performer and poet, had the crowd enthusiastically involved, while reiterating the concept that “together we rise” and “we are all related”. In his spoken word performance, he stated that “mighty be the woman who carries courage as her sword”, encouraging the audience to find alternative ways to battle societal hardships.
Bradley Jones, of the Emancipation Day Committee of Windsor, helped close the event by performing in the fashion show, which displayed traditional African clothes, and speaking about Unity. Unity and working together became the unofficial theme of the event. Effectively ringing true with the multiculturally diverse attendance, people left with an overwhelming sense that everyone, including the African community, should start collaborating more often.