Vision

All of our children feel loved and empowered to be resilient in an imperfect world.

Mission

Our Mission is to lead our Harambee community in celebrating the varied heritage and cultures of the African diaspora.

In the next five years (2016-2021), we will focus on further extending the promise of Harambee to youth, parents, adult adoptees, and elders in our community by providing mentoring, role models, therapy and counselling, cultural representation, outreach (within the Harambee community) and love.

Purpose & Strategic Plan

The purpose of Harambee Cultural Society is to celebrate the value of transracial families and mitigate the challenges faced by trans-racially adopted children.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” –Maya Angelou-

Harambee is great because there is a powerful, positive and organic underlying feeling that just exists. Harambee is great because the people involved are unequivocally dedicated and committed. This is why Harambee has endured and blossomed for 20 years. As Harambee moves into its third decade, the Board of Directors recognizes the need for strategic planning and that, a strategic plan would offer a number of solid guiding principles to grow and yet maintain the “magic”. Though this may be our first documented effort, we have had a less formalized strategic plan for many years. The founding families, President, Executive Officers, and the Board of Directors have governed the vision, mission, themes, and direction.

Over time, organizations of people change and evolve and therefore, it is best practice to evaluate the needs, goals, principles, and guideposts of the group to ensure the vision and mission are being sustained.The Harambee board believes it is especially important that we have a 5-year strategic document that serves the purpose of guiding us for the next five years as we transition and grow beyond our first generation of leaders.

Since the Harambee Summer Festival’s beginning in 1996 with two families and 25 people, the group has strived to place the education and happiness of its children squarely at the center of its efforts. Our primary activities are conducted through a conference/camp held during the summer. During this week-long conference/camp – the effects of which resonate throughout the rest of the calendar year among children and parents alike – we provide access to parenting and adoption professionals and their services, cultural and ancestry awareness activities, parent support meetings, and peer to peer mentoring opportunities. Separately, and in combination, these initiatives fulfill our charitable purposes.

Our children attending the conference/camp with their families range in age from newborn to young adult. We host over 200 children each year that participate in the conference/camp. Our group is comprised primarily of trans-racial adoptive families with the make-up of these families primarily but not exclusively Caucasian parents and non-Caucasian children of African heritage. The families that have attended our conference/camp are predominantly Canadian along with Americans and Caribbean families attending as well. The families have traveled from as far away as Ontario, Newfoundland and the USA but most reside in British Columbia. There are no restrictions on which trans-racial, nationalities, or family compositions may participate, we are focused on African heritage and related needs, we broadly welcome families of all types including single parents, gay/lesbian parents, blended families, and birth & adopted children. The “Harambee Summer Festival” is the only Cultural Conference/Camp of its kind in the Pacific Northwest.

Themes

There are five themes in the strategic plan.They are Youth, Therapeutic View, Mentoring/Role Models, Radiating Cultural Representation, and Outreach.The below action statements reflect our vision for each of these themes so that each can help to earn our mission.

Youth will be empowered to better understand the world as it is today, gain self-confidence, resilience, leadership skills and community building skills to pursue their happiness and the betterment of Harambee.

A Therapeutic Milieu will be supported and promoted.These educational opportunities will help all of our constituents, children, youth, young adults, parents, elders, families, vendors, and interested parties the opportunity to learn and grow closer together.

Mentorship and Role Moles for all of our constituents, children, youth, young adults, parents, elders, families, vendors, and interested parties will foster strong personal relationships and be the glue that binds all of us together and helps us learn from each other.

Radiating Cultural Representation will actively promote all of Harambee to experience the multitude of cultures associated with African heritage including but not limited to African, North American, Caribbean, South American cultures and their subcultures.

Year round Outreach within our Harambee community will enable a deeper, more meaningful bond.The intention is to extend the ‘safe haven’ spirit for our Harambee community beyond the Summer Festival camp experience.

Our children attending the conference/camp with their families range in age from newborn to young adult. We typically host 180 children each year that participate in the conference/camp. Our group is comprised primarily of trans-racial adoptive families with the make-up of these families primarily but not exclusively Caucasian parents and non-Caucasian children of African heritage. The families that have attended our conference/camp are predominantly Canadian along with Americans and Caribbean families attending as well. The families have traveled from as far away as Ontario, Newfoundland and the USA but most reside in British Columbia. Though there are no restrictions on which trans-racial, nationalities, or family compositions may participate, we are focused on African heritage and related needs, we broadly welcome families of all types including single parents, gay/lesbian parents, blended families, and birth & adopted children. The “Harambee Summer Festival” is the only Cultural Conference/Camp of its kind in the Pacific Northwest.