Service Providers and Affiliates
Harambee Cultural Society is fortunate to be connected with incredible people who help lead our families in learning about our children’s African Heritage. Each year some of our service providers and affiliates attend camp to enrich our programming. The Harambee Summer Festival daily camp schedule is filled with opportunities for all age groups. Children can learn African drumming, Tweens enjoy learning the technical aspects of Hip Hop dancing, Teens have a chance to express their feelings of how they see the world through interpretive activities and adults can benefit from professionals in the field of parenting.
Our affiliates fill our mandates to educate and build self-esteem with exposing our families to their rich culture. Following are service providers who Harambee Cultural Society has used, our goal is to enrich our programing and are continuously striving for the best possible supports for our families.
Dr. Lisa Gunderson, One Love Consulting - Parent/Child Individual and Group Counseling
Dr. Lisa Gunderson is an award winning educator and equity consultant. Currently, she teaches psychology courses at Vancouver Island University Camosun College, and the Justice Institute of BC. She also consults with the Ministry and the Victoria Police Department on equity issues in policing. She received bachelor degrees in psychology and social sciences and communication, and a Masters and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Southern California. She is a Registered Clinical Counselor in Canada and is a licensed psychologist in the state of California who focuses on multicultural issues. She primarily focuses on working with schools, parents, and organizations in Canada and the US. She also provides consulting services to families and youth-adults regarding these issues. She lives in Victoria with her family, including preteen and teenage biethnic and bi-racial sons. You can learn more about Dr. Gunderson at http://oneloveconsulting.com/
Nadjema and Kaly Soro - West African Dance
No strangers to Harambee or any performance stage, sisters Nadjema and Kaly have been dancing their entire lives and certainly they have danced every day at Harambee for more than seven years! Coming to camp as peer leaders now is very important and it is a way to give back to camp and to set the stage for future Harambee kids to become leaders. As part of the youth group, Miyanda, the Soro girls have many, many memories to thank Harambee families for and it is a privilege for them to be a part of this fantastic experience.
Soleil Richardson - Senior Hip Hop
Soleil Richardson has been dancing since the day she was born and continues to do so! Starting with community dance classes at two years old, at age eight she joined the African dance girl's group, Miyanda. She has performed on countless stages, at schools, at community events, as well as the Vancouver Children's Festival, Aberdeen International Youth Festival in Scotland, FiCUP in Mexico City, at the Chan Centre, the Vancouver Olympics Cultural Olympiad, Richmond Night market to name a few. After completing her time with Miyanda, Soleil began to study Hip Hop. At age thirteen she joined a competitive Hip Hop group called "Volume 1", choreographed by Angela Lowndes, with girls ranging from age nine to twenty. She has since performed in many Hip Hop shows, like "Alchemy".
Sekai Fleming - Senior Hip Hop
Sekai Fleming has been studying Hip Hop under the direction of Sonny Clavaria from Flo Ethics for over three years. He has competed in both studio and high school competitions, and performs at community events. Sekai has been training with an all boys group under the guidance of dancer and choreographer, Menelaine Valencia.
Sandi Fleming - Junior Hip Hop
Sandi Fleming is a high school teacher from Surrey, BC. She runs the dance program at Princess Margaret Secondary and has done so for more than ten years. Dance is part of the curriculum at many Surrey schools along with dance competitions and extra-curricular teams. A majority of the class time is spent on Hip Hop, but other styles such as contemporary, tap, bhangra and salsa are introduced. Sandi has contributed to the love of dance for 5 years at Harambee Summer Festival.
Fana Soro - West African Drumming
Fana Soro is the group leader of Masabo, a hereditary master of the balafon, West Africa's big wooden xylophone. Fana hails from the Senoufo tribe in northern Cote d'lvoire and spent nine years as a member of the prestigious Ballet National de Cote d'lvoire touring England, Holland, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Yugoslavia, Martinique and West Africa. In 1990, he moved to Norway to perform throughout the Norwegian educational system and work as Artist in Residence at the International Children's Museum in Oslo. From there, Fana continued to tour throughout Northern Europe with the celebrated West African group, Super Djembe Kan. In 1997, Fana moved to Vancouver and performed Masabo, a performance group specializing in traditional West African music, dance and storytelling - it has been quite a performance ride!
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Jean Pierre Makosso - Masabo Performance
Actor, director, storyteller, writer and African dancer, Jean Pierre Makosso was born in the Congo Brazza-Ville and now lives in Gibsons, BC. He has toured the world three times with professional companies from France, (Theatre du Corps, led by Claude Amiel, Havre); Switzerland, (Company Amiel, director Jean Pierre Amiel, Lauzanne); and Congo (Company Punta-Negra, director Victor Nani, Pointe-Noire). He arrived in Canada in 2001. Since then he has been in many festivals, schools and community events. He has written directed, acted in numerous plays throughout British Columbia. He has written stories "Billet d'humeur: for Radio Canada in 'unCertain dimanche", wrote, narrated a story that appeared in an African dance and storytelling documentary movie, produced by radio-Canada and directed by Pierre Beaudoin. Jean Pierre is a principal performer for Massabo Culture Company. Jean Pierre Makosso is a bilingual artist who shares his culture, his talent and his art with love, peace, joy and a huge smile.
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Kesseke Yeo - Masabo Performance
For Kesseke dance is like a medicine. He started dancing at seven years old and at eleven he went to the National Ballet of Cote d'lvoire and was there for several years dancing locally and touring around Africa and Europe. He also danced for Yelemba d'Abidjan, Ballet Djolem d'Abidjan, and la Companie de Wouafou de Abidjan. In 2001, he moved to Vancouver to become a principal dancer for Masabo Culture Company. Eleven years later, Kesseke is now well known in the performing arts scene as a hereditary master of the acrobatic dance form called Boloye. Kesseke also teaches West African dance in various dance studios in Vancouver. Kesseke is also a celebrated tailor specializing in women's fashions.
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This West African drum group from the Okanagan area performs at many community events.
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Menbere Muluneh - Ethiopian Chef
Menbere was born and raised in the lush area of Ethiopia in Doukem, near the famed tourism area, Debre Zeit. She trained as a nurse in Ethiopia, and worked for a variety of organizations including a development NGO. Menbere and her husband Haile moved to Germany while he was doing his Master's studies, and then to Canada, where their son Noah was born. Currently, Menbere practices as a registered nurse in Kelowna, BC. Menbere also is a director for The Vulnerable Children Society, a Canadian charity that cares for HIV+, poor and orphaned children in Ethiopia. She is the heart of the Okanagan's Ethiopian community; each holiday "Habesha" gather at her home for her homemade feasts. Her injera is amazing and she often mentors others, both Ethiopian and Canadian-born, in the fine art of Ethiopian cooking.
Harambee has had the opportunity to host many hair care professionals who offer their services. This includes the styling of hair, product sales and teaching specific techniques to parents and care givers. It is our goal to ensure that our children realize the natural beauty and authenticity of their hair while providing cultural tips on traditional and current styles.
As the Harambee Cultural Society continues to offer programs and services to support our families during our week long summer camp, we know the support is needed throughout the year. A mother’s retreat had it’s inaugural weekend in November 2013 in attendance were 25 women. This retreat included much needed time to re-energize and to discuss the distinct topics of transracial families and adoption.