“Africa’s Future in African Hands” Tour stops in California: Nurse Mary Koroma speaks in San Diego & Oakland

San Diego, April 16, 2012: On their first full day in San Diego, Nurse Midwife Mary Koroma and Ayesha Fleary (Director of Information and Education, AAPDEP) had a whirlwind day engaging with the community.

First, they presented to thirty students at Mesa College in the Black Studies “Contemporary Social Problems” class with instructor Thekima Mayasa.

Xavier McGregor, leader of InPDUM for San Diego, gave an excellent introduction, reminding students that it is not enough to engage simply as scholars; “You don’t want to be a 30-year old with a PhD simply pointing out problems; by age four we have all  learned how to point out problems. What you have to do is be on the ground doing the real work to solve the problems”.

Ayesha provided students with an overview of AAPDEP’s programs and how the projects are not charity, but are an example of African people solving their own problems rather than having band aid solutions imposed upon them.

Nurse Mary then gave details about the projects going on in Sierra Leone; the cassava farm, the nursing and vocational school, and the nursery for the children. She talked about the impact AAPDEP was making not only in Freetown, Sierra Leone, but the interior of the country in the villages that have limited access to health care.

The next stop was a dinner meeting with students from San Diego State University Black Student Science Organization (BSSO). The three representatives from BSSO engaged in a lively discussion about issues affecting the African community and how they could possibly work with AAPDEP. In addition, the Board President representing the African community’s urban agricultural projects was present, to see how its goals may coincide with those of AAPDEP. All in all, great connections were made during this meeting.

Finally, the AFIAH community presentation took place at Lincoln High School. Students from the school’s African Revolutionary Student Organization (ARSO) made sure everything was ready for Nurse Mary and Ayesha. At this presentation, a powerful video was shown, allowing the audience to experience the concrete changes taking place in Sierra Leone, all in the hands of African people. It was a potent statement of how self-determination can overturn the conditions for African people living in poverty everywhere and showed how the strategies of AAPDEP are at the forefront of creating permanent change for African people.

Nurse Mary gave a rousing appeal for the necessity for funds and materials to strengthen the projects in Sierra Leone and the small but committed audience responded by pledging a significant amount of money far beyond the expectations of everyone!

If this wasn’t enough, Nurse Mary also was interviewed by the local African paper that will be running a story on her next week!


Oakland, Wednesday, April 18 2012: Attendees of the “Africa’s Future in African Hands” tour event in Oakland, CA heard from Nurse-Midwife Mary Koroma of Sierra Leone and other leaders in the African Liberation Movement about the powerful being led and built by the Uhuru Movement in West Africa.

Reading about the work of the Uhuru Movement on the internet is one thing. To see the images and hear from the passionate workers of the movement is another.

Ayesha Fleary, Director of Information and Education for the All African People’s Development and Empowerment Project (AAPDEP), guided the audience through a presentation explaining the many aspects of the efforts in Sierra Leone and how they are tied to the greater struggle of African people everywhere.

To see the many women workers walking along the paths through the fields cultivated with cassava plants, whose roots are a staple sustenance for many in West Africa, and to hear them explain the work necessary to raise these resources; to see the men speak of the work building fishing boats and the sense of hope which organizing in the community brings; to see the row of graduates from the first graduating class of nurses and birth assistants who will go out to even the remotest parts of Sierra Leone to ensure a successful birth; to see the many locations where the APSP has already laid its roots, and hear of the ongoing successes in building the movement: this brought life to the powerful message of the Party by rooting the reality of the movement in the minds of those attending.

Maureen Wagener, member of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement and organizer of the Oakland Freedom Summer Project, explained the parasitic nature of capitalism. As a member of USM, the organization of white people and other allies working under the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party, Maureen expressed the stance of solidarity with the vital work of the APSP to overturn the nightmarish reality of colonial oppression that keeps African people in a state of subjugation and poverty, such as in Sierra Leone where Africans suffer from the highest rate of infant and maternal mortality rate in the world.

Diop Olugbala, President of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement, further elucidated the work of the African People’s Socialist Party to unite Africans everywhere, be it in Africa, the Caribbean, or Europe, to gain true power and control of their destinies.

A presentation by Samsarah Morgan of the Nia Center on Birth and Family , who was accompanied to the event by the other members of the “Decolonize Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting” caucus of Occupy Oakland, emphasized the intense bond between women as they support each other throughout the experience from pregnancy to parenting.

Nurse Mary Koroma speaks on the struggle for African self-determination in Sierra Leone

Nurse Mary’s powerful presentation laid bare the practical nature of the struggles in achieving the wonderful successes of AAPDEP programs in Sierra Leone.

When asked whether the upcoming elections in Sierra Leone offered any hope to people, Nurse Mary explained that Africans in the outlying regions of the country are usually ignored by the government completely except during election time. Typically the government does little or nothing on behalf of the people at all. The people have grown weary of empty promises.

Instead, when Africans see the great progress that can be made even with only the resources at hand, they gain confidence in a future through self-determination by organizing within the community to address their long-term needs on their own. This point reiterated the important notion of “solidarity not charity” that informs the work of AAPDEP.

Nurse Mary explained that the concerns engendered by meeting the needs of the community are holistic in nature.

Many women of the community were not able to attend the AAPDEP school because they already had several children to take care of. For this reason, Nurse Mary undertook to overcome this obstacle by instituting a day-care facility under the auspices of AAPDEP.

Nurse Mary’s efforts to build on the self-reliance characteristic of the women of her community include the production of foodstuffs and handcrafts which are sold to raise funds for AAPDEP programs and to meet the needs of its participants within the  community. AAPDEP has already formed a network of gardens in Sierra Leone, including community and backyard gardens.

At the conclusion of the event, the fundraising effort was successful despite the small numbers of attendees.

The solidarity of those present, including many who are already members of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement, was key to this effort to win back resources for the purpose of continuing the successes of AAPDEP and the APSP.

“Africa’s Future in African Hands” Tour gaining support all over the country

Upcoming events will no doubt be even more successful both in fundraising and building solidarity behind the movement. The tour has already generated support during its tour within the boundaries of the U.S., from St. Petersburg Florida to Philadelphia, to Seattle, WA.

You have a chance to be part of this awesome effort by attending tonight’s event at the Uhuru House in West Oakland (7911 MacArthur Blvd., 6:30pm) or this Saturday, April 21, also at the Uhuru House 10am to 4pm! The April 21 event will have a special emphasis on the building of a health clinic in East Oakland throught the Oakland Freedom Summer Project. This clinic will work to address the fact that in Oakland an African baby is 1.5 times more likely to be born premature with a low birth weight than a white baby, for example

The Oakland Freedom Summer Project will also involve the establishment of the Uhuru Jiko Kitchen and the Sat. May 5 March for Black Justice and Court for Black Justice which will put the Oakland Police Department on trial for genocide against the African community.

Solidarity with African Self-determination!
Long Live AAPDEP!
Long live the Uhuru Movement!
Victory to African People!
Solidarity, Not Charity!

Join the Uhuru Solidarity Movement today!

A presentation by Samsarah Morgan of the Nia Center on Birth and Family , who was accompanied to the event by the other members of the “Decolonize Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting” caucus of Occupy Oakland, emphasized the intense bond between women as they support each other throughout the experience from pregnancy to parenting.

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