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African Cultural Research and Education Foundation


African Cultural Research and Education Foundation is a community-based organization in Babadogo Parish, working towards moral reawakening and peace and hope building for the community of Kariobangi region of Nairobi. The project members use theatre and dance to communicate their message. Over the years ACREF has realized the need to sustain the programmes through engaging in income generating activities. Hence the members charge a fee for their drama, poetry or dance performances. These activities are a means of job creation in a country and environment that does not favour those who drop out of school early.

Table of Contents
1.0       Executive Summary
2.0       Project type
2.1       ACREF visitors
2.2       ACREF’S main goal
2.3       ACREF objectives
3.0       ACREF summary of activities
3.1       Summary of project receipts.
4.0       ACREF impact
4.1       Relationship with the community
4.2       Relationship with project members.
4.3       Project outreach mechanism
4.4       Community support structures
4.5       Project identification with the community
4.6       Networking
5.0       Plans 2003 – 2004
5.1       ACREF Budget

African Cultural Research and Educational Foundation (A.C.R.E.F) as the project was started in Baba Dogo in order to be an effective intervention to various social problems affecting the community among them being the HIV/AIDS pandemic.  Since its inception in January 2000, ACREF has worked in Baba Dogo to conscientize and mobilize the community against the problems that are daily occurrence.  Some of the problems include violence, murders, mob justice, rapes and gender related problems.
ACREF brings with it a new wind of change to both Baba Dogo and surrounding community.  Programmes initiated by ACREF has taken the form of theatrical public performance, participatory techniques in theatre for social transformation, and teaching programme.  The main aim of these programmes is to teach the community in the languages that they can easily understand and identify with.  Both the youngsters and elderly find ACREF programmes.  Quite appealing and as a result ACREF is slowly permetting the lives of the community members in Baba Dogo and surrounding areas.  Indeed, ACREF programmes are well received by the community and are somehow bearing the fruits expected.

2.1       ACREF VISION
ACREF is working towards the creation of spiritual and moral reawakening and hopes to promote endeavors that have great respect for human person.  These it does by concretization and social mobilization activities to create cultural awareness.
ACREF hopes to work towards poverty reduction among the youths in the slums.  It does this through the empowerment of activities that creates solidarity among the youth groups that plans and finds solutions to their own problems together.  Lastly, it hopes to contribute to the on going process of urban and social-cultural transformation in Africa and particularly in Kenya.
2.3       A.C.R.E.F OBJECTIVES.
- Job creation through cultural endeavors.
- Human development through continuous value formation.
- Local skills enhancement through capacity building.
- Challenging the youth to social pro-activities and responsiveness.
- Utilizing youthful talents to their full potential.
- Carrying out research to improve human situations in different communities.
- Devise messages, activities and interventions that address the needs of “youngsters in difficult circumstances.

- Participated in peace trees planting at Kariobangi Catholic Church in October, 2002.
- Performed during the promotion of “Reading for Life” organized by National Book Development Council of Kenya in November, 2002.
- Participated in Peace Week Festival in Kariobangi organized by Nairobi Youth Network for Peace.
- Participated in a walk in December for the promotion of peaceful transition during election period.
- Organized a concert for theatre artisted in December, 2002 at Baba Dogo whose theme was “Peace Mama Africa” in promotion of Peace For Women.
- Participated in Easter Celebrations with Boma Rescue Street Children at Paa ya Paa art gallery in 2003.
- ACREF members attended a workshop for planning and amending of our constitution in May, 2003.
- Performed at Tangaza College during social ministers graduation in May, 2003.
- In Baba Dogo July 12, 2003 we officially launched ACREF centre for ACREF offices.
- We held community outreach performances at 18 different villages in and around Baba Dogo.
- The group was invited to Uganda on 30th August, 2003 for performances and launching of ACREF Uganda chapter.
- The group members have started attending different courses to improve their competence.
- Some of the members are cultural teachers to street children at Boma Rescue centre.
- The group was invited to perform at Nairobi International Trade Fair at Jamhuri Park on 30th September, 2003.

Networking with community organizations for youth, women, and others for the purpose of effective mobilization.
- Baba Dogo Catholic Church
- Boma Rescue Street Children Centre.
- National Book Development Council of Kenya (NBDCK).
- Social Ministry Research Network Centre (SOMIRENEC).
- Social Ministry Institute (Tangaza College).
- Baba Dogo youth council.

Two member are attending courses in
- Project management in Kenya Institute Managemet
- Social work and community development at Nairobi University.
On 4th-8th of November, 2003 the group shall attend a workshop organized by SOMIRENEC on cost effectiveness of the project.

4.0       ACREF IMPACT
ACREF is seen as both an educating group entertainment group.  The community appreciation it’s role for various reasons among them being constructive occupation of youngsters, enlighten to the community and enhancing the ability to involve others in solving the community problems.
As ACREF members we are basically happy to be part and parcel of ACREF programs.  According, our programs enables us to be creative and to express ourselves.  Most important, however is the fact that our own peers view us as models.  Indeed most of us feel that our own contribution and dedication to the project is quite beneficial not only to the community but also to ourselves too.
This involvement is both for our betterment and enhance the self respect.  We as youngsters we have benefited from the income raised by the project.
In expressing this feeling towards the project we say “Together we build, ACREF should continue forever”.
In order to take its message to community, ACREF has adopted various strategies among themselves then the following;
·        Public performances in various communities of Baba Dogo and wherever they get invited to during these performances the members of the public are encouraged to participate and give their input.  Other outreach mechanism have involved working through institutions such as churches, hotels, NGOs and community based institution and various groups.  The project has so far created 13 jobs for 6 ladies and 7 men.
The following are presumed to be indicators of strong community involvement as far as ACREF is concerned:-
- Parents have allowed their children to attend the training session.  There is basically enough confidence and trust in ACREF.
- There is great attendance and participation in community shows.  Community groups also show in great numbers and also their own talents.
- Ideas for the betterment of ACREF from the community members.
- Support from the legal authority on several issues.
- Positive attitude towards the project by the local churches, institutions and NGOs.
ACREF is at the hear of Baba Dogo and Korogocho slums.  All it’s members have grown up in slum reality.  They have all suffered from community predicament and no one among them stems from another reality.  They understand the pangs of hunger, malnutrition, poverty, death and most painful of all the helplessness that comes as a result of being exposed to diseases.  They have lost some of their dear ones in violence or through diseases such as HIV/AIDS.  Keeping in mind that their driving force stems from the fact of being active community members, they want to respond to all these problems in both curative and proactive ways.
The members take this mission with passion because it affects them too.  Thus apart from their own experience of being community members they are also able to involve others to come up with solutions.
4.6       NETWORKING
ACREF understands well the fact that to be able to accomplish its mission it needs the support of other organization.  For this therefore, it has involved the government bodies, Religious bodies, some UN bodies and educational institution.
5.0       ACREF PLANS 2003 TO 2004
- Train members in various technical areas needed by the project.
- Aggressive marketing of ACREF and it’s program.
- Institutional outreach to schools, churches and other organization around Baba Dogo.
- Increase human formation program for both members and community.
- Inco-operation an element of home visitation and outreach program.
- The group is aspired to build an amphi-theatre in it’s centre, for both artises and community members.
- The group is planning to build a community library in the centre.
- The group wants to develop a show room to exhibit it’s artifacts and also improve trainings in production of artifacts to both members  and community at large.
- The group will record a compact disc in early January, 2004 and a video tape.
- The group wants to purchase a motor van that will help in both transporting members and in mobilization.

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