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I met Dupe Makinde a few years ago at a women’s conference in Hertfordshire at the time she seemed like any other ordinary conference speaker! Over the years i have followed her progress  and discovered that this is a deep woman of purpose. In my diva terminology ” A Woman Extraordinaire”.

What made me give Dupe several “Thots” is her different approach to helping children and young adults in the ethnic diaspora.

In the diaspora today (UK and US)  our young are doing a lot of positive things, but we see and hear of many doing not so positive things. My heart skips a beat many a time I see a group of teenagers or young adults on the news that have done something wrong and oftentimes there is a African name. I have often asked my self, why are our kids are now involved in these things? What is lacking? What are we not giving them? Why are they pushed out of mainstream education?  Why do they feel alienated? What are we going to do to stem this tide? Have we come to the diaspora to work hard for a better life and lose our children in the process? How can we engage our children’s minds?

Children in the ethnic diaspora face a different kind of conflict or challenge to the children in Africa and the Carribean. First among this is the question of identity. Who am I? They are brought up in an African or Afro Caribbean home with certain cultural and moral codes but they have to function in a society that has a different set of moral codes. This can be conflicting . Many of these children develop dual personalities operating one way at home and another at school. While it is the primary function of the parent to address these issues with support in a loving environment, this is not always the case. There is a high figure of absentee fathers amongst the ethnic diaspora so it becomes imperative that the community provide role models and mentorship programmes.

The Equality and Human Rights Commisions reveals that Ethnic minorities are over represented in the UK Custodial system many have mental health issues or have been in the care system. It also reveals that Africans and Afro Carribeans make 15% of the custodial system yet  are only 2.2% of the general population. This tells us that pro active action is needed now!

Enter Dupe Makinde and God’s Grace Foundation, Dupe’s vision is originally to help disadvantage children in Western Nigeria but here in the United Kingdom her vision really is too nurture and engage the minds of our young to break out of expected stereotypes.

How does Dupe Makinde do this?

Just recently workshops were held in South East London for children going into year 7 which is the first year of secondary school in the UK. (It should be noted that schools are now breeding grounds for drug usage and sexual activity). This program was organised for 11 to 12 year olds to understand what to expect in terms of workload, how to organise themselves, how to cope when faced with peer pressure or bullying.

The Girlz Empowered and Boyz Excel programmes are aimed to develop a healthy self esteem for 11 to 17 year olds.  Older Children  and teenagers are made to understand their self worth, body appreciation, personal development, goal setting and most importantly their significance in the world they live in.

Money Management training is offered to the  older children, this is one major area of failing for the black diaspora while adults have to “Relearn” (Diva terminology”) our young ones must be trained from an early age to manage finances, understand investment and insurance. When we have financial power as a people many of our challenges will be solved. We must cease to be a consumer people and become the producer people.

Free Study Support is also held for 6 to 11 year olds.  Afro Carribean and African children are failing in schools, the long term solution would be to found strong black academies but until such a time extra help must be provided to our children in mainstream schools.

It must be understood that in today’s world there are so many distractions for all the young, kudos must be given to extraordinary women like Dupe Makinde for a selfless job.


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