Our ancestors believed that service was a positive attitude to cultivate and considered very important in their development as a moral being. Even the Shekem (what Europeans called Pharaohs) considered their role as leader as one of service and that being able to serve was a blessing, not a chore.
Mistaking work for toil
For those of us who came to the UK from the colonial societies in the Caribbean our view of service has been coloured by the enslavement experience. Where we were forced to work six days a week, from sunrise to sunset for no other reward than the possibility of freedom from torture.
Many of us have now come to a place where we will not do anything unless ‘we getting paid” or where its in our own individual interest.
Service to our ancestors had no gender bias either. So for the brothers out there, helping others was not considered a female role; it was a community role, a human role. To be able to do for others helped keep the community well and as a member of the community you in turn benefited as well.
Not a wasted effort
We at Pattigift hold to the notion of service to the community. If we can be of service to the community particularly in its need to heal; then we’ll all be the better for it in the long run.
We do not subscribe to the view that it’s everyone for themselves. Just because people may think like that does not make it correct.
I suppose a question people should ask themselves could be, ‘is my community important to me’?
A second question would be ‘is it important enough for me to want to make a contribution’?
A next question might be ‘what can I do help’
And finally you might ask yourself ‘what do I get out of it’
A call to Arms
The Akoben or (War Horn) is a symbol of a call to action, readiness to be called to action. In the modern age the symbol has been associated with a state of readiness for a common task, a common endeavour communal unit for the common good, voluntarism.
Pattigift is planning to establish a volunteer programme called ‘Akoben’.
We are planning to establish an army of volunteers within the community of people of African ancestry. An army of ‘healer warriors’ charged with engaging the community in helping to heal itself.
The aim of the training will be to arm the volunteers with academic tools, personal insights and a psychological and historical shield that will enable them to know their place in the world thus demonstrating the value of service to the community. Like the priest and priestess’s of old by serving man (woman) we serve God.
Each session will contain three elements that will focus on African psychology theory, social action, and personal development.
Where will these volunteers work?
That is for us (Pattigift and Volunteer) to decide. But we envisage volunteers supporting Pattigift in mental illness hospitals, psycho-education groups, Saturday schools, helping our elders, assisting people who have loved ones in hospital or prison. There will be other areas for the army to engage with as we grow and develop
What will there purpose be?
The purpose of the volunteer army will be to aid in the restoration of family and community. The Army will enable the community to have access to an African Psychology framework that will empower them to make their lives victorious.
The aim is to provide a training curriculum that will offer members of the community an opportunity to engage in a program that will be a minimum of fifty per cent personal development, by introducing them to African psychology concepts, the completion of the course will also have the added benefit of being a pre-introduction to a counselling course that will lead to accreditation.
The programme will be designed in twelve-week blocks, each block self-contained in which participants will have to complete before moving on to another. Each block will include some kind of test and assignment. Each block will include a specific element alongside the African centred psychology component; for example communication skills, report writing, data collection, computer competence etc. All types of things that could be of assistance to them in their lives, even if they never take part as a volunteer. The blocks can be very therapeutic or practical, a bit like the badges scouts and guides would get. The aim is to create holistic, rounded community members who can assist their families and by extension the more unfortunate and vulnerable ones in our communities
We are interested in recruiting from all sectors of the community, however we are particularly interested in recruiting young males who are ex-cons and want to stay that way. We are interested in young brothers and sisters who are roaming the streets with little or no prospects and even less self-knowledge. We are also thinking of trying to engage our people who are caught between job seeker and long term sick.
The community needs to heal. So this programme needs to have healing potential and people willing to see it. People with the courage of warriors, and a love for the community, thus we have ‘healer warriors’. We believe that if we can attract the most disadvantaged and assist them in their own recovery to self-love and perfectablility, their example will influence the more ‘able’ members of our community to follow. People can engage with as little or as much as they can handle