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Kem Youth Center

The goal of the Kem Youth Center (KYC) is to guide participating youth to appreciate and participate in preserving the indigenous languages, way of life, and practices of their original Kemetic culture, foundational elements of indigenous life that are not emphasized or available to them in modern schools. Thus, the Kem Youth Center creates more complete and culturally balanced leaders for the complex and connected world of tomorrow.

THE CHALLENGE

Education is a way to protect, preserve and develop traditional indigenous language and cultures.  Education is a fundamental way for indigenous peoples to reclaim and preserve their dignity.  It is an indispensable asset to attain freedom and social justice. Language was a key factor in education as it grew out of the cultural environment.  

 

However, most schools do not provide facilities for indigenous youth to master their own cultures and languages, taught from the perspective of the preservers of those cultures. The consequence is that youth do not develop a sense of pride in their own cultures and languages, and this in turn diminishes their understanding of the importance of honoring the contributions of their own ancestors to the world in which they live. 

 

Many people might have had the experience of sitting in class in a modern school and wondering why we would have to sit through certain classes in the generic curriculum or how this would have an impact on their lives. People often find that modern education prepares them to navigate the realities of society, such as preparing them for employment. However, it also leaves them wondering where to go to get the vital education about who they are in relation to their own Ancestral roots, beyond the labels society provides. 

 

Most school curriculums emphasize European histories and languages. Therefore, learners  who come from other parts of the world with different cultures, languages, and histories often have to compromise their cultural background and language in order to assimilate to and navigate their modern education society. Given the stresses and pressures of the modern lifestyle, parents are often spread thin and the education of their children lies primarily in the hands of the schools that do not teach them the values of their own cultures. This facilitates the loss of fundamental indigenous cultural knowledge from one generation to the next with a resulting increasing risk of cultural extinction. 

THE SOLUTION
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The Kem Youth Center (KYC) provides balance for youth by offering them access to an education that is rooted in the knowledge of their own Ancestors. Through exposure to various practical disciplines taught by master teachers and indigenous community members, the youth grow up with a strong cultural foundation that helps restore their connection with their own Ancestral knowledge systems and with Nature. 

 

The participating youth also get the chance to acquire and develop a variety of skills in working and living as a community. They also gain a new sense of self-worth as their culture and roots are valued, promoted, and passed down in the Kem Youth Center instead of being diminished and erased. This unique exposure helps build a strong sense of stability in the youth in a time of increasing instability and change in society. The use of the original languages of the master teachers as the language of instruction has the advantage of giving the youth new insights into the world around them as well as new opportunities. Thus, the Kem Youth Center creates more complete and culturally balanced leaders for the complex and connected world of tomorrow.

ACTIVITES

Through KYC’s Apprenticeship and Mentorship program, local mentors, master teachers, skilled experts, graduated initiates from The Earth Center’s “M’TAM School”, and supporting family will assist the youth with their rich base of knowledge, skills and qualities, providing a vibrant, hands-on learning experience. Our village will coordinate and implement signature apprenticeships and mentorships that are led by career mentors and experts. Each apprenticeship will culminate in a final presentation or performance to peers, parents, staff and community members. The youth will be exposed to certain traditional disciplines including:

​- Traditional way of living on a

foundation of Dignity and Integrity.

- Traditional Languages

- Traditional Spiritual awareness

- Hunting/Gathering

- Indigenous Natural Healing Practices

- Farming

- Practical Crafts