About The AFP
The AFP promotes storytelling as a pedagogical approach to learning and communicating what past civilizations have known all along- that their scientific discoveries about biodiversity, their knowledge about community development and their ways of continually adapting to changes in climate and environment leave a zero carbon footprint in their wake.
We are a growing bank of stories that promote sustainable development, collected from indigenous communities in Africa. These stories have been adapted and packaged into online courses that can be accessed by educators and learners anywhere in the world.
These stories are intended to encourage learners to adopt environmental conservation into their daily lives by cultivating ways to listen to what the earth is demanding of its citizens. In so doing, learners are able to form bonds of solidarity with the original custodians of the earth.
The AFP envisions a future generation of environmental citizens who will be fully equipped with the essential knowledge required to live in harmony with the natural world.
It is our mission to inspire the next generation of storytellers to continue passing down these practices, knowledge and wisdom, to ensure the continued protection of our shared planet.
The AFP is inspired by a story about a hummingbird retold by Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (Kenya), who started a movement of planting a green belt across Kenya, one tree seedling at a time.
In 2006, I left Africa and traveled the world- through Asia, North America and Europe. I became a mother and began raising my children in countries far away from the aunties and older women who would have automated the initiation into motherhood, African-style. I tried to keep a little bit of Africa inside me- through the food that I prepared, the way that I carried my babies, wrapped in slings and dangling their tiny feet beside my hips. I kept my hair braided, and always wore the brightly-coloured kanga outfits that filled my wardrobe- all of which was meant to keep me aligned with my identity as an African. But over the years, I have learned that Africa lives within, and not outside of me. It is presented in the way that I speak, the expressions that I use to convey tone and emotions, the way that I laugh, the thoughts that fill my imagination, the music that my heart responds to, and above all, the values that guide my daily parenting journey. In me lives a way of being, a philosophy that is the very essence of being African- the Ubuntu way. The continent's collective spirit of oneness is reflected in my habits, and I see myself in others that are different from me, because I see their humanity first.
I am a nomad living far from my birth home, but if there is one thing that seems to stay in my heart, unnerved by the constant changes, something I could pack up in a moment's notice and transport discreetly to my next home country, it is the stories of our past. These are folktales that had been shared with me as a child, which I now share with my children and all their friends from different countries. There is never a shortage of this resource, and each story could be retold with a new twist, giving it a fresh, new angle, to suit a diverse audience. Once I fully understood this, I embraced the whole world as my home.
As a professionally trained journalist and a certified specialist in creative writing for children, storytelling for me is like water to fish. I dive in and come alive while relishing in all the possibilities of adventure that my mind can conjure up while swimming inside the lives of mythical or legendary characters. I have a masters in Development Education and Global Learning, which has enabled me to connect the dots between informal and formal knowledge systems to find essential knowledge that we can use to progress into happy, successful and healthy citizens of the world.
Sadly, even though my childhood stories are still as relevant today as they were more than 3 decades ago when I was a little girl growing up in Kenya, nobody is really sharing them anymore. The old story-keepers are leaving this planet with our rich heritage stored inside their minds. Meanwhile, the younger generation have new digital learning tools that have disconnected them from the older generation. It is this big gap between the young and the old that compelled me to design the AFP, a digital story-sharing platform which acts as a bridge where the old story-keepers can meet with the young to pass the baton of future storytelling.
Through this exciting process, I can hear the original storytellers coming alive in a medium that was not available in their time, which now serves a great purpose of connecting past, present and future earth dwellers. It is an incredibly exciting time to be alive and to be able to share my ancestors' knowledge with the rest of the world.