What is BUACK?
BUACK means ‘Birmingham Ungano African Club Kingstanding, and had its inaugural meeting on Sunday 21st September 2008. The number of people of African origin living in Kingstanding area and beyond has increased drastically, hence the idea of coming together as a group to share our common ideas, values, and to integrate into British society. Our membership to date consist of people from different ethnic backgrounds in different countries like Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Malawi, Mauritania, Mauritius, Niger, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. We are yet to get representative from some other African countries, so we look forward to see more Africans join this unique association.
The Association was established as a dynamic vehicle to promote unity and friendship among Africans, to reduce the isolation of African families living within the Birmingham area and promote their independence, health and well-being. Also to work with families by supporting their development needs, helping them to raise their aspirations, and addressing their social and health issues. We aim to work alongside parents by helping them to face the challenges of parenthood, helping them in their personal and social development and to provide avenues and activities to bring about community cohesion
The membership strength of the association has grown from the initial six members to over one hundred and fifty members. It functions as an independent organisation, but affiliate with other community organisations who share similar objectives.
Presently we are being supported by New Heights a charity organisation in Kingstanding as they offer meeting rooms for free and help with items such as projectors, laptops and other teaching aids equipments to carry out our activities.
We have provided some activities and services since we started such as: art and crafts sessions, bi-weekly Saturday school for young people, bi-weekly support groups, African Cultural Awareness week in 2010 and 2011, participated in Black History Day organised by Birmingham City Council in October 2009, access to specialist speakers, information, advice and guidance on immigration, debt, social care, homelessness etc.
Aims and Objectives
The aims and objectives of the club are as follows:
· To share experiences and celebrate and promote the interests of people of African origin living within Kingstanding and beyond.
· To offer mutual support to members of the Association, accessing advice and
assistance, where appropriate, from statutory and voluntary sector agencies, in order to ensure the health and well-being of individuals and their families.
- To work closely with other community groups to promote diversity and integration within the local area.
- To work towards a common goal of sustaining the ideals of African culture, whilst
embracing British society, with members committing themselves to building better partnerships with statutory and voluntary sector agencies and other faith communities, in order to address racism and social exclusion issues.
The club’s long term objectives apart from helping our members here are to look back into some Africa countries in crisis and send aid there to reduce the suffering of the people.
Our activities have been supported by a local church which provides free rooms and refreshments for us to meet. We donate small amounts of our own money to help towards the running costs of the association. Through the church and New Heights, we have been able to obtain access to a number of specialist speakers who have offered information, advice and guidance on a range of issues including integration, immigration, health, education, access to employment, volunteering and trainings, citizenship, debt and money management, access to local services including ESOL courses among others. The group provides a regular support system for all families migrating and settling in Birmingham, and offers informal teaching to the members’ children to improve their English and Maths, and teach the English language to newly arrived children. Education and training are very important factors to get employment within the UK as most people without formal training find it difficult to be employed. BUACK is now prepared to offer learning and training opportunities including ICT and life skills to both adults and young people. We planned to offer the following courses for now, Health and safety, Food hygiene, Protection of Vulnerable Adults and Children, CV writing, Emergency First Aid, among others. We use the St. John’s Centre of New Heights Community Project to carry out all our activities and manned by parents and volunteers.
Homestart—Support for families with pre-school children.
MIND—For mental health issues.
Coping with ADHD—Support for families with ADHD.
Al-Anon—Support for families of alcoholics.
Zumba– Dance Fitness Class.
SVP—Providing practical to individuals/families in need.
Carers’ Group—Support for carers.
Benefits and General Advice — Benefits, Debt and general advice.
Voyage Care—Support for adults with learning disabilities.
Yoga from a chair — Relaxation class.
Free legal advice from Green Solicitors and IEI solicitors.
MP & Councillors Advice — For Kingstanding residents and members of BUACK.
Meeting Facilities/Community Centre