An Africentric approach is a theoretical template for understanding African people, and their ways of living and being. Africentrism was developed by many Canadian philosophers who aimed to understand African values and principles, in the context of colonialism and white supremacy. Africentrism is a shift from Eurocentric views of living and being, and the approaches embrace a holistic approach.
- The understanding of critical race theory. This theory asserts that race is a social construct that has led to disadvantages and barriers for Black, Indigenous, and people of colour.
- A shift towards the mind, body, and soul. Africentrism values the connection between our physical body and spiritual selves and encourages balance within ourselves to achieve well-being.
- Africentrism asserts that Black and African ancestry people have a shared history of colonialism that has led to poorer outcomes for Black people across the world. At the same time, our experiences of oppression can also align African people together with a common goal and purpose. Our liberation.
When families interact with the children’s aid society, or experience difficulties within their dynamics, it is an issue that the entire family and the systems that support the families should address. It is not an individual problem. For example, if the young person in the family is involved with the police, the problem does not lie with the young person. The family, the school, the criminal justice system, the police, the community, and the youth all play a role in contributing to the problem.
What our work entails:
Once we receive a referral, the family wellbeing worker contacts the family first to develop a relationship by introducing themselves and establishing a date/time to meet.
We establish several meetings to get to know your family and how your family functions. We seek to understand your family’s strengths, their values, their beliefs, and how they have addressed the problem in the past.
Other areas of concern:
- Spirituality- how does the family find faith, hope, what is their purpose, and how do they see meaning in every day life.
- Ecosystem- what are the services that interact with the family, the nature of the relationship [i.e., positive, contentious], and the experiences of anti-Black racism the family encounters.
- Intergenerational experiences- what is the family’s history? what are patterns of living that has been passed down in the family? what are the family’s strengths that has contributed to their resilience?
- Relationships- what are the relationships within the family? what are the strengths and areas of concern in the family?
An Africentric approach focuses on creating a plan that addresses all areas of the family, and builds upon the family’s strengths.
Ifarada is gearing towards an Africentric practice by employing culturally-relevant, trauma-focused and holistic approaches that support the family.
Therapeutic Group Programs that focus on reducing social isolation, enhancing cultural pride, and building social skills.
Mentorship and Leadership Programs that help enhance opportunities for economic resources, generational wealth, and ownership.
Volunteer Programs that focus on creating opportunities to enhance civic engagement and responsibility, building a social enterprise, and supporting the community.
Spiritual care services and supports that help people connect with their unique purpose, find meaning in existence, and reclaim faith in possibilities.
Mental health counselling and psychotherapy to address concerns, build coping strategies, to process traumatic experiences, and to heal from difficult experiences.
and so much more.