By Maya DuBois
The non-profit organization Motherland Connect takes HBCU students to their African roots one country at a time.
The Motherland Connect started in South Africa and it operates on Florida A&M University’s campus via political science assistant professor Christopher Daniels.
The genesis of the non-profit stems from the want to build better relations between Africans and African Americans.
“Motherland Connect started as an effort to create genuine connections between African Americans and Africans. The name was inspired by trying to create this connection,” Daniels said.
The connections are not built by simply visiting the countries; they are built by actually engaging in the communities there.
“Most travel experiences don’t give people the chance to make genuine connections so the plan was to create an organization to help foster this and make a positive impact on the community,” Daniels said.
Those who recently traveled with the Motherland Connect program had the privilege of going to South Africa, Dubai and Ghana during spring break.
While on the trip, students had the opportunity to take part in activities such as, dirt bike riding in the desert, feeding lion cubs, visiting an orphanage and more.
“We have a good balance of fun and cultural activities on all the trips. Some of the highlight activities are the evening yacht cruise in Dubai, the visit to the Grand Mosque, riding dirt bikes in the desert, playing with the lion cubs in South Africa, Sun City Resort, Orphanage visits and so much more,” Daniels said.
Students have described the trip as “positive” and “fun.”
“My experience was really fun. I enjoyed learning about other cultures, meeting all types of people coming from different corners of the world. I learned about their traditions, languages, and their cultural food. All and all it was an experience of a lifetime. I can’t wait to continue traveling,” junior Malisha Paul said.
The trip is meant to be a learning experience, giving students a broadened understanding of Africa.
“It’s very important to go back to the motherland because it makes you appreciate our situations back in America much more. It’s also nice to connect with our fellow brothers and sisters in Africa. It is also important to see the motherland for ourselves because the media isn’t completely honest with how they describe Africa,” senior David Jackson III said.
Students and non-students are encouraged to experience Africa and all that it has to offer through the Motherland Connect.