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Now one might ask, what does Kwanzaa have to do with recovery and/or addiction?
Well, for me, very much!
In 1995, I did my internship with an outpatient drug treatment program in Richmond, VA.
My intern supervisor was from Kenya. He incorporated his African culture, along with Kwanzaa Principles, in the drug and alcohol treatment program.
It was very successful, and well received by clients of ALL races, genders, creeds, etc.
Therefore, I want to share with you some of what I learned (and has since practiced) during such time.
Kwanzaa’s Nguzo Saba
Day 1 – December 26th – Umoja (oo-MO-jah)
Unity stresses the importance of togetherness for the family and the community, which is reflected in the African saying, “I am We,” or “I am because We are.”
Day 2 – December 27th – Kujichagulia (koo-gee-cha-goo-LEE-yah)
Self-Determination requires that we define our common interests and make decisions that are in the best interest of our family and community.
Day 3 – December 28th – Ujima (oo-GEE-mah)
Collective Work and Responsibility reminds us of our obligation to the past, present and future, and that we have a role to play in the community, society, and world.
Day 4 – December 29th – Ujamaa (oo-JAH-mah)
Cooperative economics emphasizes our collective economic strength and encourages us to meet common needs through mutual support.
Day 5 – December 30th – Nia (NEE-yah)
Purpose encourages us to look within ourselves and to set personal goals that are beneficial to the community.
Day 6 – December 31st – Kuumba (koo-OOM-bah)
Creativity makes use of our creative energies to build and maintain a strong and vibrant community.
Day 7 – January 1st – Imani (ee-MAH-nee)
Faith focuses on honoring the best of our traditions, draws upon the best in ourselves, and helps us strive for a higher level of life for humankind, by affirming our self-worth and confidence in our ability to succeed and triumph in righteous struggle.
Other Interesting Information about KWANZAA . . .
Dr. Maulana Karenga’s writes on his Official Kwanzaa website:
Kwanzaa was created to introduce and reinforce seven basic values of African culture which contribute to building and reinforcing family, community and culture among African American people as well as Africans throughout the world African community.
To learn more about the cultural celebrations of KWANZAA, visit http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/7principles.shtml
So, in the spirit of Counseling-On-A-Shoestring,
let’s tie together! . . . souls need support!
this holiday season (and each day).
Thanks for stopping by, thanks for letting me share—Happy *Chrismahanukwanzakah! 🙂
*A blend of Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.
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