By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The third annual PAMBE Ghana Fest will be held on Saturday, April 9 at St. Paul’s Cathedral, NW 7 and Robinson, in Oklahoma City. The family friendly event will feature music, drumming, dancing, international foods, fair-trade shopping, plus the opportunity to support an Oklahoma-launched school in Ghana.
Admission, including free food will be $8 a person, $15 a couple. The festival is free for children 12 and under.
Event proceeds will support the La’Angum Learning Center, a Montessori-based school in Bumboazio, Ghana.
Live entertainment will include drumming artist Jahruba with his eclectic blend of performing styles, along with Steve McLinn and his Ojas Music band. There will be raffles for various items, including a djembe drum.
The name PAMBE Ghana stands for “Partnership for Mother Tongue-based Bilingual Education” in West Africa.
“We believe that there will be something for all ages to enjoy,” PAMBE Board President Susan Kovats said. “This event will celebrate, as well as support, the La’Angum Learning Center.”
PAMBE Ghana is a partnership between local communities surrounding Bumbozio in northern Ghana and supporters in Oklahoma. Together they’ve built the La’Angum Learning Center, a new model for education in Ghana.
According to Kovats, the concept is new because it first teaches children in the language they speak and in a child-centered way. The school currently serves pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.
“The Cathedral is proud to support PAMBE Ghana,” the Very Rev. Justin Lindstrom, dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral and a past PAMBE board member, said. “We are glad to host the PAMBE Ghana Fest again this year and hope many will come to enjoy our beautiful gardens, as well as the great food and entertainment.”
Executive Director Alice Iddi-Gubbels, founder of PAMBE Ghana and the La’Angum Learning Center said, “I am passionate about quality basic education for children that starts with and builds on the local language and culture in poor, rural and under served areas.”
“As PAMBE Ghana progresses in developing this innovative method in different communities where there are no schools, my intention is to support existing public schools interested in adapting and applying this approach.
“I want to make a contribution to my native community,” Alice said. “It contributed to who I am, and I want to give back in a way that will have a significant impact.”
Participants are asked to bring folding chairs or blankets to enjoy entertainment on the grass. In the event of rain, the Fest will be moved indoors.