Welcome to Amjambo Africa’s online edition! With the launch of this news site we are now a multimedia news organization! We publish a free monthly print newspaper, maintain an active social media presence, and now also host this online site. We hope you will let others in your network know about all the different ways they can access our content. We also hope you will visit this site frequently.
Amjambo Africa was first launched in April 2018 by Kit Harrison and Georges Budagu Makoko. Ms. Harrison is from the United States and Mr. Budagu is from Democratic Republic of Congo. They founded the publication out of a shared belief that Maine’s newcomer and local populations would benefit from knowing more about each other. We are pleased to celebrate Amjambo Africa’s first birthday with the launch of this online edition.
According to Mr. Budagu, the goals of this news organization are: “… to strengthen communication within and between local Maine communities. We want to help Mainers understand why others from the far end of the world have moved near them – what pushed them out of their homes to come here. We want to explain that when they see an unknown bird in their neighborhood, there has to be a good reason why it’s there! We want people to know that it hurts to be away from one’s motherland, and that with the loss of home, comes the loss of hope and comfort – and it takes many years to recover these. Peace and love are what all humanity seeks, and it is what newcomers to Maine seek. At birth, we all hope the environment we are born into will offer the comfort we need, but when it doesn’t – when war or famine or persecution threaten us – it is natural that those who are able to do so migrate in search of a new home. No one has a guarantee of safety from the need to face displacement at some point in life.”
From the start, the newspaper has provided information in multiple languages, and we now include articles in French, Somali, Swahili, Kinyarwanda, and English. Somali is our most recent language addition, and we are thrilled that we now have a translator working with us who will help us add to our Somali pages. We plan to also add Portuguese shortly in order to meet the needs of Maine’s Angolan community. Occasionally we receive a press release in Arabic, and we welcome these. Many readers have shared with us the comfort they feel in seeing articles in a newspaper in Maine written in their home language. Some readers have told us that being able to read the same article in English and in their home language helps their English acquisition. Others, who are English speakers, and also language students or teachers in colleges and K-12 schools, have told us they read our content to become multilingual, and develop skills in languages other than English.
Amjambo Africa is an initiative of the non-profit Ladder to the Moon Network. Georges Budagu Makoko, the publisher, is also president of Ladder to the Moon Network. He writes, “I believe that information is a key to understanding; understanding is a key to knowledge; and knowledge is a key to life. There’s a common saying in Lingala, “Kozanga koyeba iza liwa ya ndambo” or “The lack of information is a small death.” Amjambo Africa strives to provide immigrants with the information they need in order to more easily navigate life in America, and also to provide longtime Mainers with the information they need in order to better understand their new neighbors. Together we can build a stronger Maine.”
Readers who live outside the reach of our print distribution network will now be able to access our content easily on their computers and devices. We encourage you to check our site frequently for news coverage from around the state, updates from Africa, society pictures, sports and entertainment news, calendar updates, poetry, legislative developments, and more. As
We will continue to publish our print newspaper monthly, and to distribute to locations along the coast, in Augusta, Auburn, Lewiston, and the Greater Portland area. At present we distribute to over 200 locations.
We are grateful to our Founding Sponsors, who have been with us from the beginning: cPort Credit Union and Lee Auto, and to our Supporters: MEMIC, Coffee by Design, and Northern Light Mercy Hospital. We are also grateful to Maine Initiatives and Rines Thompson Foundation for their generous support of Amjambo Africa.
Amjambo Africa relies on the generosity of our community. Please consider making a donation to support our work. Thank you!