The following magnificent photographs were taken by Maria Jose Baicacoa at Karibu’s Christmas celebration for 2018 on Saturday 15th December:
The joyful vitality of the singing by our sisters and brothers of Karibu choir is in contrast to the difficulties many of them experience to find adequate employment, a situation similar to a large proportion of their Spanish fellow citizens. This vocal expression of hope in a time of adversity is an example of how immigration provides us with new civilising facets.
Karibu means Welcome in Swahili. Asociación Karibu was founded in 1991 by the Catholic priest Antonio Díaz de Freijo to welcome Subsaharan immigrants into Spain. Karibu (for short) has grown into an important NGO thanks to the help of a large number of Spanish voluntary workers, including several EN-RE members, and the implication of former immigrants like Nicole Ndongala Nzoiqidi who is now Karibu’s Managing Director.
When newly arrived Subsaharan immigrants arrive in Madrid,
Karibu helps them to find accomodation, processes legal documents, teaches them Spanish, explains Spanish customs and provides training for work contracts, defends them if they are detained by the police and interned in the inmigrants temporary detention centres especially the CIE of Aluche in Madrid and petitions the local and national Spanish authorities to change legislation to provide EU funded training programmes for the immigrants whilst they are negotiating Spanish identity cards and close the temporary detention centres where the detainees receive worse treatment than in prison. Every year Karibu presents a report on the Aluche CIE. Download the Karibu 2017 report in (Spanish) here.
EN-RE member groups should investigate the situation facing Subsaharan immigrants in their own countries.
Full information on the many services offered to Subsaharan immigrants can be found in Spanish on the front page of Asociación Karibu’s website www.asociacionkaribu.org
Nicole Ndongala composes the spiritual songs which the Karibu choir sings in Swahili, Lingala, French, English and Spanish at festivals and church services. They are spiritually inspiring and musically much richer than the spirituals composed in the United States by African descendents.