Martin Luther King Jr. Africa Foundation legally incorporated in Kenya as a public charity in 2006. The foundation began in 2005, when Mwangi Mukami, who then served as the president of Africa Teens Federation, wrote a charter on non-violence, adopting non-violence as a strategy of agitating for social change. This charter granted authority to the Confederacy of the First Presidency to institute a non-profit agency to train and disseminate non-violence communication in Africa. The agency was an amorphous movement of the charter operating under the name: Martin Luther King Jr. Institute of International peace.
The need to incorporate a public charity independent of ATF began as many young people across Africa requested to join the movement. It became necessary to separate the membership of ATF from the activities of the movement and to be able to draw partners and remain transparent and accountable. It is in this regard that in consultation with Robert Kerr, Cultural Affairs Consular at the US Embassy in Nairobi, that the foundation was registered.
In January 17 2006, the ninth Vice President of the Republic of Kenya, H.E. Hon. Dr. Moody Awori, officially inaugurated the foundation in a meeting that was attended by 11 Ambassadors, 12 cabinet Ministers and 65 representatives of Diplomatic Corps. The inauguration was held at the groundbreaking ceremony of the land that was to house the MLK Africa headquarters in Africa.
The foundation remained a dynamic tenet of the Kenyan fabric until 2011 when the King Center (USA) declined to grant the foundation a license to continue the use of Martin Luther King Jr.’s name. The foundation wound up its operations in November 2011, its assets sold, and the proceeds distributed to various charities according to the law.
BACKGROUND OF THE FOUNDATION
In the year 1999, the late Tim Gitau, the Secretary General of the Kenya Children’s parliament, introduced the philosophy of Dr. King to the then Junior Vice President of the Children’s Cabinet, Mwangi Mukami. In 2002, Mwangi Mukami, now serving as Junior President, began a national campaign encouraging the use of non-violence in line with Dr. King’s philosophies.
At that time, neither the members nor the officials of the children’s parliament knew that the King Center, his Family, or the U.S. Holiday in his honor existed. They however persisted in non-violence campaigns encouraging its application in social-action and agitation for human rights and the new constitution.
Mwangi continued with non-violence campaign throughout his tenure and subsequently carried it to the National Youth Parliament after he was elected President. As President of the Youth parliament, Mwangi became an influential voice in Africa, condemning the use of Child-Soldiers in Congo, Uganda and Sudan and the abuse of human rights by governments. In 2004, he was elected Confederate-President of the World Teens Federation, continuing his campaign of non-violence through conducting sensitization forums, in Arusha Tanzania.
It was not until 2005, when Mwangi Mukami persuaded the assembly of Emerging African Leaders in Nairobi, Kenya to pass a charter establishing the Martin Luther King Jr. Institute of International Peace.
In 2006, MLK-IIP grew exponentially and its membership had exceeded that of the African Teens Federation therefore creating a need to incorporate an independent agency. In October, Martin Luther King Jr. Africa Foundation incorporated in Kenya as a Public Charity and MLK-IIP became a program of the MLK Africa foundation.
ABOUT THE FOUNDATION
Martin Luther King, Jr. Africa Foundation is a human rights advocacy agency that embraces the virtues of dialogue and non-violence as core instruments necessary to achieve legislative, policy, and socio-economic improvement in Africa by engaging governments through community-driven advocacy movements that incorporate the Martin Luther King, Jr. philosophy of nonviolence.
The foundation combines creative non-violence training and capacity building to promote inter-cultural, inter-ethnic, cross–tribal cohesion among the rich diversity of the African people through humanitarian aid and community service. The Foundation is a breathing testament of the dream of equality, justice, and freedom through nonviolence. It seeks to replace conflict with non-violence.
The Foundation prides itself in being a unique youth-led organization that not only points out the inadequacies of African governments but also mitigates their shortfalls through programs and initiatives that includes good governance, respect for human rights, economic emancipation, youth involvement in decision-making processes and social justice.
Our vision is to become a leading non-governmental agency, strategically adapted to the needs of the African people, and working to equip Africans to become self-sufficient to meet these needs using the pillars of peace, cohesion, social justice, economic empowerment, and non-violence.
To transform Africa by equipping community leaders with the capacity, education, resources, and information that will assist them to transform their communities and fight poverty.
ANNUAL PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES
ANNUAL TRIBUTE TO THE KING
From 2006 to 2011, the Annual Tribute has been held from January 15 and ran for a week. It has attracted notable personalities such as the Ninth and the Tenth Vice Presidents of the Republic of Kenya and representatives from Diplomatic Corps. The most successful tribute was held in 2006 at Kenyatta International Conference Center, which attracted 3,000 delegates from across Africa.
MLK SALUTE TO GREATNESS DINNER
The annual fundraising and awards dinner has been held since 2007 to 2009.
The awards are:
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Africa Peace Prize.
- The Salute to Greatness Award.
- The Mahatma Gandhi non-violence Award.
- The Martin Luther King, Jr. Active Nonviolence Award
Among the winners of this Prestigious Awards are:
- (2007) Mr. Robert C. Kerr Counselor of Public Affairs at American Embassy in Nairobi </span
- (2008) Reverend Teresia Wairimu,MLK Africa Peace Prize
- (2008) Julie Gichuru, Salute to Greatness Award
- (2008) Dr. PLO-Lumumba, <spam>Mahatma Gandhi Award
- (2008) Jeff Koinange, Active non-violence Award
- (2009) H.E. Dr. Moody Awori – Ninth Vice President of the Republic of Kenya
- Nation Media Group
- K24. (Media Max Limited)
ANNUAL DREAM LECTURE
The Annual Dream Lecture has been held annually since 2006. An individual of high standing, morally upright and in some key role is chosen to deliver the Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Dream Lecture in late August to commemorate Dr. King's “I Have a Dream” speech of August 1963. Among the speakers are:
- H.E. Moody Awori (9th Vice President of the Republic of Kenya)
- Jim Foti (Executive Director of the National Council of NGOs)
- PLO Lumumba (Senior Advocate and Constitutional Lawyer)