What We Do 

With an increasing school dropout rate, teenage pregnancies,
alcohol and drug abuse, and alarming crime levels across Chicago’s high crime communities, parents’ anxieties are increasing daily when concerned about the future of their children. Young people today are in emergency mode and are trying to survive within hostile community environments. There are too many parents burying their children or visiting them in jail due to this cruel and heartless tradition that is claiming the lives of our children and the foundation of our future.

The KUFI Club of Chicago's goal is to discourage youth from looking towards gang clicks as their role models for ‘man/womanhood’. The KUFI Club Rites of Passage program is designed to provide culturally relevant youth development programs that promote cultural awareness, moral values, positive self-esteem, critical thinking, work ethics, along with social coping and leadership development skills.

 

 
Targeted Population
The targeted population for the KUFI Club of Chicago are African-American youth between the ages of 5 to 18 years old. The targeted population are at-risk youth living within the Austin community on Chicago’s West side. KUFI youth include youth in school, truant, juveniles, and drop-outs.

Program Model

Every youth member of the KUFI Club of Chicago will have an opportunity to discover, inspire, support and empower one another through KUFI Rites-of-passage programs. The KUFI Club program activity stages incorporate African culture standards with youth leadership development program activities. In order to become a KUFI youth leader, one must develop a commitment of involvement to recruit, plan, organize, lead and work with peers on the following activities: 1) how to safely move through their developmental stages in a positive and peaceful manner, 2) learn youth leadership and empowerment skills to culturally connect to their communities to create system change, 3) to work collaboratively, be involved and committed to youth committees, advisory councils, etc., to build multiple strategies for community issues in need of system change and 4) help youth discover their own authentic self-worth, values, talents and skills as they move into adulthood. 
 
The KUFI Club of Chicago ‘Rites of Passage Programs´ initiates and transition youth into adulthood through the passing on of knowledge and tradition by trained and certified Elders from the community. These Elders facilitate the youth through numerous challenges, experiential exercises and workshops to prepare them for positive character and behavioral change.
 
In the African tradition, youth participants must ask for the RITE (right) or permission OF PASSAGE (passing on) to a higher level of human, social and educational development. After youth have demonstrated competency in their academic and personal development during the rites program, the Elders in the community grant permission to their ‘Rite of Passage’ to the next level as they learn to build and strengthen their cultural identity, self-esteem and collective responsibility competencies as KUFI Club youth.

Unity Skills (Organization and Group Dynamics)

KUFI Club's unity skills teach youth how to develop their social and emotional intelligence, and how this knowledge of intelligence is relevant to organizational and group situations. KUFI Club youth learn how to establish and sustain positive and rewarding relationships with others while preparing them for adulthood training.

KUFI Club teaches youth about the importance of cultural competency through the African traditions of
Umoja, which means unity within the family, community, nation and race. Unity requires cultural competency, measuring how well people work effectively within others behaviors, attitudes, and policies within cross-cultural group dynamic situations. Youth learn about their own cultural consciousness through the development of positive communication skills, awareness of cultural values, beliefs and perceptions. Our approach and focus is to help youth better answer the question “Who Am I’ while learning how to support others through more positive behaviors.
 
Click the links below to learn more about KUFI CLUB programs