Los Angeles, CA — Amabel Niba is about coalition building, and she uses that focus to help causes that are near and dear to her heart.
“There are already so many organizations doing good work . . . so instead of (developing) another nonprofit, I wanted to create a village effort and use whatever funds I raised to support another organization.”
Niba, publisher and editorial director of African Vibe magazine took the position of trying to become a unifying force based on what she saw happening in her native Cameroon.
“I personally know of at least 15 nonprofits whose hearts are in the right place. They have different organizations, but the goal is common; they want to solve a common problem. But their efforts are divided in 15 different directions, and because they’re so divided, they don’t get as much impact if they worked together and under one organization.”
Niba, who came to America 15 year ago, began her unification efforts last year, when she got involved in an Africa celebration event that was happening in L.A.’s “Little Ethiopia” community in the Fairfax District. She is working on the same event for 2009, and plans are more expansive.
“We’re showcasing Africa. We trying to say let’s celebrate our diversity,” explained Niba about one goal of the event, which will feature a parade as the centerpiece. “But this year we’re not just going to do a parade . . . we want to try to take it to another level. We’re talking about incorporating seminars and engaging the African Diaspora in making change in Africa. That change comes in different directions–from nonprofit, for-profits, and business. That is dear to my heart and something that really motivates me to think.”
Niba sees this event, which is slated for September, as a way to bring people together without re-inventing the wheel.
And to jump start the idea of raising money and distributing it to various already-functioning organizations, Niba is using her online magazine as a fundraising vehicle. For every $15 subscription that is purchased, she will donate $5 to a fund she has launched that will make donations to groups working to help out.
We have common problems, said Niba of the communities of the African Diaspora, “but we’re at different points of the struggle. Through globalization, we have the ability to inspire one another in many ways,” said the young philanthropic-minded entrepreneur.