Nzuko Ndi Igbo
                           Oregon and southwest Washington


Nzuko Ndi Igbo Multi-cultural center 


Background

The first Nigerian immigrants arrived in Oregon about half century ago, and more have followed since then, including those who have moved from other states to raise their families here in the Northwest. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with diverse ethnic groups.  The Igbo ethnic group is the third largest and are among the Nigerians who came to Oregon. The people are very industrious, adventurous and played major roles in the political and economic development of Nigeria.  After the Nigerian-Biafra civil war, in which an estimated three million people died due to fighting, hunger and disease, many Igbos left Nigeria for western countries in early 1970s. Many of them moved first to the Pacific Northwest of United States of America. Today, most of the Nigerian immigrants in Oregon and Southwest Washington are of Igbo ethnic group.

The Organization:

Nzuko Ndi Igbo (NNI) is an association which brings together persons and groups of persons who are Igbo by birth, marriage, naturalization or adoption in the state of Oregon and Southwest Washington. Our purpose is to promote and maintain Igbo heritage while enhancing a smooth cultural infusion in recognition of other cultures. Membership is open to all Igbo persons and organizations in the geographical areas of Oregon and Southwest Washington. The organization is a 501 c (3), not-for--profit, tax exempt organization; it was founded  in 1996.  Both the executive and board members are volunteers.



Justification for a multi-cultural center (MCC)

The cultural handicap of Igbo children raised in the USA is predicated by economic and social factors, these factors have caused the average Igbo children in Oregon and SW Washington to suffer from cultural isolation. This isolation continues and reaches a critical point when children enter school and are massively confronted with peer pressure and the need for social integration and acceptance. Unfortunately, it is usually at this belated stage that parents wake up to intervene in a bid to effect a reversal.  To overcome these challenges that threaten to disrupt the impartation of their value system to their children, Igbo parents have continued to seek for a lasting solution to the problem.  Painfully these attempts have been largely unsuccessful due to lack of funding to secure a multi-cultural center to educate these children. This phenomenon has led to the fear that some first generation Igbo people in the USA are likely to become a “lost Battalion”. Similarly, the false starts and hopelessness upon which some Igbo children are derailing have become a source of heart break and sleeplessness for many Igbo families.  This explains why NNI in Oregon and Southwest Washington is seeking grant to help it establish Multi-cultural center. This center will represent our “Timbuktu” where undoubtedly Igbo people will re-educate themselves and the general public about Igbo art form, culture and language. This has been a daunting yearn for many Igbos’ who have lived in Oregon and SW Washington for over 10 years. Consequently, the organization is committed to raising 25% of the funds to purchase this multicultural center internally.

This cultural center is aimed to promote and propagate education in the culture, language and the value System of Igbo people.  Now, more than ever, Igbo children, youths and adults will have a second chance to learning Igbo language and culture in a formal and informal setting at the Igbo center. This cultural center will be a catalyst for advancing and rekindling Igbo values for an inestimable degree of success for generations to come. The MCC will provide enabling environment to re-bond with Igbo children, help our children to interact and socialize with fellow Ndigbo in a descent atmosphere that can nurture healthy relations for unity, love, progress and prosperity. This will level the playing field for socialization, culturalization and out right empowerment of Igbo people. 

We will also expand/extend the following services with the purchase of the multi-cultural center:

  1. Cultural exchange and museum of Igbo history
  2. After school and summer programs for  youths
  3. Guidance and counseling for at risk kids to stay in school
  4. Healthcare preventive screening and education for women and children
  5. Mentoring and college preparation for non-traditional students and working adults