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Know Africa

2122. Ruth Karamoja

Ruth Karamoja, from Manchester, founded ‘Know Africa’, a charity supporting and celebrating the cultural diaspora of African people living in Greater Manchester and the wider region.

Kenyan-born Ruth moved to the UK in 2007, and seeing a distinct lack of visibility of African culture within the local community, she realised that many children did not have much of an understanding of their heritage. In response, she started ‘Know Africa’ in 2018, allowing members of the local community to share their culture more widely through cooking, dance, music, workshops and a range of other activities.

Ruth now hosts a variety of cultural events, and provides a community fridge and counselling services to the area. The charity also runs a Kenyan branch which provides advice and care to women and girls on education, business and career development.

In a personal letter to Ruth, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: 

“It was fantastic to hear how your charity Know Africa is connecting African communities living in Manchester, celebrating cultural heritage while also providing a support network and helping people to access services such as counselling.

“Through your Kenyan branch of the charity, you are also creating connections in the country of your birth, and supporting women and girls to gain brighter futures by providing education and career development opportunities.”

Congratulating Ruth on her award, Mike Kane, Ruth’s local MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, said:

“Ruth Karamoja is a passionate and committed community organiser who, through her work with local charity ‘Know Africa’, has provided valuable support to hundreds of local residents and the wider cultural diaspora of African people living in Greater Manchester. As the MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, where the charity is based, I have had the privilege of working closely with Ruth. Ruth understands and cares deeply about the needs of local people. Ruth and the team deliver unique cultural events, a much-needed food bank and wellbeing support with a counselling service. I am truly inspired by her hard-work and dedication; she is a well-deserved receipt of this Point of Light Award. Congratulations Ruth and a big thank you for all that you do for residents of Wythenshawe and beyond.”

Ruth said:

“I am absolutely thrilled and humbled to receive the Points of Light award. I firmly believe in the power of community and volunteerism, and this recognition further motivates me to continue making a difference.”

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The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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