http://mobile.ghanaweb.com/wap/comment.article.php?ID=170641FREE DNA testing in Ghana
Author: Naana Asafo
Date: 10-21 21:00
Center takes genealogy and DNA research to Ghana
Paves way for reuniting African families torn by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
FREDERICKSBURG, VA – Monday, October 19, 2009 – The Center for African American Genealogical Research, Inc. (CAAGRI) has announced that it will launch The Sankofa Project™ in Ghana on October 30, 2009. The Sankofa Project™ focuses on genealogy research and the collection of DNA samples from tribes that were known to have participated in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. These tribes include: Ga, Fante, Asanti, Nzema and Ewe. A pilot program was launched in 2007 when the group visited their sister city in Prince’s Town, Ghana. The result of the program led to the reuniting of the King of Nzema’s, Nana Kundumuah IV with his distant cousin, Howard L. Robertson of Memphis, Tennessee. An atonement and reconciliation ceremony reuniting the two men who shared a common female ancestor was held on November 18, 2008 in Virginia.
Communications Director, Greg Russell noted that CAAGRI’s efforts are unique and the first of its kind. “We are a non-profit organization that is committed to helping to restore the legacies of our African ancestors and this is our effort towards that end.” “Ghana,” Russell continued, “is our first stop. Our relationship with Prince’s Town and the former US Ambassador, Pamela Bridgewater, is why we are launching the program there.”
CAAGRI’s founder and CEO, Paula Royster, will lead a free genealogy and DNA workshop hosted by the Ghana Public Records and Archives Administration (PRAAD) on Friday, October 30, 2009 at 10:00 am. Royster said, “We have been working on the ground to inform the tribes of our intent and I have sent letters of invitation to the Ministries of Tourism and Chieftaincy and Culture to join us. We’ve received positive feedback from those tribal leaders we have contacted,” Royster added, “Our success will have a direct impact on the tourism revenue of Ghana as well as individual families; indeed all of Africa”
DNA samples are non-invasive cheek swabs that are taken from the participant’s mouth. Tribes will be notified one day in advance as to when the group will arrive in their areas for free testing. Results will be emailed to the participants in 4-6 weeks. Russell said that the kits normally cost $150 but they were being donated to help build the existing databases in order to speed the process for Africans who could not afford to pay for the testing themselves.
This event is free and open to the public. Members of the tribes listed in this announcement are encouraged to attend. The criteria for selecting participants are: 1. Blood relations to one of the tribes listed in this announcement, 2. Have a strong knowledge of the family lineage and 3. Access to email for results and other communiqués regarding the results.
The Sankofa Project™ will expand its scope to other countries in Sub-Saharan African in 2010. Those countries include: Ethiopia, Angola, Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Senegambia.
For more information about CAAGRI, please visit the website: http://www.caagri.org
For more information about PRAAD, please visit the website: http://www.praad.gov.gh