Having the Ancestral Garifuna Mental Model (TAGMMODE) as its central guiding framework, GariUWW recognizes comprehensive education as an indispensable means for the strategic empowerment of individuals so that they can confidently and effectively contribute to progressive and constructive virtue-based society building.
GariUWW is engaged in the defense and promotion of the mental model developed and practiced by our Garifuna ancestors. This mental model is geared towards the building of a virtue-based world in which Garinagu are provided with opportunities to maximally develop and utilize their capacities including spiritual, social, scientific, legal, technological and economical competencies. The Garifuna Nation intends to use these capacities in the process of participatory community-building for the continuous thriving of the Garifuna people.
Garifuna University Without Walls envisions a virtue-based world in which every Garifuna is provided with quality educational opportunities to maximally develop and utilize their capacities in the process of participatory community-building.
What Is The Garifuna Mental Model?
The Ancestral Garifuna Mental Model is a universal, relevant and progressive worldview which has facilitated the survival and thriving of the Garinagu in their homeland, Saint Vincent, and in those countries where the Garinagu subsequently settled. It is therefore fitting that such a mental model be the central guiding pillar of GariUWW’s Vision and Mission. The ancestral Garifuna mental model proved effective against the colonial mental model which gave rise to the virulent, racism-grounded slavery in the New World. There is no doubt that the ancestral Garifuna mental model, aside from the military prowess the Garinagu developed to protect themselves, contributed to the fear the colonists had towards the Garinagu, a fear that led to the thought of the colonists having them exiled from St Vincent to a remote part of Africa, far from the new World. Subsequent to the Garinagu being exiled from St Vincent in March 1797, over time, they were more and more assimilated into the mainstream life of the countries they made their new home and hence less and less lived as autonomous as they were in St Vincent. They were now subject to colonial life, so education over time led to their deculturalization. The education GariUWW will provide is geared towards the re-building and strengthening of the ancestral Garifuna mental model and values, factors that held our people together to grow and develop as a nation.
Elements of the Ancestral Garifuna Mental Model include the following:
- The primacy of God
- Reverence towards the spirits of our ancestors
- Strategic thinking
- High value of the family
- Consensus-based governance