• Dr Muriel Wade-Smith is a regular contributor to BermudaReal.com – this is her latest Op-Ed submitted for publication  Thursday, October 10, 2019

“The education of African people is an urgent necessity. It is a matter of life and death. We cannot abide anoth aer generation of children who have no identity and who are ignorant about Africa.” Asa Hilliard, III, EdD

Dr Muriel Wade-Smith, PhD

Last week, my protegee, Mrs Donne Mallory and I, attended a WARRIORS, HEALERS AND BUILDERS RETREAT in Washington, DC. This retreat was conducted by Wekesa and Afiya Madzimoyo, the Co-Directors of AYA INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE. (ayaed.com)

I was introduced to Afiya and Wekesa by Dr Asa Hilliard in 1998. In 2004, I hosted them in Bermuda. The retreat, at that time was called, ‘Healing Oppression’s Wounds’. A tremendous amount of effort has gone into improving this offering in the updated version now called, WARRIORS, HEALERS and BUILDERS.

The three areas are:


It was an intensive personal development course that provides African  people with the tools to navigate our relationships with one another.

We learned how to combine our emotions and our thinking for more powerful and successful outcomes.

We learned that our feelings are messengers and we learned how to read them.

Oppression has taught us to suppress and substitute one emotion for another.

Sometimes our past survival adaptations no longer serve us.

We also learned how to retell the stories about our lives in ways that propel us.

At the end of the retreat, I felt like I was drenched in the African Spirit and I was better equipped to be a WARRIOR, HEALER AND A BUILDER to help improve the lot of our children and our people and I was more determined to fight for African Centered Education for Bermuda’s children.

In an African Centered School, parents, teacher and students are required to take the  WARRIORS, HEALERS AND BUILDERS COURSE

This course aligns with our overall objective of “Nation building- Theory and Practice in African Centered Education”.

What is a Solution for Children in Public Schools?

  • AYA EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTE.  Wekesa and Afiya have been the Co-Directors of this African Centred School for the past 20 years
  • AYA  is a high-tech web-conference-based school. It was launched in November 1998 and since then has provided educational options for youth and adults
  • AYA is an African Centred School which uses culture as a foundation for educational rigor and excellence
  • AYA presently serves middle school and high school students throughout the United States
  • AYA is able to provide middle and high school educational services to students anywhere in the world who have an internet connection and a time zone that will accommodate AYA’s operating schedule

On April 16th, 2018, AYA offered their educational options to the Bermuda community.

AYA announced that Dr Muriel Wade-Smith was appointed as International  Education Ambassador to be AYA’s official representative on the island of Bermuda.

As our representative on the ground in Bermuda-an extraordinary educator, author and community advocate- quite capable in her own right, her partnership with AYA will prove a blessing for AYA and all of Bermuda.

AYA graduates have gone on to attend college(most often awarded full scholarship  funding to travel widely, and to excel in business and entrepreneurship.

Since 2002, AYA has taught its full-day curriculum via our live web-conference platform. In contrast to web-based distance learning, our approach features real-time, audio-visual, teacher to student and  student-to-student instruction and interaction. In real time, students work together.

Their age/grade appropriate learning is augmented with headsets, webcams, electronic whiteboards, physical notebooks and physical and web-based project creation that they share with families and communities.

AYA combines high nurturance with high expectations.to yield excellent (and often  phenomenal) results in student leadership’, development and academic success. Often, students have lost their confidence and are no longer engaged in learning. AYA has been very successful at both challenging accomplished situations and re-engaging the disengaged. 

Education is a whole family process and the family is the youth’s first teacher and always the learning director. When a student joins into AYA, the whole family does, and we become educational partners.

We are anxious to tell and show you more so you can decide if AYA is right fo you and  your child’s educational needs.

Questions? Interested? Contact Dr Muriel Wade-Smith on 236-3593.

I look forward to hearing from you so that we can work together to  provide  a fair, just and equitable system of education for your children who are in the  public school system.