Sabayet Community Outreach Center
Sabayet is a community oriented organization dedicated to the growth and development of Africans in the Diaspora by providing services that teach traditional African principles, educate and promote healthy living, regardless of religion or economic background.
In late 1995, Arthur Penny returned from the Historic Million Man March in Washington D.C. inspired and transformed. Every attendee at the Million Man March made a vow to return to their respective cities, to be proactive and do something for the betterment of African Americans. Mr. Penny honored his vow and was adamant about helping his community upon returning from the march. Arthur Penny (Mrs. Willie Mae Penny) and other concerned citizens; Bro Robert Tillman and Bro Darren Miller (who also attended the March), collectively began a youth mentoring group for young males in the inner city of St. Louis, MO called Brothers to Brothers.
The youth group (Brothers to Brothers) began to meet at bookstores, church basements and eventually settled in a permanent location in 1997 on the corner of Maffitt Ave. and Warne (later changed to Bishop P.L. Scott Ave.) The location was an old ice cream shop called Kizzy's Cones, purchased by Mr. Arthur Penny and his wife, Willie Mae Penny. Soon after, Mr. Penny along with other dedicated members of the community, renovated the once ice cream shop into a usable space of refuge for the growing youth group. Brothers to Brothers instilled discipline, cultural pride and a strong work ethic in young males. After a few successful years, this youth group birthed more community involvement and activities.
Becoming a full service community center was a natural progression; adding job placement, skill training, drug/alcohol intervention and treatment services, a lecture series, book club, cultural events for the community, an organic gardening co-op, after school tutoring, community clean-up projects and other valuable services for the community. There was no name for the actual facility that was now more than just a youth group meeting place. Eventually, The name SABAYET was adopted. SABAYET is an Ancient Kemetic word (SBYT) that means Purveyor of Wisdom, which further translates to Wisdom Teachers. Sabayet,Inc. was officially incorporated in the year 2000 and legally registered as a 501(c)3 in 2004.
In 1998, the Penny family began to visit Africa. After many trips to Africa and visiting over 13 different countries on the continent, the Pennys were drawn to help and invest in Ghana. The vision was invoked for Sabayet to expand its reach and to help build a bridge for Diasporans and continental Africans to help and to learn from one other. The spirit, the people and the culture of Ghana resonated with Mr. and Mrs. Penny and their life long mission to help people of African descent and the less privileged.
The Pennys acquired beachfront property land on the Gulf of Guinea in Ghana, West Africa with aspirations of assisting the community develop and become more self sufficient. The newly acquired property was appropriately named SABAYET VILLAGE; located in a fishing community in Dutch Komenda, Ghana.
With their own funds, Mr. and Mrs. Penny donated a clean water well, helped sanitary improvements, provided electricity (2007) and adopted several schools in the area by sponsoring children and paying fees and consistent donations of school supplies, books and other teaching material/resources.
The Penny family and Sabayet are dedicated to the health and development of Africa. Continuing with the next generation, their daughter, Zakiya Penny, is Founder and Director of a registered NGO (Non-Profit) in Ghana called SABAYET FOUNDATION established in 2012. Under SABAYET FOUNDATION, the Penny family sponsors free annual health check ups, midwife training and constructed a much needed clinic for the area. Plans are also underway for a community library and information center on the property.
How We Began
Sabayet Village | Dutch Komenda, Ghana
Dutch Komenda's Atlantic Shoreline
The beach at Dutch Komenda
Holy Jollof rice being prepared!
Our Neighbors from Kanka
Can you climb a Coconut tree?
Zakiya & Jelani on the shore