1. Where did the name d’Zert Club come from?
The d’Zert Club was named by founder Helen McCrary Salahuddin who modeled the organization after a day club for children she had attended in New York with her daughter in the early 80’s. The New York club served desserts to children who were at the club to have parties celebrating special occasions. The d’Zert Club was originally a dance and performance venue for youth between the ages of 10 and 16. The youth were served desserts much like the New York club but that practice was eventually dropped when the young people indicated that they preferred to just dance and socialize. The name however had become so well known in the area we decided to keep it.
2. What is African Genesis Institute?
The d’Zert Club sponsors many activities including Kwanzaa celebrations, Juneteenth celebrations and an annual gospelfest. African Genesis Institute is a program sponsored by the d’Zert Club and it is this program that enrolls students and group leaders for the trip to Africa.
3. How old do the children have to be to get into the program?
Children have to be between the ages of 7 and 14.
A 6 year old who turns 7 the year of enrollment or a 15 year old who turned 15 the year of enrollment would be eligible to join.
4. How old does a group leader have to be and is there any age limit?
Group leaders must be 21 or older at the time of the trip. There is no age limit as long as the group leader is in good health. All group leaders are required to submit a medical questionnaire and walk a mile in 20 minutes or less.
5. Do you have to be African American? Can you be Jamaican, Cuban…etc.
All persons enrolled in the program must be of recent African descent. You may be from anywhere in the Diaspora.
6. What qualifies a student or a group leader to be in the program?
Anyone desiring to participate is qualified to enroll as long as the student and group leader is of recent African descent and, the student, between the ages of 7 and 14; and the group leader 19 or older. Group leaders must also have a clean child abuse record.
7. Is there an enrollment fee?
Yes. There is a $99 nonrefundable enrollment fee.
8. Do I have to have a child in the program?
9. Can my child be my student?
Yes, as long as the child is under 10 or the same sex as the parent.
10. How do you choose a student for a group leader?
Students are matched with group leaders by one of the following ways: (a) Existing relationship such as parent, family member, teacher, mentor, neighbor; (b) Same sex -male group leaders have male students and females have female children; and/or (c) Zip Code – placing group leaders in the same physical locale when possible.
11. What if I work on the weekends, do I have to make all of the meetings?
Yes. African Genesis Institute is a weekend organization. You must be available on weekends to participate in mandatory activities.
12. Are there any out of pocket expenses? What are they?
Yes. They are: (1) Enrollment fee; (2) Curriculum; (3) Online class fee; (4) Field Trips; (5)Passport; (6) Entry Visa; (7)Tips/gratuities; (8)Transportation to and from John F. Kennedy Airport (city of departure) (9) National Convention (10) Child Abuse and Criminal Background Checks (Group Leaders)
13. Do I have to fundraise?
Yes. You are given a fundraising obligation and fundraising menu at the beginning of each trimester. How you raise the money is your option. The program is not designed for you to pay your obligation out of pocket.
14. How long does the fundraising period last?
The program is divided into trimesters. The first trimester begins at the time of enrollment until June 15th of that year. The second begins in January of the following year and ends June 15th of that year. The third trimester begins in January and ends June 15th of the third year. You therefore have three fundraising periods, which last from 3 to 6 months.
15. How much do I have to raise each year?
16. What if I enroll my children and myself. Does everyone in the family have to fundraise?
17. Do I have to go on the field trips even if I have been to the place before?
18. When is the trip to Africa?
The trip to Africa usually takes place during the last week of July. If the group becomes to large to handle in one trip the week or month may change but it will always be in the summer. Generally the trip lasts for 11 days.
19. How long is the plane ride?
20. What will the students do for fun?
Students will have plenty of opportunity for birthday celebrations, a dance party, swimming, game playing and relaxing during the trip to Africa. The field trips in the United States are more intense because they take place in a short period of time but in Africa there is more time to relax.
21. Are there any shots or medicines needed to go to Egypt?
No shots are needed for Egypt.
22. What is the online chapter and how does it differ from the physical chapters?
The online chapter was created to accommodate those who do not live in or near the cities where the general assemblies are held. Instead of attending 8 physical general assemblies, those in the online chapter will view the meetings online. In addition, the online chapter only has 1 field trip.