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Please help Abena with installing of Bwiti Temple
$8,230 raised
48% of $17k goal
30 contributors
67 Weeks running
I'm Abena Opare, African American wife, mother of 9, teacher and rites of passage instructor. One of my callings in life is being a traditional African medicine healer. I seek community assistance for the installation of Bwiti Temple/cont. initiations.

Madame Bernadette Owasango Rebienot , Head mistress healer of Oyenano Village, Gabon comes to the US for the installation of Bwiti Temple!!

Greetings everyone!

My name is Abena (Zelda)!

     I am starting this Fundrazr with hopes to raise the needed funds to bring Madame Rose Bernadette (Owassango) Rebienot and Antoinette Goinaud to the United States to further my training and Bwiti temple installation this June 2017. We are truly honored that they want to come to the United States to continue to facilitate my spiritual development. Madame Bernadette is the head Mistress healer Bwiti Iboga and women’s rites of passage, of the Oyenano Village Temple, Libreville Gabon and her daughter Antoinette (who is also a traditional healer and ranking member of the women’s rites process) is from Paris France.  Mama Bernadette is also a member of The International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers. When they come to the United States this June, they will be representing the Shrine/ Temple of Oyenano Village. We have only a few months to finalize all the preparations for their arrival.

Oyenano Village  2014


     I Abena Opare (Zelda) have been married to my husband Baba Kweku for almost 28 years and we have 9 children (8 living and 1 in the spirit world). I have been a part of organizing a youth arts/political organization  (Nkurobo), African-centered cultural afterschool programs, Saturday school, nature and organic farming camps and rites of a passage program for young African Americans girls coming of age for several years.  It was such a blessing to be right there in Oyenano village the same time women’s rites of passage were taking place. It was a dream come true to be there for my initiation the same time as other women were going through their rites. Many times, I found myself crying at night just being awe struck with hearing them singing as they walked around the village and during ceremonies, in the middle of the night.  It was beautiful. My aspirations are to take this trip came about because of a series of dreams and spiritual experiences that lead me to the shores of Libreville to visit one of my ancestral homes. Nana Sankofa, who is a teaching deity, has a proverb that says, “Go back and fetch it!”, which means, it is good to go back and recover knowledge that has been forgotten. I knew all was going to be well when I was told that the name “Oyenano” means “to re-encounter”. I do have plans in the future to publish journaled experiences of my pre, during and post trip journey. I traveled and stayed at Oyenano Village Gabon, for a month in the summer of 2014.

     Mama Bernadette had asked me if I would like her to come and do this work with me and my family and we were truly honored! She then had expressed that she was concerned because of her age. Being in her 80’s she advised I should not wait too long. She expressed that didn’t know how long she was going to be able to travel. Tomorrow is not promised! So, this is why my family and I are trying to make this trip to have access to her spiritual gifts, knowledge, and training while we still have the opportunity. She is a world renown healer and having her here for training and community healing consultations would be a blessing and possibly once in a lifetime opportunity. Her openness to share her experiences, knowledge, and history of Bwiti Iboga and the role of rites of passage, would be invaluable to the African American Community and a blessing. Most of the information we learn about Bwiti iboga healing is relayed to us through the perspective and eyes of those who go to Gabon for the healing of drug addictions and in shared information about entheogens in general. This will be a rare opportunity for us to learn from an elder Bwiti Iboga traditional healer practitioner. Mama Bernadette and Antoinette can give us personal perspectives and experiences because they are in a leadership positions of an unbroken spiritual and women's rites of passage tradition passed down through their bloodline from generation to generation.


     The mission of Mama Bernadette and Antoinette’s visit will be for the installation of the Bwiti temple, further training, and spiritual work, to prepare me for future initiations back in Gabon and to help me educate our US community about Bwiti tradition/rites of passage. Also, Mama Bernadette and Antoinette will be available to facilitate a limited amount of personal spiritual consultations for the community, over the 2 weeks of their stay. I look forward to humbly, continuing with my spiritual growth and healer development so that I can fulfill the role, that my Ori, Ancestors and the Almighty brought me back here, in this lifetime to do. We see Mama Bernadette and Antionette’s visit to do this work with me to install the temple as a major step in developing and establishing our spiritual healing institution. Our goals have been to work together in our healing practices, reconnecting with our ancestral traditional ways of healing in the most authentic way as possible. My family and I  wish to take in consideration the needs our people based on our experiences and history of struggle as African people being in America for generations. We believe that it is our birthright to have access to the knowledge of our indigenous ways of curing and healing ourselves. We need you, our community to help raise the needed funds to install the Bwiti Temple. This temple is not just for my sole use, to meditate and contemplate my own spiritual growth. This temple will be for community service. I was told that an institution that is built for the service of the community should not just be paid out of our family’s pockets but community supported. So, that is why I come to you my community to gain the necessary funds!!! We need your support!!

    This will be a wonderful opportunity for those who wish to learn more information about the Bwiti of Gabon, Iboga and other medicines from a native-born Gabonese traditional healer, whom is world renown and respected at home and abroad for her practices. While they are here we have planned for Mama Bernadette and Antoinette to share their knowledge, wisdom, and experiences. We will also be providing personal spiritual readings/consultations. This is an opportunity for those African Americans that have been interested in learning more about Bwiti, Iboga and rites of passage and possibly taking a trip to Gabon for healing and initiations, to build a bridge (safety and accountability) by seeing and hearing them in person, asking questions.  Space for this is limited, while they visit the US, but the new Bwiti temple will be here for continued educational, spiritual healing processes and the organization of opportunities, to take spiritual journeys to Oyenano Village Gabon for initiations.

      I am blessed to have a family that is of one accord with recognizing that we have a collective mission to bring about positive change to our family, our people, and the world. My husband and I are raising our family to cultivate the understanding that each one of us has been sent here in this lifetime to be agents of change from our ancestors with a mission and a purpose to fulfill.  My mission as a healer is overcoming and healing the wounds and oppressions of my lineage, to assist other people also in creating and implementing a process of healing for the communities of African American and Africans of the diaspora that might not otherwise have access to the Bwiti Iboga healing tradition. Lack of access is caused by various reasons, such as forcible disconnection from our cultural/ ethnic identity, indigenous spiritual practices and assimilation that occurred during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and afterwards; the lack of access to the traditional practices because of the simple economics, or having verifiable safe spaces/places that are highly reputable for traditional Bwiti Iboga initiations. Most African Americans can’t afford expensive conferences to learn about entheogens and the African American community is only marketed to by a select few who have made it their mission to make sure the information available ( ie. Kilindi Iyi, Dimitri Mugianis (NYHR) and Awolowo Johnson etc. Trips to Africa, Gabon in particular (Our ancestors were forcefully taken from Africa but ironically, we must pay heavily to go back home and find our roots).

     The major goal of our community Bwiti temple is to help facilitate access to Bwiti spiritual practices here in America and be a bridge for those who want to experience Bwiti Iboga initiations and rites of passage in Gabon. At this time we are not able to use the main sacrament " Iboga" of the Bwiti religion. We are working with others to help have Iboga classified as a legal religious holy sacrament in the United States. We feel it is our religious right on the same level as Peyote of the Native American Church and Ayahuasca of the Santo Daime Church. My family is made up of 10 and we work together to keep our household functioning and taking care of our needs and responsibilities. My husband is in the teaching profession and is working to finish up his degree in marriage and family counseling soon. I homeschool four of my sons and work at home doing my online referral business. I have 3 older children in college 2 in undergrad and 1 in graduate school.


      One might say, why don’t you just wait until you have saved all the money to bring them here in a couple of years? Well, the answer is that tomorrow is not promised!! Mama Bernadette is great matriarch and approaching her mid  80’s and if we wait too long the opportunity for her to come may not be there, because of health reasons or her possible passing. She did express concerns about timing because of those reasons.  When elders express those concerns, we should heed and listen to them.      We are asking friends and community to help us bring Mama Bernadette and Antoinette into the US to work with us. We are asking for your assistance to help us answer the call of our collective ancestors to restore the knowledge of our Bwiti and healing practices.  We are asking for financial donations to help us cover the cost of the following below:

  1.  Tickets and visas for both Mama Bernadette and Antoinette. We must at least purchase 1 business class ticket for Mama Bernadette because of her leg and comfort for the long journey (her doctor’s orders) and purchase 1 Economy ticket for Antoinette.  ****=> $ 7,000 US dollars****( Update- Do to time constraints, my family and I have come up with the needed funds and have gone ahead and purchased the tickets/visas. We are still asking for these funds so that we replace and recoup this cost.)  
  2. Accommodations and in-house translator for a minimum 2-week stay, construction of temple space, fees to Oyenano for temple installation and protections, Antoinette’s fees, medicines ( (Iboga not included) from Gabon for purification of family members and to purify shrine items I found in America, various items, supplies needed to be purchased in the states for temple ceremony. *****$ 10,000 US dollars**

     I thank you in advance for any amount of monetary donation you give!! Every dollar helps us towards our goal amount. We need the funding ASAP!


  1. For every $100 donation, I will be giving out a 16 oz. jar of my “Mama Abena’s All Natural Multipurpose use Herbal Healing Salve” ($30 value)!!!! Great for eczema, dry skin/ash, scalp, hairdressing and conditioner, chapped lips, sunburns and all over body non- greasy moisturizer!! (Olive oil based) Made with love, prayers, and blessings from my own kitchen!!
  2. We will also be posting a Bwiti T-shirt (designed by my son, Gyimah Opare) that you have the option choose.                                                                                                                          T-shirt Design by Gyimah Opare





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Mama Abena's All Natural Herbal Healing Salve
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16 oz. jar of my “Mama Abena’s All Natural Herbal Healing Salve”!!!! Great for eczema, dry skin/ash, scalp, hair dressing and conditioner, chapped lips, sunburns and all over body non- greasy moisturizer!! (Olive oil based) Made with love, prayers and blessings from my own kitchen!!!!
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Bwiti Spirituality t-shirt
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This is a design created by my middle son Gyimah Opare for t-shirt fundraising incentive. See full design at the bottom of story section.
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