Burial societies are local indigenous organisations which provide mutual help and assistance to members in the event of death and illness, and are an established feature of urban life. As such they are examples of self-reliance in practice.
We are a self-supporting network of friends, family and countrymen that came together in July 2016 to form a burial society club that will ease some of the trauma associated with urbanisation and help maintain some of the traditions and cultural values of our members. Simunye Bereavement Community Trust present as an organisations that would fulfil some real 'need' on the part of their members and that have a definite functional quality.
While maintenance of cultural ties might provide a key motivation for the formation of our society, other more practical objectives have been documented. Simunye lists the following: (a) to advise members when a death occurs; (b) to consult the bereaved family; (c) to meet some of the cost of burial or repatriation of the body back to Africa (if required). (d) to assist financially the bereaved family; (e) to visit members taken ill; (f) to organise social gatherings for members.
Simunye in addition to their stated objectives, also meet a number of latent needs on the part of their members. For example we may ease the trauma experienced by the migrant member in UK by introducing him/her to the rest of kinsmen enabling him / her to enjoy a 'psychological sense of security'. This may help mitigate the loss of the mutual support and close kinship association previously provided by traditional ties. The migrant's adaptation to UK life will therefore be eased as many of his/her traditional values and cultural ways will be shared with the other members, and he may be able to participate in some traditional activities. We also provide temporal financial support to our members in times of difficulties in the form of a short term loan.