This chapter is the result of a visit in 2006 to observe the work of Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) in the Timbuktu region of Northern Mali, whose struggling economy was at that time benefiting from a short period of peace in the "Tuareg rebellions". IRW’s local headquarters was based in the remote town of Gourma Rharous. The chapter describes its remarkable integration with the local community, and its commitment to staying there rather than moving on like some other aid agencies have done. Since Islam is deeply embedded in Malian life, this chapter provides a positive example of "cultural proximity", i.e. the proposition that a Faith Based Organization can have a privileged access to beneficiaries who share the same religious culture.
The introduction chapter depicts a common story of thousands of Black migrants to Canada from various Caribbean islands and territories. Contact with a cricket and social club was critical for settling in Toronto’s urban and suburban neighbourhoods, finding (mainly) middle-class jobs, returning home to their nations of origin for visits, and travelling to Black plurilocal homespaces created in Canada, the Caribbean, the United States, and England. The Mavericks Cricket and Social Club (MCSC) involved sport, spectatorship, food, music, dancing, travelling, and socializing that were crucial for recreating the sense of home necessary for Black men’s survival in a city rife with interpersonal and systemic racism. The chapter outlines the ways in which cricket is an essential yet often forgotten component of Black Atlantic cultures and Canadian socio-politics The chapter describes the MCSC participants and researcher involved in this study; reviews the sociological processes of making and crossing group boundaries; and sets the context for the book by reviewing a range of literatures including the Black Atlantic and the Caribbean diaspora in Canada, studies of sporting diasporas, the narrative inquiry approach used, and the contents of the remaining book chapters.