Aug 30, 2018

Heritage matters

Heritage Club in Rakai District, Uganda 2018
Heritage Club in Rakai District, Uganda 2018

Last month, a team from our partner organisation the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda (CCFU) visited cultural heritage clubs in Karamoja Region, in north-eastern Uganda.

Heritage clubs bring together students of diverse ethnic backgrounds who believe in the importance of promoting and preserving cultural heritage. They share experiences about their cultural backgrounds, learn about heritage in general, carry out activities to preserve cultural heritage, promote and express their cultural identity and learn to appreciate other peoples’ cultures. 

We are so grateful for the support you have given to helping achieve these goals through our 'Encourage African Youth to Embrace their Heritage' project.  Thank you!

The schools receive support in the form of training, teachers’ toolkits, heritage maps and other learning aids. The heritage club members receive ‘Heritage Passports’, heritage inscribed pens, caps, t-shirts, bracelets and other motivational materials.

It was wonderful to see how the heritage clubs in Abim and Moroto Districts were progressing and the enthusiasm of the young people involved!

CCFU have also recently also undertaken a teacher training programme in Kyotera in Southern Uganda.  The training was opened by Mr Mathias Mukoye, the Acting District Education Officer who urged teachers "to promote the appreciation of the cultures of Uganda, including languages", stressing that CCFU's heritage education programme is helping to realise this objective.

Participating in heritage clubs brings many benefits to young people and their teachers.  From respect to their cultural identity, confidence and self-esteem to discovering new skills and talents that may be a potential source of future income. 

Our video competition was a great way to stimulate the creativity of young Africans and to grow appreciation for their culture and national cultural diversity. 

Thank you for making that happen and for your continued support of our project and partner organisations in Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zimbabwe!

With renewed thanks

Catherine

Teacher training in Kyotera, Uganda 2018
Teacher training in Kyotera, Uganda 2018
Heritage Club members in Moroto, Uganda 2018
Heritage Club members in Moroto, Uganda 2018

Links:

May 30, 2018

Young people leading the way

Performers at the ceremony, 24 May 2018
Performers at the ceremony, 24 May 2018

Just last week, young people took centre stage at the 3rd Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda (CCFU) National Cultural Heritage Awards.   We thank you again for generously contributing to our 'Encourage African Youth' project which makes things like this possible.  

Six individuals and institutions were honoured for their outstanding contribution in the preservation and promotion of Uganda’s cultural heritage.

These 'Heritage Champions' serve as role models to us all in their enthusiastic efforts to encourage people to take responsibility for preserving their culture.

Tourism State Minister Godfrey Kiwanda used the occasion to announce that his department will be renamed the 'Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage'. A wonderful tribute to the CCFU and its work to raise awareness of the importance of cultural heritage preservation.

Aliguma Ahabyona, CCFU's Heritage Programme Officer said “Uganda’s wealth of heritage is under threat. It is not effectively protected, even when listed. There is also virtually no incentive to preserve our heritage, tangible and intangible.   At the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda (CCFU), we firmly believe that it is our urgent responsibility to help safeguard the remnants of our heritage, working in collaboration with other stakeholders.”

Meanwhile in Sierra Leone, the winners of our video competition visited Bunce Island for the first time to learn from the stories of slavery.

Research Officer at the Monuments and Relics Commission, Francis Momoh said "As they marched through the ruins, the deafening silence reminded them of what might have transpired there some 350 years ago. Those who had tears shed them, those who had courage braved it, whilst those who are resilient expressed determination."

We believe that our 'Encourage African Youth' project has helped open young people's eyes to the importance and possibility of their heritage. You can't change history. You can secure the future.

There's still more to do of course, but all of us involved in the project thank you again for your kind gift which has helped us get this far.  

With gratitude

Catherine

Henry Fergusson pupils going to Bunce Island
Henry Fergusson pupils going to Bunce Island
Learning about the slave trade
Learning about the slave trade
Mar 2, 2018

Makorokoto! ("Congratulations!" in Shona)

Tanatswa shares her rich heritage in Nyanga
Tanatswa shares her rich heritage in Nyanga

Back in December 2016 we asked for your help to support young people in Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zimbabwe to better understand and appreciate their diverse heritage - and to preserve it for future generations.

Last week we received an update from our INTO partners in Zimbabwe announcing all the winners of the Schools Cultural Heritage Competition, which we wanted to share with you as without your help, none of this could have happened.

Thanks to your generous donations, children from Sierra Leone have shared stories of their agricultural practices and baby naming traditions. We've learned how to celebrate a successful harvest and the coming of age in Uganda. And young people from Zimbabwe have helped us understand how to build a traditional hut as well as uncovering the secrets of the bush.

And that’s not all! There were five short-listed videos from each country, all of which have now been published on the INTO website. Despite the sometimes dodgy sound (mainly caused by being outside in the wind) and image quality, the videos tell a wonderful story. Not only the story of each different cultural or conservation activity, but the way they are told: Lively, joyful and personal stories. And together they tell a story of intercultural learning, of the exchange of experience between members of heritage clubs in different countries.  Which is fabulous! And what INTO is all about.

We believe that this will be the most enduring outcome of the project: Increased understanding and appreciation of just how important it is to keep our cultural heritage alive. And evidence that that solidarity and cultural respect among young people across continents can provide energy and solutions to heritage preservation.

So we thank you again for your support and I hope you will join us in saying ‘Makorokoto’ (congratulations) to all those who participated. Every student should be very proud of their work and the fact that they certainly helped to make a difference to the future of African heritage!

Why not take a few minutes to learn about the fascinating cultural heritage of Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zimbabwe! You can find links to all the shortlisted videos on our website.

With renewed thanks from us all!

Catherine

Planting season traditions by Ahmadiyya School
Planting season traditions by Ahmadiyya School
Grace from Kabaale talks about his family tree
Grace from Kabaale talks about his family tree

Links:

 
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