Mar 14, 2017

Maita zvenyu: A 'Thank You' from Zimbabwe

Pottery pride, National Trust of Zimbabwe
Pottery pride, National Trust of Zimbabwe

Here’s a message from a school on a visit to the National Trust of Zimbabwe:

“Thank you everyone who supported our project to grow the appreciation of heritage and culture amongst young people in Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Inspiring the youth of today with a love of places, traditions and stories is so important if we want these to survive into the future. The fact that so many people we don’t know have given so generously towards our efforts inspires us even more! Many, many thanks …“

By way of thanks from us here at the INTO Secretariat, we would like to invite you to a special event at Emmanuel College, Cambridge on World Heritage Day (Tuesday 18 April). 

INTO Chairman, Dame Fiona Reynolds, will be speaking about the work of National Trusts to protect and pass on intangible heritage, increasingly under pressure ‘in a world where the drive for economic growth is crowding out everything that can’t be given a monetary value’.

She will reflect on how important it is to inspire and engage the next generation in the preservation of traditional crafts, performing arts, languages, rituals and festivals.  

She will also have the latest update on this project which is now getting underway in Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zimbabwe thanks to your very generous support. 

The lecture starts at 11.30 and will be followed by a glass of wine in the Old Library.  We do hope you will be able to join us any time from 11am.  (Please RSVP to the INTO Secretariat.)

Looking forward to thanking you in person on Tuesday 18 April!

Visiting the Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition
Visiting the Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition
Jan 27, 2017

News from Africa

Thank you so much for helping us reach our initial £2,500 goal to kick-start the 'Encourage African Youth to Embrace their Heritage' project!  We couldn't have done it without you and we are so excited about making a start on educating and enthusing our 300 new heritage ambassadors.

Heritage is so often seen as something for an educated elite – or somehow connected to poverty – but the work of our amazing partners: the Sierra Leone Monuments Commission, the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda and the Zimbabwe National Trust shows that the opposite is true. Heritage is all around us and is an important part of who we are, but it is under threat from ever increasing globalisation and intolerance.   

It’s more vital than ever to keep the stories and physical reminders of the past alive and safe for future generations – and the way to do that is through inspiring and involving young people.  We've all been so moved by the stories of young people finding out about their heritage and backgrounds for the first time, like Harriet and Milly, who said:

"It is so important to preserve our culture because it shapes who we are."

At INTO, we work with partner organisations to deliver projects.  Emily Drani and John de Coninck from the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda explain: “The idea behind the project is to ensure that young people from Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone and Uganda develop a better appreciation of the diverse heritage across the continent and become more effective in its preservation, through an electronic platform/ learning network related to heritage conservation and to strengthen the skills of our organisations in delivering more effective Heritage Education programmes for youth in a globalised, but diverse world."

They add: "Thank you so very much for all your effort and commitment towards our heritage project for youth in Africa. This is very exciting!   And our young people are so encouraged that there are people out there who appreciate culture and want to support them."

So a huge thank you from all of us and we'll keep you updated on progress!

Youth heritage activities, Zimbabwe
Youth heritage activities, Zimbabwe
Heritage Club activities, Uganda
Heritage Club activities, Uganda


Dec 13, 2016

One more week to go: Hear Harriet and Edone's stories

Harriet, a Heritage Club member in Uganda
Harriet, a Heritage Club member in Uganda

Harriet recently earned her ‘Cultural Enthusiast’ medal for a poem about cultural loss:

“I once spoke my mother language, where did it go? The one you are hearing now is foreign. 
I once pounded our cassava flour using the mortar but machines have taken it away, my culture.
I once danced around the fire place after supper but where do l go these days? Mariana night club.
I once danced to the tune of the drum but Mr. Piano has erased my drum beat.
I once wore bark cloth that grandma made for me but the cloth am wearing now, I don’t know who made it. 
Where did I throw them? Will I find the torn pieces? 
I must go and search for it, where did it go, my beautiful and lovely culture?
Join me to search for my culture"

Lovely, but the yearning for a cultural heritage eroded by technology and globalisation is particularly poignant.

Heritage Clubs in Uganda and Zimbabwe

Harriet is being helped in her search for meaning and relevance by attending a Heritage Club at the Kilembe Secondary School in Western Uganda, one of over 100 organised by our partner, the Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda.

Meanwhile in Zimbabwe, our project is also beginning to bear fruit.  Edone from the National Trust of Zimbabwe met a group of school principals last week to talk about the importance of heritage education and the different ways children can get involved and embrace their heritage. 

Edone says "I spoke for ten minutes, emphasizing the rich bounty of heritage resources in the Nyanga area, and suggesting that the programme should begin in the home with the children researching their family heritage. It then spreads to the study of the wide variety of heritage and cultural subjects found in this district, and  follows with national heritage, as suggested in the CCFU Tool Kit."  All very exciting!

Encouraging African Youth to Embrace their Heritage

Our project aims to educate and enthuse over 300 young people like Harriet in Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zimbabwe so that they can preserve vital African heritage for future generations to enjoy and learn from.

As a donor to our project, you understand the value of keeping heritage alive and safe for future generations. You also know that the best way to do that is to help young people understand its significance and relevance today, even if that means telling sometimes hard-to-tell stories or preserving the physical reminders of slavery and conflict.

Thank you so much for helping us encourage young people like Harriet into becoming the heritage defenders, educators, activists and practitioners of the future - just like you!

Please spread the word!

And as we begin the final week of the challenge, we really need your support and help again if we are to reach the target!  

Please share the project link with friends and colleagues, asking them to donate too - or post it on your facebook page?  We can't do this without your support!

Thank you for your continued support and effort.

Milly, a Heritage Club member in Uganda
Milly, a Heritage Club member in Uganda
Edone with a young student in Zimbabwe
Edone with a young student in Zimbabwe
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