As part of efforts to conserve the history of James Island and related sites, National Center for Arts and Culture (NCAC), with support from the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience Monday commended a week-long training of tour guides who work in the explanation of the history of James Island and the related sites of Juffureh and Albreda.
The training which end on January 7, 2020, is underway at Juffureh in the North Bank Region.
The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience is an international coalition of heritage sites which are links to memories of Goree Island, James Island (Kunta Kinta) and the Rwanda Genocide Memorial.
Hassoum Ceesay, director general of National Center for Arts and Culture (NCAC) said they received grant for support from the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience to train tour guides who are explaining the history of James Island and the related sites in Juffureh and Albreda. He said the project will also train local women in acquiring skills for self-empowerment.
According to Mr Ceesay, the full title of the project is Combating Illegal Yoth Migration through skills acquisition, community outreach and peer education, adding that heritage sites like Kunta Kinteh Island is under threat of river erosion.
“In the communities, we have about twenty tour guides based in Juffureh and the island gives them employment. That is why this project seeks to conserve the history of Juffureh and Albreda, Fort Bullen and improve customer care services, security, life safety and first aid,” he said.
He said they have also identified twenty-five women from the communities and nearby villages to upgrade their skills to be able to make objects that can be sold to visitors, particularly texiles. He said the women will be trained for eight days on batik and tie and dye which they can sold to visitors and make income.
International Coalition of Sites of Conscience seeks to create a space for innovation and experimentation by supporting projects that develop new ways of actively engaging of public in the contemporary issues that tour sites that our sites like Kunta Kinteh Island raise at the issues of irregular migration, and Kunta Kinteh was a spot where thousands of Africans where transported across the Atlantic for slavery.
The project is in tandem with the National Development Plan as it mentioned culture as a tool to empower youths.