The weeklong training which ends on 27 October is part of the project titled ‘Combatting Covid-19 Impairment at Kunta Kinteh Island and Related Sites in The Gambia through skills acquisition, community outreach and peer exchange.”
The project is fully supported by the German National Commission for UNESCO and German Foreign Ministry and implemented by the NCAC.
This weeklong training which covers the NCAC validated Combating Covid-19 impairment training modules for communities at Kunta Kinteh Island and Related Sites brought together 50 women and youths in Juffureh, Albreda, hosts of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in The Gambia.
Some of the trainees/participants were further trained as Tour Guides of Kunta Kinteh Island and Related Sites Juffureh /Abreda, while women and some other youths were trained on sustainable livelihood skills in Juffureh/Albreda.
Hassoum Ceesay, director general of National Centre for Arts and Culture expressed gratitude to the German National Commission for UNESCO and German Foreign Ministry for sponsoring the project.
He explained that the project is meant to build capacity of people within the communities of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Kunta Kinteh Island - to enable them to withstand the pressure and negative impact of Covid-19 pandemic.
He confirmed that since the start of the pandemic, no single visitor has come to visit the Kunta Kinteh Island and Related Sites. “And these communities depend on the large extent of visitors and tourists that come here, for the past seven months the earning capacity of the residents have come down drastically.”
This project of the German National Commission for UNESCO, according to DG Hasssoum, is to help to reduce the negative impact of the pandemic and improve the livelihood of the people through skills training.
Apart from helping alleviate the negative impact of coronavirus epidemic from these communities, DG Ceesay said the project funded by the German National Commission for UNESCO and German Foreign Ministry is to also give the youths in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites communities hope of using the opportunities availed to them by the Heritage Sites to earn a decent living rather than risking their lives going through ‘backway’ (illegal travel) to reach Europe “which has caused many Gambian youths and other Africans to lose their lives in the Mediterranean sea.
Also, he continued, the training is part of his Centre’s efforts to come closer to the communities that host the Heritage Sites. “Therefore we always want to associate with the communities through peer exchanges, communications and through activities like this.”