The ongoing weeklong training which kick started on 30 November is funded by the German National Commission for UNESCO and German Foreign Ministry and implemented by the National Centre for Arts and Culture.
The training is designed for youths and community women under the theme: “Combating Covid-19 Impairment at Kunta Kinteh Island and related sites in The Gambia through Skills Acquisition, Community Outreach and Peer Exchange.”
Hassoum Ceesay, director general of National Centre for Arts and Culture disclosed that the ongoing training which has brought together some selected young men and women of Barra community and its environs covers Tour Guiding, and Skill Acquisitions in tie and dye, soap making, batik among others.
He noted that the training will enable them to be fully armed in terms of skills before the completion of the D.K. Jawara Resort which is under construction at Barra.
He noted that the training is also an added advantage to the youth of Barra.
He further noted that most of those communities that are hosting the heritage sites such as: Juffureh and Albreda villages, Wassu, Kerr Batch and all others depend on tourists but “coronavirus has brought standstill their efforts. So this project will help to eliminate difficulties they are facing through skills acquisition.”
DG Ceesay expressed confidence that the youths of those communities would benefit greatly through the programme because “the sites (Kunta Kinteh Island and related sites) will continue to attract more tourists” especially with the construction of DK Jawara Resort.
He also added that the NCAC, with the training, wants to make them ready so that they can benefit from all the heritage sites through tour guiding, as the centre wants to use the heritage resource in “these communities to give the youths hope to stay in their communities and earn a livelihood especially that craft market is part of the facilities in DK Jawara Resort where tourists can buy souvenir.”
Accordingly, the DG thanked German National Commission for UNESCO and German Foreign Ministry for funding the training.
Adama Jatta, one of the trainers expressed her satisfaction over the trainees both those at Juffureh and Albreda and those undergoing the present training at Barra.
She said they need more encouragement to enable them take the skills acquired as a life career rather than a talk shop.
She thanked the NCAC for opportunity given to them in participating in the training programme. She further applauded the NCAC for encouraging women to participate in the programme.
Some of the trainees expressed their joy over the programme, saying it is first of its kind in the community as NCAC has given them opportunity to be part.