The six-day training is taking place at Wassu Stones Circle in Central River Region, The Gambia.
The trainee-tour guides attending the weeklong training were selected from the two sister countries, 16 from The Gambia and 5 from Senegal and the training is fully sponsored by the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO and it is part of the project ‘Strengthening the Valorisation of Stones Circle of Senegambia’ funded by UNESCO.
The Stones Circle of Senegambia were selected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006 and it is a trans-boundary inscription by The Gambia and Senegal. Since that time The Gambia and Senegal have worked together with the support of UNESCO to strengthen the conservation, preservation and interpretation of the Stones Circle of Senegambia.
Commenting on the training at Wassu, Hassoum Ceesay, director general of NCAC, said the project as sponsored by the UNESCO is meant to support the conservation, interpretation of the stones circle as the UNESCO World Heritage Site and also to optimise the participation of communities around the Stones Circle Sites in the management, development and conservation of the sites.
DG Ceesay, disclosed that the trainees are currently studying different modules which include the importance of the stones circle, who built the stones circle, dating the stones circle, conservation and the stones circle, community participation and the stones circle. More so, prepared modules on tour guiding to enable the trainees become future tour guides of the stones circle, give a comprehensive and reliable interpretation of the sites to researchers, school children and tourists to the sites.
Seydou Kan, head of the Senegalese delegation to the training also expressed satisfaction about The Gambia for hosting this important training.
He hoped trainees from both sides would benefit a lot from the training, and they would be able to add value to the stones circle in their communities.
There are over 1000 stones circle sites in The Gambia and Senegal; in The Gambia, Wassu and Kerbatch have been selected as the major sites and these have been developed with site museums and currently a new site museum is complete at Kerbatch to add value to the Stones Circle Sites. In Senegal, there are two sites, too, identified by UNESCO are these are Wanarr and Sine Ngayene.