Celebrating the day in new dimension, Hassoum Ceesay, Director General of the National Centre for Arts and Culture harped on the significance of the celebration saying Africa World Heritage Day is celebrated every 5th of May to create awareness about the importance of heritage such as Fort Bullen “which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”
He noted that community involvement in wherever there is a heritage site is very important.
The NCAC boss said extending invitation and celebrating the day with students from different schools will help bring the site closer to the communities. “Heritage has to be relevant to the need of the people that is why we don’t want the Fort to just stand here like this. It has to respond to the need and use of the communities,” he underlined.
DG Ceesay highlighted on some of their engagements in the community which includes training of youth on tour guiding and skills acquisition to let residents know that the Fort has potentials that can benefit them which is important as it will help the communities to preserve and protect the site.
In his remarks on behalf of the Secretary General of UNESCO, Lamin Jarjou, Senior Program Officer noted that it is an opportunity for people around the world, particularly Africans to celebrate the continent’s unique cultural and natural heritage.
He disclosed UNESCO’s commitment in spearheading international efforts to draw on the vast potential of Africa’s cultural and natural heritage as a force for poverty reduction and social cohesion as well as a driver of sustainable development and innovation.
Jarou added that they aim to increase global awareness of African heritage, with a special focus on youth and to mobilise enhanced cooperation for its safeguarding on the local, regional and global levels.
Woman Counselor for Barra ward, Michelle Mendy encouraged school children especially females to take good care of their education for a better future, adding “it is good to know your history so that you can know where you belong.”
Musa Bah, Principal Mbullum Ahmadiyya Muslim High School said to find solutions to our problems there is a need to look back and inward and understand ourselves by knowing our history, culture and heritage.
As part of activities marking the day, students and other participants were lectured on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and taken on a tour of Fort Bullen.