The Heritage Management Organization (HERITΛGE) is happy to announce the opening of its local office and training centre in Barra, in The Gambia’s North Bank Region. The new office, part of HERITΛGE’s HerMaP Gambia Program that is co-financed by the European Union, opened its doors officially on October 27th.
“The launching of this brand-new office will help to further achieve the objectives of the HerMaP Gambia program,” said Enrica Pellacani, Head of Cooperation for the European Union Delegation in The Gambia. Pellacani noted over the past two years, the EU and HERITΛGE have been collaborating and empowering civil society organizations as essential partners in promoting social development, inclusive growth, and sustainability within the cultural and creative industries.
“Over 250 people from the heritage and tourism sectors, from 6 districts have received training on Community Engagement, Oral History, Museum Redesign, Heritage Interpretation as well as Community and Economic Development,” the official added, noting that as part of the EU-funded program, over 30 heritage managers were also trained to serve as trainers and thus “help manifest a creative wave that will enable The Gambia to preserve its heritage and leverage it to create great quality jobs for its youth”.
“Opening up our office in The Gambia is a very important development for us…everything we do is always centered around working with local communities,” said HERITΛGE Director, Dr. Evangelos Kyriakidis. “We hope that this office is more than a workplace or a training location. For us, this is a place that should be alive, engaged, and relevant to the whole community and ultimately to the whole country,” he added.
Mamat Sallah from The Gambia’s National Centre for the Arts and Culture, in partnership with which the HerMaP Gambia program is being realized, pointed out that “our heritage connects us with our roots. It is a treasure of knowledge waiting to be unlocked and shared with the generations still to come.”
“The Heritage Management Organization Office has been established with the simple ambition to train heritage managers to be the guardians of our collective memory and safeguard our historical treasures and to promote appreciation of the rich tapestry of our culture” he added.
A number of esteemed guests attended the opening and addressed participants, including the Alkalo of Barra, Dr. Adama Bah, Director of ITTOG (Institute of Travel and Tourism of Gambia), Amadou Danso from the Jufureh Albreda Youth Society (JAYS). Aba Hydara (Barra Community Committee Member), Ismaila Sambou, Director of GYCC (Gambia Youth Chamber of Commerce), Ebrima Krubally form the Wassu Stone Circle Association, Fatoumatta Jatta representative of the Crafts Market Federation, HERITΛGE Focal Representatives Malick Kujabi, Khadijatou Badgie, and Ebrima Jammeh, Lumana Kamashi, Development Cooperation / International Aid Officer of the EU Delegation in The Gambia, and Representatives of Geniere, Janjanbureh, Basse, and the greater Banjul area.
To celebrate the opening of this brand new facility and showcase the region’s cultural heritage, the local community put together a dance and music performance and served local delicacies.
About HerMaP Gambia: The program is aimed at developing the business skills of heritage and cultural managers to enable them to establish and better support heritage and cultural enterprises. Supporting The Gambia’s heritage sector will promote community solidarity and provide high-quality employment opportunities for local talent.
The program is co-funded by the European Union