The six winning projects of the first African World Heritage Day (AWHD) youth competition for East Africa were successfully completed in December 2021. Organized in collaboration with UNESCO National Commissions in countries beneficiaries (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda), the youth-led projects have adopted different approaches to sensitize young people in the East African region to the importance of World Heritage.
In Eritrea, Mr Michael Berhe and his team collected data, designed a prototype, coded and tested the mobile application which aimed to raise awareness of Eritrea’s first World Heritage site, Asmara: a modernist African city. To publicize their project, the team gave several media interviews, including Voice of America, the Eritrean national newspaper, and raised awareness through various popular social media.
Mr. Sewnet Tesfaye Lema from Ethiopia visited several schools and universities to establish World Heritage clubs and organize training and capacity building workshops with young people and journalists on the protection and promotion of World Heritage sites in Ethiopia. Through popular FM and community radio stations, he has also conducted awareness campaigns on the importance of safeguarding and protecting World Heritage sites, which is particularly important during the ongoing conflict in the north. from the country.
Ms. Maureen Kombo from Kenya focused on youth mobilization in integrating community solid waste management strategies into the preservation of Lamu heritage. To this end, she interviewed the Lamu Old Town Site Manager, community leaders, county government officials, and youth about strategic ways to protect and conserve Lamu’s heritage and how to address it. the challenges of solid waste management in the county. Through discussions with key youth groups based in Lamu, Ms. Kombo and her team inspired the groups to take action, which actively participated in beach clean-ups, garbage collection, and formulating waste management strategies. long-term waste.
In Tanzania, Ms. Brenda Kisaka’s project developed radio programs, organized panel discussions and a series of webinars to promote World Heritage in East Africa. Through these commitments, the program has reached not only young Tanzanians, but also the youth of EAC Youth Ambassadors, youth organizations in East Africa and young parliamentarians of SADC. Young people from different platforms united in the call for the promotion and protection of World Heritage sites in Africa.
“For young people to conserve and promote their heritage sites, creative and dynamic campaigns must be carried out in the local language. In Tanzania, using the Swahili language to promote heritage sites in online and offline campaigns will not only promote heritage sites, but also the Swahili language, which is our heritage as Tanzanians ”, said Mr. Peter Mbando, EAC Youth Ambassador. from Tanzania.
Through the Buganda and Nkobazambogo Youth Council, in partnership with the Kingdom of Buganda, Dr Kabanda Umar of Uganda organized a series of activities aimed at empowering young people through culture and heritage . The events included a webinar, physical workshops, radio and TV shows, all aimed at raising awareness among young people and sensitizing them on ways to involve them in the protection, conservation and promotion of the tombs of the kings of Buganda on the Kasubi World Heritage Site in Uganda. . The events were held in English and Luganda and attracted various youth leaders from different youth clubs in Buganda.
In Rwanda and Uganda, Mr. Cephas Twinamatsiko focused on mobilizing university students by giving lectures, organizing radio broadcasts, organizing awareness campaigns in secondary schools, initiating debates led by youth and creating social media platforms for youth engagement in World Heritage. The team also organized clean-up campaigns and tree planting events at seven sites in Uganda and Rwanda.