The Cross Cultural Foundation under the Heritage Education programme awarded 13 winners from the Heritage Competitions and held a panel discussion to discuss how Africa’s cultural diversity can be harnessed for social cohesion. The ceremony took place on 4th December at Ndere Cultural Center. Over 160 people attended the event including heritage and peace clubs from Uganda and Kenya respectively, government, civil society organizations, cultural heritage promoters, other young people from universities and media.
The 2019 Youth Heritage Competition
In the Uganda-Kenya Youth Heritage Competition, young people below 21 years were invited to draw or paint or make a short video of cultural activities, norms, values or practices that promote peace and unity in their communities. Of the 472 entries received from different parts of Uganda and Kenya, 13 winners were selected by panels of cultural heritage experts in Uganda and Kenya. Entries were assessed on the criteria of adherence to instructions, originality, artistic and creative skills, innovation as well as regional and gender representation. 13 best entries have been used to design the 2020 National Heritage Calendar which was launched by Ms. Beatrice Campodonico from the European Union; and the best speakers from the debates held on cultural diversity will had a panel discussion at the ceremony and were awarded.
The 2019 Youth Heritage Awards Ceremony
The ceremony was graced by Mr. Opiyo, Executive Director Chapter Four who in his key note speech placed emphasis on supporting young leaders as vessels of peace and unity in East Africa. He highlighted the decline in social, political and economic values of our leaders, the notion of social cohesion and involvement of young people.
Mr. Opiyo’s speech sparked a debate especially among young people from the heritage clubs who participated in a panel under the theme ‘Young Ugandans and Kenyans exhibit the value of culture in promoting peace and unity’
The awarding of certificates and prizes to winners was officiated by Beatrice Campodonico from the European Union and Dr. Jude Kathiegga from the Kenyan High Commission. They both encouraged young people to be instrumental in the use of culture to promote peace and unity in communities they live in.
Commitment from the young people from the peace and heritage clubs
Young people presented a commitment of what they can do in promoting peace and culture and made a call to action for stakeholders present.
“…We promise to participate in peace building in communities using cultural tools like language, mobilize fellow young people and educate them to appreciate their cultural heritage and proudly uphold their cultural values wherever they are.”
“…We ask all stakeholders to create space to teach young people about culture and heritage and engage them in cultural activities that promote peace and unity in their communities.”
To date, CCFU supports over 150 school cultural heritage clubs across the country in partnership with community museums and has engaged the National Curriculum Development Centre to incorporate cultural heritage in the revised secondary school curriculum. The Foundation also implements a Cultural Entrepreneurship Project for youth which demonstrates how young people can make money using cultural resources. CCFU has received support from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to initiate a degree programme on cultural heritage studies in selected Ugandan Universities.