Zimbabwe wins international award for childrens’ heritage education project
In 2014 the Nyanga members of the National Trust started a project designed to enable school children to “re-discover their living traditions and identify their cultural roots”. Previous work had shown little knowledge of traditional Shona culture among children visiting the Museum, which is still attached to the Rhodes Hotel, Juliasdale. The project was championed by Edone Ann Logan, Chair of the Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition (RNHE), working with 132 children and 6 teachers from a secondary school and 2 primary schools, each of which now run a Heritage Club. Artifacts from the museum are used as part of the teaching materials.
The Project gave the RNHE and the NTZ the opportunity of raising public awareness to the value of cultural heritage and the study of the unique prehistory of the area was incorporated into the history and heritage curriculums. Training guides for the schools involved in the program were compiled and a display of items/pictures and artifacts was developed at Juliasdale, supported by a small grant from Zim National Trust. Schools were encouraged schools to visit local heritage sites and experience hands-on traditional crafts, and most importantly, research their own family histories, collect stories from their grandparents, and find their own identities within their ethnic groups.
Mr W Dhlandhlara of the SOLON Foundation generously provided funds for transportation of school children to activities and funding. SOLON also provided 60 schools in the area with a copy of Robert Soper’s ”Terrace Builders of Nyanga”, and the Prehistory Society of Zimbabwe followed by donating Rob Burrett’s “Shadows of our Ancestors” to each school.
The Zim NT project was invited to display at The 17th International Conference of National Trust held in Bali in September 2017. Conference delegates were requested to rate the “”Best SGP-supported Project”” from among all previous winners over the past 3 years. On the final day of the conference Dame Fiona Reynolds, the International NT Chair announced that the NTZ had won the competition! With over 130 delegates from 30 countries at the conference. Congratulation’s go to Edone Ann Logan and to all her committee and teacher members for implementing this innovative project at Juliasdale.
David Scott, NTZ Chair accepting the prize from Dame Fiona Reynolds