The Commission, in a bid to lay a sustained cultural path for Sierra Leone, introduced the concept of School Heritage Clubs in 10 Secondary Schools in Freetown in 2017. Since then, another 20 clubs were established in Bo and Bombali Districts Southern and Northern Sierra Leone respectively. Clubs have also been initiated in Kenema district although they are yet to be launched.
The Idea of a “School Heritage Club” is typically a platform to bring pupils together with a common goal of promoting and preserving their heritage (cultural and natural, tangible and intangible). This could be in the form of sharing experiences about their cultural backgrounds, learning about heritage in general, engaging in activities that facilitate the preservation and conservation of cultural heritage, promoting and expressing their cultural identity and appreciating the culture of others.
Sierra Leone has a rich and unique culture each with its typified and resultant cultural presentation for public education. So, using the formal and informal sectors in engaging mainly the youth will ensure we reach the cultural and heritage benchmark thus mass educate Sierra Leoneans to inform cultural heritage policies for the sustainable development of our nation.
Additionally, conserving a unique culture of our forebears, we are losing fast to modernity.
Heritage education evolved but Sierra Leone’s case has not matured over the years creating heritage neglect and gap between the young and old. Among the factors responsible for such state of affairs, is the largely uninformed public on heritage preservation and management matters.
There is a growing recognition that the preservation and conservation of heritage and of our Sierra Leone culture more broadly depends on ensuring that the younger generation is encouraged and facilitated to play an active part in learning about their heritage.
Only then can they become the necessary recipients and later transmitters of knowledge that shape our societies.
The youth are pioneers in this drive in as much as heritage is a reality, a possession of the community, and a rich inheritance that may be passed on, which invites our recognition and our participation.
Through our cultural heritage education in schools, our Commission’s pregnancy of hope for a heritage resilient nation is born through these peer cultural educators and steer us through a right path that enhance cross-cultural cohesion and national development.
Having noticed the untapped potentials of the young and the stake they have in promoting the development of a dynamic Sierra Leonean culture that embodies the historic realities and experiences of our cultural heritage, the social changes that have taken place outlying Sierra Leone’s present and future directions can be achieved with the youth at the center of the heritage education framework for development.
Monuments and Relics Commission as the professional heritage agency facilitates training for the teacher patrons and pupils, employ local historic sites, built environment, living heritage an essential source of identity and continuity (cultural tradition, performance, ritual, popular memory, skills and techniques, indigenous knowledge system), primary resource documents, artifacts, photographs, and oral histories to learn about the past, the present, and the future.
The program aims at introducing activity-based models in the schools that promote and facilitate enjoyment and knowledge of our culture and heritage.
We believe with a conviction based on experience that cultural heritage education could be an unending monumental program that will capacitate the youth and instill in them the love and appreciation of their country.
It is ordinate, that all the activities that will be carried out will be appraised by Teacher Patrons and rewarded so that it will be a motivating factor to non-club members to preserve our heritage.
Promoters, Resource Persons, partners and Donors will also be rewarded for their effort in shedding light on Cultural and Heritage matters in Sierra Leone through our School Heritage Clubs.
Cross-cultural Exchange And Linkage
Through our cultural heritage education model employed within and outside the formal education architecture, members broaden their heritage consciousness of their home country while appreciating people of other cultural backgrounds thereby widening the heritage network.
The Commission believes that Culture and Heritage offer the nation the space in which active community engagement can be normalized and enhanced in which the Sierra Leonean public can experience intense connection, profound insight and fruitful collaborative action for growth.