Cultural Heritage Preservation and Development
Cultural heritage is an important aspect of our identity as it represents our history, evolution and aspirations. In Uganda, a beautiful collage of cultural diversity can be found across the 65 ethnic groups that present unique cultures reflected in diverse traditional institutions, languages, indigenous knowledge and skills, the creative and performing arts, crafts, dress and food.
The country’s natural, cultural and historical landscapes and archaeological sites present yet another dimension to our cultural heritage. In this programme we focus on supporting initiatives to preserve aspects of Uganda’s rich cultural heritage, tangible and intangible. The Foundation in collaboration with various partners advocates for a favorable policy environment to protect, develop and promote our heritage, nationally and internationally.
1. Support to Community Museums:
Inspired by the pride and self motivation exhibited by individuals, families, clans, community groups to preserve and showcase their artefacts and literature, CCFU chose to support local initiatives to promote and preserve cultural heritage. So far we have worked with close to thirty self motivated and dynamic individuals, groups and families, as our first partners of choice in promoting cultural heritage. The individual museums each display unique ethnographic collections, literature, traditional instruments, all demonstrating their cultural rights of self-expression and identity. In 2011 CCFU supported the recognition of Uganda Community Museums Association (UCOMA) as an NGO, to raise the profile of the museums and link them to potential funders and other supporters.
2. Heritage education in Uganda:
In 2011, CCFU initiated a programme on enhancing heritage education in Uganda, recognizing the role of the young generation in promoting cultural rights and heritage. The goal of the project is therefore to enhance the value of heritage in Ugandan secondary schools through 3 mutually re-enforcing objectives. The first is to improve cultural heritage knowledge and skills in 66 schools through extra-curricular activities and the development of a teachers’ resource kit. The second is to promote the development of cultural heritage resources in the vicinity of the selected schools by supporting 12 community museums and their outreach activities.
3. Policy advocacy for heritage conservation and development:
The culture sector is faced with a number of challenges in respect to a lack of awareness of the importance of cultural heritage, limited political will and resources to develop and promote heritage and a lack of relevant and updated legal instruments to protect cultural heritage. This coupled with negative perceptions of culture as backward, and the increasing challenges that modern development and globalization present, call for a deliberate effort to save our quickly vanishing heritage. In response to this, CCFU, in collaboration with other civil society organisations, initiated a Coalition for Heritage Conservation and Development, dedicated to protecting and promoting Uganda´s natural, historical and cultural heritage.
The organisation exists to enable members to define a common vision and articulate their needs and aspirations. Interested in joining or supporting UCOMA? Please register your interest here.
The third objective is to raise the profile of heritage nationally by engaging with policy makers. A competition on literal or visual expressions of cultural heritage will be held annually.
The coalition developed a paper presenting a conctextual analysis of the policy framework, an advocacy plan and draft policy brief. Your ideas and participation in this forum are most welcome.