CULTURAL HERITAGE CENTRE & THE PRESERVATION OF THE CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL PROJECT

Honouring our Past, Securing our Future

World Monument Fund Britain has been awarded a grant of Euro 743,000 from the European Development to implement — in partnership with the Anglican Diocese of Zanzibar – the preservation of historic Christ Church Cathedral.  The purpose of the Project is to save and preserve Christ Church Cathedral, Zanzibar, and create a Cultural heritage centre marking the abolition of slavery at the Site.

The Project will preserve a highly significant monument, and promote access to one of the most important heritage places in East Africa. Telling the story of this dark chapter in the region’s history in an open and factual way will help bridge social and ethnic divides and promote tolerance, reconciliation and an inclusive society.  The process of creating the Heritage centre, and making it accessible to school children, who are the country’s future leaders, will promote interfaith and inter-communal dialogue and understanding.

The Site is an important tourist destination, the largest on Zanzibar with 100,000 visitors annually. And by improving visitor facilities at the site and making it more informative and stimulating, the tourism industry as a whole will benefit, creating jobs and wealth, and helping to reduce poverty.

A central feature of the Project is establishing an Anti-Human Trafficking Centre. There are more slaves on the planet than at any previous time in history. The sale of women is the world’s second largest industry. And, sadly, Zanzibar has one again become a trafficking depot for slaves, especially children. Plans are to raise public awareness of these issues both in East Africa and across the globe, while giving visitors concrete action steps to join in combating this crisis.

Current Need:

The Anglican Diocese of Zanzibar must contribute twenty percent of the total project to secure the full European Union grant. We are presently facing a deadline of 31 October to deposit 30,000 Euro in the Project Account. Because of the downturn in tourism, however, due to sectarian and politically motivated violence here, the Diocese’s ability to meet this challenge is in significant jeopardy.

We are reaching out to friends for help to ensure this balance is raised by the deadline to ensure continuity and completion of the project. If you are in a position to possibly help or have ideas on how to generate the needed funds, we would greatly appreciate hearing from you. Please contact our Vicar General, Canon J.A. Kramer at jerry@lovefortheleast.org. We would most certainly be grateful for your prayers at this critical moment.

Project Specifics:

Structural Repairs and Preservation at Christ Church Cathedral

  • Structural Repairs structural repairs to the main roof of the nave and repair of major crack systems, particularly in the west gable wall; Conservation of historic plaster surfaces on the exterior walls of the building; Replacement of roof and the existing drainage system from the roof; Repair of main altar and baptistry; New paint, electricity and sound system.

Heritage Centre at the Site

Creation of the Heritage Centre commemorating the abolition of slavery located on the ground floor of the annex of St. Monica’s Hostel consisting of the following main components:

  • Exhibition; Abolition of Slavery: Two rooms on the ground floor will be converted to permanent exhibition spaces telling the story of slavery and its abolition with images and text in Swahili and English.
  • Exhibition; Modern Slavery: One room on the ground floor will be converted to an exhibition about modern-day slavery including in the EU. Text will be in Swahili and English.
  • Audio visual Room: One room will be used for an audio-visual display about the site and including folk-memories of slavery, recorded on the mainland and Zanzibar.
  • Disabled Access: The Heritage Centre will be made accessible to disabled people. Provision will also be made for deaf and blind visitors.
  • Visitor Infrastructure at the Site: Installation of signage and information panels across the entire Site and renovation of toilets for visitors, provision of office space inside the main building for administrative functions and landscaping.
  • Training for Tour Guides: A minimum of 30 tour guides will participate in training. The Project will work closely with the Zanzibar Association of Tour Operators (ZATO) Training material will be developed as an extension of the exhibitions.
  • Training for Deaf Tour Guides: Training will be provided for at least 2 deaf tour guides, implemented by ADZ, working closely with Zanzibar Association for People with Disabilities (UWZ).

Education Centre, Connected to Heritage Centre

Creation of an education centre linked thematically to the Heritage Centre to provide teaching material and access to information about the history of slavery for school children and students, consisting of the following main components:

  • Education Room: Targeted at younger children, the facility will provide visual, written and tactile materials and teaching aids.
  • Research Room: Targeted at older students, the facility will be a data resource, providing access to information on slavery, its historical context, the struggle to abolish it, etc. The Research Room will contain at least two computers with stored databases, and access to other data through the internet.

Capacity Building for Civil Society: Cathedral Workshop

The purpose of this action is to build skills and capacity in civil society organisations, faith-based organisations and individuals working in the field of heritage management and preservation in Zanzibar Stone Town.

  •  Training for Craftspeople: Two training courses will be implemented, involving a minimum of 20 people. The Project will strive for gender balance, and at least 5 of the participants will be women.
  • Capacity building for faith-based organisations managing historic buildings: Improving management of heritage under the custodianship of religious organisations in Stone Town is an important objective of the Project. The Project will sponsor 8 local students to attend the Certificate course in Heritage Management at the University of Dar es Salaam.
Honouring our Past, Securing our Future

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