15.06.2012 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

The Slave Route: Senegalese school children learn the lesson

© UNESCO/Jean O'Sullivan

Some 100 Senegalese children from schools belonging to UNESCO’s Associated School Project Network will meet in the Gorée Island on Saturday 16 Juin 2012.

They will discuss the Transatlantic Slave Trade, in which the Gorée Island played an important role, being of the main centres of shipping slave to the Americas. The Gorée Island is a 20-minute boat ride away from the Senegalese capital Dakar.

The event is organized by UNESCO’s Regional Office in Dakar in cooperation with the Senegalese National Commission for UNESCO.

“It’s an opportunity to reflect on the place of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in schools and share experiences between ASPnet students and their teachers on how best to teach these issues,” says Yao Ydo, chief of Peace Education and Sustainable Development at UNESCO Dakar.

A tragic chapter

The Transatlantic Slave Trade is one of the most tragic chapters in African history and lasted four centuries.

Millions of men, women and children in Africa were captured and shipped over the Atlantic Ocean to work in plantations and sold into slavery for several generations.

The African diaspora is the largest forced displacement of all time and had a huge impact on the course of history of Africa.

Breaking the silence

UNESCO has initiated a major educational and intercultural project called  the Transatlantic Slave Trade (TST) Education Project. It is part of the World Decade for Cultural Development to restore the historical truth about this tragedy and raise awareness.

Its objective is "Breaking the Silence" through education so that young people can fully understand what happen in order to build a better future in a world free of all forms of injustice, discrimination and prejudice.

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