Students trek through slavery's roots in The Gambia
By YouPR | Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 13:35
Weston College students meet local schoolchildren in The Gambia
group of Weston College students spent an awe-inspiring week in one of the
world's poorest countries, taking part in cultural events and
discovering the roots of a famous slavery story.
20 students, from the College's Foundation Degree in Tourism
Management and BTEC Diploma in Travel and Tourism courses, travelled
to The Gambia, west Africa, to see how tourism operates in a third
they left, £500 was raised to buy stationary, pens and to pay for
four pupils' education for a year at a local primary school, Luton
Ayr volunteer school in Serrakunda, previously visited by Weston
taken over was much-needed sports equipment and pumps which were
donated by the college to be split between the school and the Gamstar
Sports Academy (for children aged 8-17) which the College has
developed links with.
of the highlights of the visit was the 'Roots Tour', journey that
writer Alex Haley made to trace his slave ancestry that became a
famous book and TV series. The group spent the day journeying from
one heritage site to another, discovering the brutal realities of the
Slave Trade, and were lucky enough to meet an eighth generation
family member related to both Alex Haley and Kunta Kinteh, his
were also trips to a monkey reserve, a crocodile park, a safari park
and various local markets.
Chopra, one of the students on the visit, said: "The local people
are proud of their heritage and so there is little compromise when it
comes to authenticity, even in the company of tourists. Tourists
serve as an excuse for the friendly Gambians to express and showcase
their culture and traditions in all its beauty."
Alton, course manager for Tourism Management, said: "This type of
trip is potentially life changing for both the students and the
school we visited. To visit a school that is nothing but a cow shed
with desks in is itself humbling, especially when we place so much
emphasis on the latest gadgets that in reality mean little or nothing
compared to the poverty that these children both live and learn in. I
am proud of the attempts by my students to try and make a difference
for their counterparts in the Gambia."