“The ‘Door of no Return’- Reliving the experience of the Transatlantic Slave Trade”

Cape Coast – As part of activities to mark this year’s International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade in Ghana, UNIC Accra led some 150 Ghanaian children to a tour of the Cape Coast Castle in Cape Cost in the Central region of Ghana.  Assisted by Education Officers of the Ghana Museums and Monument Board, (GMMB), the students were briefed on the history of the Cape Coast Castle, why it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and on the transatlantic slave trade and the role of the UN to highlight the Day.

The students, selected from four schools in the Greater Accra region and two in the Central region participated in the tour, dubbed “The ‘Door of no Return’- Reliving the experience of the Transatlantic Slave Trade”. The selected title was chosen to emphasize the artwork component of the tour.  The schools are Kanda and Dzorwulu Junior High Schools, St. Anthony Basic School and St. Paul’s Lutheran School from the Greater Accra.  From the Central Region, Academy of Christ the King School and Oguaa Secondary Technical School took part. The students were accompanied by at least a teacher from each school.

Participating students were required to express their experiences in short stories, notes, statements, drawings and poems after the visit.   Submissions by students were very expressive and some, as noted by the Regional Advisor for Culture, UNESCO Accra, Mojisola Okuribido-Seriki, were “Poignant, giving a big picture viewpoint”

“We are excited to see students not only visit the Castle but to tell it in their own words what they feel about reliving the experiences at the Castle” says the National Information Officer of UNIC Accra, Ms Cynthia Prah.

The students expressed their profound gratitude to the United Nations for planning such an event which they found enlightening.  The students ranged from age 12 to 18 years.

The Cape Coast Castle is one of three major Castles in Ghana which were used during the transatlantic slave trade.  The other two are Elmina Castle and Fort Christianborg.  The latter serves as the seat of government today.

The tour, which was conducted in batches, was recorded on camera and available on YouTube .