Students of Mariama Ba secondary girls school welcoming guests on the Island of Goree
On 24 March 2011, the UN Information Centre (UNIC) Dakar in cooperation with UNESCO and all other stakeholders, such as the Government, media and NGOs, celebrated the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, on the Island of Goree, Senegal.
The activities were presided by Professor Kalidou Diallo, Minister of Education of Senegal, in presence of the UN Resident Coordinator, UN Agencies representatives, the Mayor of Goree, National UNESCO Commission, NGO, students and media.
The symbolic ceremony started by laying a spray of flowers in the sea by young girls along with the Education Minister of Senegal off the “Non return door” of the slave’s house.
The Curator of the House of Slaves reminded in few words the tragedy of slavery: how slaves were captured, their lives in Goree and travel to Americas. A short version of the film ”slaves routes : a global vision” was screened followed by a lecture given on the theme of the day by Professor Ibrahima Thioub of the University of Dakar at Mariama Ba girls secondary school of Goree.The conference lasted two hours during wich Professor Thioub explained causes, process and consequences of slavery.Tolerence, education for peace and love were among topics raised by many inteveners among them young students of Mariama Ba Girl’s secondary school during questions and answers session.
The event was well covered by local and international media based in Senegal. A total of 42 journalists attended and covered the event in addition to an audience of 200.
The Goree Island is a small Island in the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Dakar Senegal capital city.
The Goree Island is a UNESCO world heritage site already visited by officials such as the Pope, President Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela and President Georges Bush. La maison des esclaves (house of slaves) located on the Island has become a place of pilgrimage to remember the horrors of the slave trade and the millions of slaves who died.