The Sankofa Intergenerational Learning Hub was an innovative 17 month Erasmus+ adult learning project. It aimed to establish a creative intergenerational learning space through which 5 different but interconnected learning programmes were offered to younger and older community leaders, change agents and social activists from Black and Minoritised communities.
Sankofa project provided a real opportunity for Black and Minoritised communities to begin succession planning, create ideas and build trust and confidence between generations. The international definition of intergenerational programmes suggest that they ‘…..are vehicles for the purposeful and ongoing exchange of resources and learning among older and younger generations for individual and social benefits'.
The recognition and embracing of the 'Sankofa' (a bird from the Twi tribe in Ghana) allows for surfacing, sharing, recognition, acknowledgment, celebration and integration of learning processes and ways of knowing which stem from the Global South. These are often incorporated into new creative processes but often go unrecognised.
That bird is wise.
Its’ beak back turned picks for the present what is best from ancient eyes
Then steps forward, on ahead
To meet the future undeterred
Sankofa is an Akan term that literally means, "to go back and get it."
One of the Adinkra symbols for Sankofa (seen on the left) depicts a mythical bird flying forward with its head turned backward. The egg in its mouth represents the "gems" or knowledge of the past upon which wisdom is based; it also signifies the generation to come that would benefit from that wisdom.
This symbol often is associated with the proverb, "It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten."
The Akan believe that the past illuminates the present and that the search for knowledge is a life-long process.