the sankofa intergenerational learning hub

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SANKOFA

That bird is wise.

Look.

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.

The Sankofa Intergenerational Learning Hub (TSILH) is an innovative 17 month Erasmus+ adult learning project. It will establish a creative intergenerational learning space through which 5 different but interconnected learning programmes will be offered to younger and older community leaders, change agents and social activists from BME communities.

It will provide a real opportunity for BME 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.

The Sankofa Intergenerational Learning Hub (TSILH) will be supported by a virtual learning platform throughout the lifetime of the project which will be facilitated by experienced learning and development professionals from within TUI.

The project objectives are:

- To create and develop an intergenerational group of skilled community leaders/ social activists and change agentsfrom BME communities
- To offer a sustained and intensive learning programme to groups that are more diverse (race/ethnicity, gender and age) than the 'usual suspects' on international learning programmes
- To draw on Sankofa principles which recognises, celebrates and incorporates ways of facilitating learning and creating change processes used in the Global South
- To develop intergenerational leadership, social action skills and competencies by differing age groups working together to gain new knowledge, insight and understanding of effecting personal, group, organisational and societal change
- To encourage intergenerational collective action as a way of solving community based challenges that cannot be resolved by one generational alone
- To impart new skills to enable younger and older leaders to tackle and navigate the complex challenges that their organisations and communities face
- To develop pan-European connections and partnerships to meet identified development needs both now and in the future
- To share good practice and create future opportunities to facilitate transnational and international partners' learning.

This project is co-funded by European Commission within Erasmus+ Programme.