The Museums Association of Namibia (M.A.N), which is responsible for regional museum development in Namibia, is taking a travelling exhibition to four different venues of the country.
The mobile educational exhibition is called `Changing History’ and describes the impact of the First World War on Namibian history. The research and design of the exhibition was originally funded by the British High Commission. The exhibition has already been shown in Khorab, Windhoek and Keetmanshoop. Between June and September it will be travelling to Gobabis, Grootfontein, Ondangwa and Swakopmund. The new German funding will also allow for the printing of copies of a teachers’ handbook. Dr Jeremy Silvester, M.A.N’s Project Development Manager, explained that M.A.N will work with students from the University of Namibia (Unam)’s History Society who will act as `guides’ for the groups of school learners who will be invited to visit the exhibition at each venue. Dr Silvester says “MAN strongly believes in the value of museums as educational resources. It is important that young people realise the importance of Namibia’s history and heritage. Our perceptions of the past shape every decision that is made in our country. The students from UNAM are so enthusiastic that they really help to bring history alive. We will only be able to mount the exhibition for three days at each venue. So we really hope that local schools will make the most of the opportunity”.
Silvester further notes that school groups should, ideally, have no more than 20 learners. Every teacher visiting the exhibition with their learners will obtain a copy of the teachers’ handbook so that they can do follow-up activities. Each group will be able to take part in a short quiz with a mystery prize for the first learner to get all the questions correct. If you are a teacher at a school in Gobabis, Grootfontein, Ondangwa or in Swakopmund or Walvis Bay and would like to book a small guided tour please contact M.A.N on 061-302230.
While World War I raged on until 1918, it ended in Namibia already on July 9, 1915 with the surrender of the German troops at Khorab, not even one year after Great Britain had declared war against Germany on August 4, 1914. Ullrich Kinne, chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the German Embassy, praises the way in which the exhibition has been compiled, encompassing stakeholders such as M.A.N and the History Society of Unam, with financial support by the British High Commission as well as the German Embassy. This bears testimony to the power of reconciliation which has taken place over the last 100 years, for which Germany is grateful.