A totem pole has been installed at Central College Nottingham’s Maid Marian Way centre to help celebrate a partnership with its sister-school in the Gambia, the Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITTOG).
The College helped set up ITTOG in 2009 to allow Gambian people to study towards and achieve a qualification in tourism, which remains the country’s biggest industry.
Chris Smith from Radcliffe-on-Trent offered to make the 8ft pole which took 250 hours to carve and decorate. Not a wood-carver by trade, Chris got the idea of creating totem poles as a gift from a Canadian visitor to his school in Radcliffe during an exchange in 1963.
Every year second year students from Central travel to the Gambia for a two week residential which allows them to participate in activities and challenges with Gambian learners at ITTOG. This allows college students to appreciate the difference of life and employment in the UK compared to the Gambia.
In preparation for the visit, students take part in fundraising activities to raise money for the Gambian college. The money goes towards the Gambian student’s education and allows for a reduced fee for local people to study at the college.
Travel tutor Hannah Bower said:
“We were extremely grateful that Chris agreed to produce this amazing piece of artwork for us and it certainly gets a lot of attention from visitors to the college.”