National Museums Liverpool’s award-winning dementia awareness programme, House of Memories, has launched a new version of its app for the Yemeni community.
The Memories of Yemen app, which is free from the app store, is specifically designed for those living with dementia in the Yemeni community to connect with their heritage through artefacts, stories, traditions and images collated by others within the community.
The project was supported by Liverpool’s Yemeni communities and received funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund, which is administered by the Museums Association.
The app was co-created with the Liverpool Yemeni community through organisations including Liverpool Arabic Centre, Al-Taiseer Mosque and the Al-Ghazali Centre, as well as with support from the Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre.
The idea for the project came from a local student, Abdul Wase, whose grandmother lives with dementia. Many Yemeni people are currently not able to access the country they grew up in because of the ongoing war. The app aims to help bring their culture to them and inspire memories of their past.
Wase said: “I saw what National Museums Liverpool was doing with House of Memories, which includes memory walks and family activities, creating physical memory suitcases for different communities, memory trees, memory boxes – as well as the My House of Memories app, which lets you explore objects from the past and share memories on a smartphone or tablet. I thought that having a version of the app with Yemeni music, pictures of traditional and cultural Yemeni artefacts, and in two languages would be a great way to educate people about both dementia and Yemen.”
Carol Rogers, the director of House of Memories, said: “All of our work with House of Memories is rooted in community creation – and Abdul has become a bit of a star. He’s got a real passion for his Yemeni heritage, and he feels very strongly about the importance of continuing the traditions of his community, as well as increasing the wider community’s understanding of Yemeni culture.”
Rogers will be leading a practical session on creating the Memories of Yemen app at the Museums Association Conference on 3 November.