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25 June 2023


The rose museum at Lami Koto

Variety Cruises announced a partnership with the Explorers Club to expand education in Lamin Koto, Gambia. The goal of the partnership is to innovate and expand the Lamin Koto School and make it a prototype for education in the region. The Lamin Koto super-school in the Gambia was built with the support of variety cares providing clean water and education facilities to 100 local students. The idea to develop the school was born in 2011 when the local community advised Variety Cruises the best way for our physical presence to have a positive impact. The rose museum grew out of the need to expand the classroom facilities of the school, with the dream to spread education through the display of real objects and artefacts of historic value. The museum design by add blends the old structure with the new.

The museum launch is anticipated on the inaugural December 23rd West Africa cruise by Variety, proudly returning to the destination for the first time since the pandemic. The president of the explorers club will be cutting the ribbon celebrating the launch of the museum and expansion of facilities.

The ROSE museum (Real Objects Spread Education) which will provide independently driven electricity and connectivity, will represent a cultural hub for the community as it will display these significant objects along with full explanatory videos in both English and Wolof (common Gambian dialect). The museum will offer an open-door policy for the entire community.

The curation displayed on a rotating basis, collected by a group of friends of variety shall include personalised videos paired by a collection of unique items:

  1. Space exploration: a piece of a NASA spacecraft donated by the explorers club with the thinking that humidity and other environmental variables cannot affect this museum’s item. Additional space exploration items include a series of meteorites and original astronaut badges.
  2. Spirituality & wellness: a personalised book by Deepak Chopra dedicated to the children of the rose museum, detailing the rules that lead to personal success and wellness.
  3. Competitive sports: a pair of basketball sneakers including a personalised note by Giannis Atetokoumpo, renowned Greek Nigerian NBA record holder.
  4. Artificial intelligence: display of chat GPT technology powered by open ai, accompanied with explanatory videos by Sam Altman, CEO of open ai.
  5. Art & philanthropy: portrait photography (and video) of Emma Hepburn Ferrer prominent artist carrying along the philanthropic legacy of her grandmother Audrey Hepburn, shot in the style of JR’s inside out social impact platform.
  6. Emancipation history: Kweku Mandela (grandson of Nelson Mandela) on personal freedom & growth, accompanied by an inspiring video dedication to the children of the museum.
  7. Among others, additional artefacts from the fields of agriculture and medicine.

As part of the expansion of the school, Variety Cares transformed an abandoned building into a museum named “The Rose Museum”, in honor of its founder Triantafyllos Venetopoulos whose first name means “rose” in Greek.

Constantine Venetopoulos, Brand Director of Variety Cruises, said: “To be able to showcase items of historic significance, including components of NASA spacecraft, to our visitors and patrons, is truly in line with our organization’s values. We aim to create a cultural exchange between our guests and the communities we visit, and are incredibly grateful to the Explorers Club for their generosity and support in helping us achieve our goal to truly go deeper with our adventures by small boat.

Richard Garriott, president of the Explorers Club, said: “We were inspired to join forces with Variety Cruises to work towards our goals to promote scientific exploration of land, sea, air, and space through research and education, and our projects are geared towards achieving that mission.

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