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In 2008 CCIVS launched
a global project with the support of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre
(WHC) for the preservation of World Heritage sites: World
Heritage Volunteers: Patrimonito rolls up its sleeves. The
project is going on in 2009 (you can check http://whc.unesco.org/en/activities/575
for information). Volunteers from all over the world will discuss issues
related to world heritage and cultural diversity while actively engaging
in the preservation of World Heritage sites through projects run by CCIVS
member organisations. CCIVS will also produce an info kit with background
reflections, games and exercises based on an approach of non formal education.
stones: CCIVS and the protection of cultural heritage
A diverse and valorised
cultural heritage is one of the major vectors of transmission of the values
of cultural diversity and pluralism. CCIVS has a long standing experience
in the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage as a basis for
mutual understanding and dialogue. CCIVS member organisations have been
active in cultural and natural heritage projects since the 1920ies. Each
year, CCIVS members organise hundreds of projects in the field often in
the form of so-called work camps all over the world where young and adult
volunteers from different backgrounds live and work together. Developing
a project together allows establishing the link between local action and
global reflection. The protection of heritage, whether it is globally
recognised or just of local interest, allows the volunteers, members of
the local communities and representatives of local authorities to reflect
about issues related to memory, the symbolism of the sites where they
work and the way it is embedded in other local traditions. Working on
a concrete site and reflecting about its function allows bringing traditions
alive and re-creating lost links. Elderly people in the community may
still have memories in connection with the site and the fact that volunteers
from different countries are interested in protecting a specific local
site encourages locals to look at the site from a fresh and renewed perspective.
Heritage projects concern cultural and natural heritage; they can be focussed on material as well as intangible heritage and often combine several aspects in a holistic approach. The projects aim at raising awareness about the values of heritage and strengthen the sense of ownership of the local population of their local heritage. The project is based on a physical work project, which does not demand any specific expertise from the volunteers and is open for participants of different backgrounds. Projects range from the physical preservation of heritage under the instruction of an expert or efforts to render a site more accessible through the cutting of grass, setting up of fences, paths and signs to cultural festivals and awareness raising campaigns.
One example of voluntary service around a World Heritage Site is the project "Laboratorio Mediterraneo - I Sassi di Matera", YAP Italia - Basilicata Region/South of Italy. Click here to view a few other examples.
Some projects are accompanied by structured discussions and inputs run by the trainers or external experts aimed at highlighting the link between heritage preservation and an open minded outlook on the future based on a sense for the multiple roots of local heritage. Ideally the project evolves around a site or tradition which can function as a witness or symbol for pluralism and a peaceful way of living together between different groups. These projects have an important pedagogical value for the volunteers and the communities where they take place. All stakeholders acquire knowledge about the importance of tangible and intangible heritage in the life and development of the different local and national communities.
Heritage work camps contribute to the promotion of intercultural dialogue and peace. They gather people from different countries, cultural backgrounds and gender around a common project requiring collective efforts and involvement. The diversity of the group is increased by the participation of members of the local community and the host organisation.
Through the preservation and the promotion of cultural heritage, CCIVS encourages personal development, exchanges, mutual understanding and respect. CCIVS' action is complementary to UNESCO's action to promote cultural heritage and cultural diversity and several projects have received UNESCO's support in the past.
and Voluntary Service as tool for the protection and the promotion of
UNESCO has also promoted the importance of involving young people in this process through the campaign "World Heritage, Today and Tomorrow" and the "Youth Education: world heritage in young hands programme"
For more information
about UNESCO's work in the field of cultural heritage: http://whc.unesco.org/
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