The 2006 International Youth Volunteer Camp on the Restoration of Khami Ruins National Monument took place from 15 June to 8 July. The goal of the camp is to take remedial action and save crumbling World Heritage sites in their respective countries, and this year's camp was the seventh held since they began in 2000. UNESCO Harare Cluster Office Director and Representative Professor Juma Shabani encouraged students taking part in the project. In his keynote address at the official launch of the camp in Bulawayo, Prof. Shabani said it was worrying to see that heritage sites across Africa continue to deteriorate with no efforts being made to save them.
"Heritage sites across Africa continue to crumble with both the young and older generations watching as if nothing is happening," he said. "However, we find comfort when camps like this one take place with young people putting aside their important studies and sacrifice their time to restore our heritage. We value the tremendous work that our young people are doing here and we know there is hope for our collapsing heritage sites."
The restoration programme is funded by UNESCO Harare, National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (NMMZ), French Embassy in Zimbabwe and Association CHAM (Chantiers Histoire and Architecture Medievales). UNESCO Harare each year sponsors students from its cluster countries to take part in the restoration camps. Four students each from Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and Botswana were sponsored this year.
Khami Monuments, located 22 kilometres west of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second largest city, was listed as a World Heritage site in 1986.
For more information, contact Mulekeni Ngulube, Programme Specialist - Culture.