Forty-six organizations are taking part in this year’s World Heritage Volunteers Initiative to carry out 52 youth action projects from June to December 2015 in 34 countries. They are youth organizations, clubs, educational institutions, NGOs, site management and public authorities aiming to sensitize young people to the value of World Heritage sites and organizing action projects with young national and international volunteers.
This year’s campaign entitled WHV 2015: Patrimonito takes a stand in a changing global environment offers challenging opportunities to young people seeking meaningful involvement in World Heritage preservation and promotion.
The youth action camps are held in the field and in direct relation to a World Heritage site or a property in the country’s Tentative List. Generally two weeks in duration (minimum 10 days), the projects include information sessions on issues related to World Heritage, working with local communities and site and local authorities, workshops and practical hands-on activities providing some basic preventive, preservation and conservation skills. Each action camp accommodates some ten to thirty national and/or international volunteer participants, and often preparatory and follow-up activities with the local communities and the volunteers are also implemented by the organizers to ensure the sustainability of the actions. WHV youth action camps are often organized in a multi-stakeholders cooperation, with local youth organizations, NGOs, schools, universities and public and private institutions working together with site management.
WHV 2015 also enjoins participating organizations and youth volunteers in the celebration of the 70th Anniversary of UNESCO and in contributing to the Decade on Biodiversity (2011-2020).
The World Heritage Volunteers Initiative is led by the World Heritage Centre (WHC) in collaboration with the Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS), Open Houses (European Heritage Volunteers as a branch of Open Houses) in charge of Europe Coordination, and Better World in charge of Asia Coordination.