Albania and its heritage have suffered from poverty and the struggle for economic development. Yet, the country's World Heritage Sites are the key to its recovery. Buildings like the Ottoman-era Skenduli tower house are central to the process. Albanians value the site for its importance to their culture and economy, as it is a heritage tourism asset. Donations will be used to train Albanians in the skills necessary to restore these sites, thereby supporting heritage tourism and economic growth.
In the early 1990s, Albania emerged from nearly a half-century of Communist rule. Severe poverty left many of its treasured heritage sites in need of restoration. As one of the poorest countries in Europe, Albania lacks the resources and skills needed for these challenging preservation projects. However, the Albanian government recognizes that the restoration of these sites is essential, as heritage tourism is among its economic development initiatives.
We will conduct community education programs and hands-on workshops that train Albanians and international volunteers in preservation skills. This training will focus on the skills necessary to restore the Skenduli tower house, a World Heritage Site, as well as traditional Albanian architecture. These skills include plaster repair, wood working, and slate roof repair - skills which are necessary to the restoration and preservation of Albania's traditional architecture and heritage sites.
This project provides preservation skills training and helps support sustainable economic development through heritage tourism. By educating Albanians on the importance of historic preservation and providing the necessary skills training, this project ties together the production and selling of traditional materials and the restoration of historic sites and homes through a trained work force to economic growth and an improved standard of living for all Albanians.
"These volunteers...are helping to ensure a valuable resource remains in place to support the economic development of the city."
- Lejla Hadzic, Regional Coordinator with local partner
Total Funding Received to Date: $5,760
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $49,240
Total Funding Goal: $55,000
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).