AiP’s project, Albania: Preservation Skills Training for Local Youth taking place in Gjirokastra, Albania, is making great progress since our successful completion of the GlobalGiving challenge. Due to your support, planning is underway for our cooperative effort with the city’s Craftsmanship program. The Gjirokastra Conservation and Development Organization (GCDO), with funding from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, has begun the first stage of a local training program.
Ten youths from Gjirokastra are being trained as woodcarvers and stonemasons. These two occupations have been key to construction of the extraordinary architectural heritage seen in Gjirokastra. The youths will receive four months of training to begin learning the basic skills needed to become skilled craftspeople. They are aiming for jobs in building conservation and artistic souvenir manufacture.
Adventures in Preservation’s role is to provide hands-on experience for these trainees at an actual building preservation project. Trainees will join AiP volunteers at the Skenduli House in 2012 to refine their skills and help complete the work needed to save the Ottoman-era Skenduli House. The experience of working on this historic masonry tower house will allow trainees to practice their techniques, improve their skills, and develop a level of competency necessary for professional work. We’ll follow their progress and update you on other developments in our next report.
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