Become a volunteer first aider for heritage


Views from the course ‘First Aid for Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis’, organized by ICCROM, UNESCO Netherlands and Prince Claus Fund in Amsterdam in April 2015.

Announcing the Volunteer Training: Balkan First Aid for Cultural Heritage

Cultural Heritage without Borders Albania (CHwB Albania) and Urban Development Center (UDC) are proud to announce the upcoming volunteer training for ‘Balkan First Aid for Cultural Heritage.’ The weeklong course will be held in Gjirokastra, Albania on 13-19 March 2016.

Objectives: This course will give participants the necessary tools to deal with emergencies that involve cultural heritage. Participants will learn about emergency preparedness, damage assessment for heritage sites, basic protocols for handling collections, as well as the strategies to manage the security and stabilization of heritage at risk. By the end of the course, participants will have the knowledge needed to assist in first aid actions in cases where an emergency situation, such as a flood, fire, earthquake or conflict, has damaged or is threatening to damage cultural heritage.

Following the course, participants will be invited to be a part of the Balkan First Aid for Cultural Heritage volunteer network. The goal of this network is to be the first line of defense for cultural heritage threatened by crisis. Members will be active in emergencies concerning heritage in the Balkans, exchange their experience related to emergency preparedness and response and alert others in case of any disaster. Cultural institutions will have also the possibility to contact the closest volunteers in order to be trained in emergency preparedness and to have the support of the volunteers in case of an emergency.

IMG_0474_webDuring one week in Gjirokastra, a wonderful World Heritage Site in Albania, participants will follow a rigorous but very fulfilling schedule, which combines theory – through lectures and presentations – with practice that will be led by local and worldwide experts who will share their knowledge and experience with participants. So, if you want to be a volunteer for heritage emergencies in your region, do not miss your chance to take part in this incredible experience!

Dates: 13-19 March 2016

Place: Gjirokastra, Albania

About Gjirokastra: From the powerful castle to the tall stone houses to the twisting bazaar, Gjirokastra is just magical. ‘The City of Stone’ has hosted CHwB’s Regional Restoration Camps since 2007, inspiring hundreds of participants with its towering monuments, high mountains and broad valley. The city was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005 as a rare example of well-preserved Ottoman-era architecture. However, Gjirokastra has only recently begun to halt its slow decay, and the historic city is showing signs of renewed life.

Application deadline: 15 January 2016

Eligibility Requirements:

Due to the focus of this program, participants must fulfill ALL of the following requirements:

  • Be a citizen of either: Albania, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia or Montenegro.
  • Be living currently in one of these countries.
  • Be a former participant of EITHER the CHwB Regional Restoration Camps OR a training program held by Urban Development Center – Belgrade.

Please do not apply if you do not fulfill these requirements. The current project focuses on Albania and Serbia, so participants from those countries will be given priority.  However, anyone interested from the other listed countries is also encouraged to apply.

Working language of the course: English

How to apply?

  1. Download the PDF application form (below)
  1. Fill out the application completely, including all supporting documents mentioned in the application form.
  1. Send the entire application by email or post to:
    CHwB Albania
    Rr. Ismail Qemali
    P. 34/1, Kati III, Zyra 15
    Tiranë, ALBANIA
  1. B-CARE staff will confirm that we have received your application. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 1 week, please contact us at gro.b1685328380whc@a1685328380inabl1685328380a1685328380

Funding for participation:

The organizers will cover the following expenses for participants of this training: tuition, on-site accommodation with breakfast and dinner, transportation between Tirana and Gjirokastra, excursions during the activity and any materials needed, including tools, papers, safety equipment, etc. Participants will be responsible for covering their own lunch costs in Gjirokastra. Organizers will also have a limited amount of funding available to reimburse participants’ travel costs from their hometown to Tirana/Gjirokastra.

This training is being organized as a part of the project “Balkan Cultural Aid Response for Emergencies” (B-CARE) with funding from the Prince Claus Fund through the Cultural Emergency Response program. The course itself and the B-CARE project surrounding it were inspired by two ICCROM courses: First Aid for Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis and Disaster Risk Management of Cultural Heritage.

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