Cultural Heritage without Borders (ChwB) is an independent organization based in Sweden with a background experience based in the all the Western Balkans. Architectural conservation is the oldest theme of the CHwB Regional Restoration Camps since 2007. The Camps focused on building conservation which are taking place in UNESCO world heritage protected sites.
On each Restauration Camp the selected students come from all around the world and from the fields of Architecture, Archeology, Restauration, Cultural Heritage. The aim is to spread the traditional methodology of Restauration with the techniques from the masters to us.
The Camps encourage people to value and care for their local heritage. Objectives are to use cultural heritage to build relations among young professionals and to preserve traditional crafts and techniques.
On each Camp Restauration, students have to work on a specific traditional house. Each building at the end of the restoration will also be revitalized through new functions (youth hostel, exhibition space, library, etc.). The owners will have the right to economic incentives for all the needes of the houses.
Over the two weeks of the Restauration Camp, the participants and experts have different trips, promoting beauties of nearby cultural heritage sites. Every participant is informed about the importance of the historical values of food culture, local products, historical figures, architectural sites and authentical landscapes.
During the weekdays the organizations try to mix the groups and have a better transmission of personal experience about the events. At the end of the Camp, participants are evaluated on their knowledge of the lectures and their work on a site, and they fill out an evaluation about the Camp experience, as well. Year by year, the number of restoration camps has increased so as the participants have returned to their relatives and friends to visit the cities where they had the restoration experience.
In conclusion,“We restore and build relations” is the motto of the Regional Restoration Camps. It hold up both ends of this phrase, with a variety of ethnic and professional backgrounds by both conducting restoration projects on historic buildings in need and building relations amongst people. In order to fulfill this goal, the aims of the Camps are to educate the next generation of restoration professionals by incorporating hands-on training into university curricula and ensuring high quality standards, peace-building through building relations amongst participants from countries around the Balkans, valuing and preserving our common heritage – by promoting a ‘right to culture’ and raising community awareness – by illustrating the value of cultural heritage to quality of life and economic development. In these way, the promotion of the city is increased by the participants.