UNESCO enhances restoration of Khami World Heritage Site
As part of implementing the 1972 World Heritage Convention, UNESCO Harare continues to enhance the restoration of Khami World Heritage Site. The restoration of Khami World Heritage Site was supported in 2008 and 2009.
Unlike the previous camps that targeted youths, the 2008 camp involved heritage managers so as to build their capacities with regards to restoration of deteriorating sites in their respective areas.
The idea of volunteer projects at Khami came out of a visit made by National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (NMMZ) and the French Embassy to a volunteer project organised by the French NGO Chantiers Histoire et Architecture Médiévales (CHAM) on Reunion Island, within the framework of a museum and heritage cooperation programme between Zimbabwe and France.
Afterwards, NMMZ and the French Embassy’s culture and cooperation service, along with the UNESCO Harare Cluster Office, asked Association CHAM to make a study trip with the aim of organising a youth volunteer camp at Khami. The study trip was a success and led to the introduction of the now annual international youth volunteer camps to restore the site.
Unlike the previous camps and the 2009 camp that targeted youths, the 2008 camp involved heritage managers so as to build their capacities with regards to restoration of deteriorating sites in their respective areas. Participants for the 2009 camp were drawn from NMMZ, Cham, local youth, and local and regional college students.
Khami National Monument is Zimbabwe’s second most important historical site after Great Zimbabwe. The city succeeded Great Zimbabwe as capital of the Shona civilisation in the 15th century and was itself superseded in the 18th century. The royal and aristocratic part of the site is formed by an arrangement of substantial platforms built with dry stone walls, on top of which daga (clay buildings) were erected.