UNESCO, World Heritage - Volunteers campaign 2021


International Organizations

Location (s):

  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Nigeria
  • Worldwide


The UNESCO World Heritage Centre is pleased to announce the Call for Projects for the World Heritage Volunteers (WHV) Campaign 2021. This Call welcomes the participation of all interested organisations and institutions. In addition, it offers a new opportunity to apply for not only one-year cycle, but also two-year cycle process, with the aim to foster and encourage the commitment to World Heritage.


The World Heritage Volunteers Initiative (WHV) was launched in 2008 to encourage young people to undertake concrete actions and to play an active role in the protection, preservation and promotion of World Heritage sites. It consists of action camps organized by youth organizations or institutions in cooperation with multiple stakeholders and partners, which work all together for the state of conservation of World Heritage sites. The initiative mobilizes national and international volunteers through hands-on and awareness-raising activities for the conservation of our common cultural and natural heritage.

In the framework of the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme, the initiative is led by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre (WHC) in collaboration with the Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS), European Heritage Volunteers (as a branch of Open Houses) and Better World.

The World Heritage Volunteers Campaign 2021 shall aim to:

  1. Raise awareness among young people, volunteers, local communities, and concerned authorities of the need to protect and promote World Heritage;
  2. Involve young people in World Heritage preservation through concrete projects at sites;
  3. Empower young people allowing them to learn skills, basic preservation and conservation techniques and raise their capacity as future decision-makers and global active citizens;
  4. Strengthen sustainable cooperation between non-profit organisations, site management, communities and authorities;
  5. Identify best practices and develop non-formal education tools to facilitate stakeholders’ participation in the World Heritage education;
  6. Mainstream gender equality in all stages of the projects and geographical diversity among the World Heritage properties where the action camps take place.

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

For selection, proposed projects must fulfil the set of criteria below (mandatory).

The project:

  1. Should be organised in immediate connection to a property inscribed on the World Heritage List or a site inscribed on a Tentative List - Reference: http://whc.unesco.org/en/list; http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists

  2. Should have a minimum 10 day duration (excluding arrival and departure dates);

  3. Should include the same group of people for a minimum 10 day duration, consecutive or not;

  4. Should ideally start after the 15 June and end by the 15 December;

  5. Should involve as much as possible international volunteers;

  6. Should include awareness activities, practical hands-on activities and skills related to World Heritage sites where the action camp will be conducted (detailed definitions of hands-on activities and skills in Annex below);

  7. Should be developed in consultation with site managers and local authorities in planning details of the activities;

  8. Should include practical hands-on skills training activities as well as reflection on issues related to World Heritage;

  9. Should involve the community in order to deepen their knowledge around issues related to World Heritage and the World Heritage Volunteers Initiative;

  10. Should respect participants’ gender equality (ideally equal number of male and female) and geographical diversity (ideally from different countries and regions).

Applying organisation:

  1. Should be legally registered as a public or private organisation or institution in the country where the project takes place;

  2. All activities of the organisation related to WHV should be no profit. All local, national and international partnerships developed by the applicant in the framework of the WHV should be submitted for approval to the WHV coordinators;

  3. First-time applicants should submit two letters of support from recognised organisations and/or institutions recommending the applicant on the basis of past or current proven cooperation;

  4. First-time applicants should submit a copy of their Constitution/Bylaws and of their most recent activity report in one of the UN official languages.


Deadline: As soon as possible

Cost/funding for participants:

  • Organisations do not have to cover the travel costs for the international and national volunteers. Each volunteer is responsible to organise her/his own travel from the country of origin to the country of the WHV project. Organisations should provide volunteers with all the necessary information to reach the venue, including details on what to bring (such as sleeping bags, working clothes etc).
  • Although the participation in a WHV action camp should be free of charge for the volunteers, if needed, organisations can set a participation fee. However, applicants should take into consideration that fees asked from the volunteers should not cover all the expenses of the whole project, they should only cover them partially. The rest of the expenses should be provided by the organisation itself (via sponsors, partners etc.). Therefore, the amount requested should be reasonable, in order not to be a burden for the volunteer. When present, the amount indicated in the application form should refer to the individual fee paid by each volunteer.
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