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Stone Town Heritage and National Museum

Praktikum und Freiwilligeneinsatz möglich
The Stone Town Heritage Society is dedicated to the preservation of culture and monuments of the Unesco World Heritage Site - Stone Town Zanzibar. The National Museum of Zanzibar, located in the "House of Wonders", is the former Sultan's Palace and a permanent exhibition of Aspeken Swahili culture. It belongs to the National Archives, which maintains a collection of historical documents and artifacts. Both institutions/organizations offer internships and volunteering in the field of African and Arabic history, archeology and historic preservation.

Project Details

Zanzibar Stone Town is a unique place which has been protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site since the year 2000. Its rich history of seafarers, explorers, sultans and traders from Africa, Persia, Arabia, India and Europe is reflected in the town's extraordinary architecture and in its narrow labyrinth of lanes and squares.

Reasons why UNESCO lists Stone Town as a World Heritage Site:
* Stone Town is an outstanding material manifestation of cultural fusion and harmonization. Mosques to churches, Indian temples to Omani palaces and so forth are a testimony to the thousands of years of mutual tolerance among communities of different cultural origins.

* For many centuries there was intense sea borne trading activity between Asia and Africa, and this is illustrated in an exceptional manner by the architecture and urban structure of Stone Town.

* Zanzibar has great symbolic importance in the suppression of slavery, since it was one of the main slave-trading ports in East Africa and also the base from which its opponents like David Livingstone conducted their campaigns.

The Zanzibar Stone Town Heritage Society aims to conserve Stone Town and its unique culture. The NGO has about 200 members and works with authorities and community initiatives. The aim is to raise awareness on Stone Town's cultural heritage and its conservation amongst citizens, to raise technical and financial support for the conservation of historical buildings, to create partnerships between various interest groups, to carry out activities which foster the cultural diversity of Stone Town, to conduct research on Stone Town, and to offer educational programs for Stone Town's citizens.
At the moment, interns and volunteers can participate in the following programs:

* Restoration of buildings and artifacts of historic value. Local craftspeople are trained in techniques of sustainable restoration. The restoration of the Anglican Church of Stone Town started in 2013, as did the restoration project for the quintessential handcrafted Zanzibar doors.
* Research - the idea is to identify challenges to the cultural heritage of Stone Town on time and to suggest solutions. Our participant Jessica conducted a survey amongst citizens of Stone Town and tourists about their knowledge of the town's status as a World Heritage Site, and about its quality of life. Read the report in "More Info".
* Training of Tour Guides about the history of Zanzibar

* The Heritage society regularly arranges events in cooperation with the Ministry of Education to raise awareness about Stone Town as a world heritage site, amongst students.
An internship with the Stone Town Heritage Society can be of interest to students of archaeology, heritage conservation, history, African studies, Arabian studies, etc.
Info Box
Location: Stone Town, Zanzibar
Availability: All year
Minimum Duration: 1 Month
Maximum Duration: 12 Months
Language Requirements: English
Further Languages Of Advantage: Swahili, Arabic
Shared Accommodation, Host Family, Hotel
Supervision Possible: Yes
Qualification Of Supervisor: Historian and other academicians
Minimum Qualification Of Intern:
Relevant professional or academic experience
Further Contribution To Project: None
Volunteering Possible: Yes
Required Qualification For Volunteer: Relevant skills/qualifications
Further Contribution To Project: None
Motivation, Professional Conduct, Do you have the "right" attitude?

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