SOS Culture project focuses on reviving forgotten cultural assets in the Armenian and Georgian border regions

Abandoned and ruined churches, monasteries, dwelling caves from the Middle Ages, graveyards and prehistoric cult sites are among the examples of a large number of neglected cultural assets throughout remote areas in the South Caucasus that are in dire need of care and attention. This issue is currently addressed by the 24-month long SOS Culture project, whichis funded by the European Union’s Eastern Partnership Programme and was launched in January 2012 by the Foundation for the Protection of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC).
According to an Eastern Partnership Programme press release, the overall objective of the project is to register and preserve endangered cultural assets in the remote border regions of Armenia and Georgia with the involvement of local citizens. The project’sapproach is rooted in the idea that well preserved and explored historic sites have a tremendous positive influence on the creation of an environment, which nurtures sustainable economic, social and human development in remote and impoverished regions, making those regions attractive for tourists.
The project is being run jointly with the Tbilisi regional office of DVV International (Institute for International Cooperation of the German Adult Education Association) and the Research on Armenian Architecture NGO.
SOS Culture project expert and director of the Research on Armenian Architecture NGO,Mr.SamvelKarapetyan, outlined the primary goals of the project, which according to him are self-knowledge and knowledge of the rich cultural heritage of the region.
“Passing the knowledge to the local population, particularly the youth, we’ll be able to reduce spoliation, resulting from ignorance. Indirectly, the project will also reduce emigration, because when you know your motherland, you come to love it and get attached to it,” says Karapetyan.
One of the key points in the approach of the project is the involvement of youth (aged 14-21) living in the target areas of Armenia and Georgia. The young people will participate in protection and research activities implemented in their neighbourhood. This will instil a new approach and knowledge about local cultural assets among the members of youth clubs established by FPWC and its Georgian project partner dvv international. Participating in the project activities, the members of the youth clubs will support the cultural and touristic development of their regions.The youth clubs will function as independent units, offering free cultural education to young people, particularly – training courses in history, culture, art, photography and filmmaking.
The €12 million Eastern Partnership Culture Programme aims at assisting the Partner Countries in their cultural policy reform at government level, as well as capacity building and improving professionalism of cultural operators in the region. It seeks to strengthen regional cultural links and dialogue within the Eastern Partnership region, and between the EU and ENP Eastern countries' cultural networks and actors. (ENPI Info Centre)
Read more
Press release
Project description
Eastern Partnership Culture Programme – website
Eastern Partnership Culture Programme – fiche and news
ENPI Info Centre - New Culture projects launched under Eastern Partnership Culture Programme
ENPI Info Centre - New website launched by Eastern Partnership Culture Programme

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