Zanzibar Stone Town Heritage Society (ZSTHS) is a non-governmental Organization registered in Zanzibar in July, 2002. The main activity of the Organization is to preserve and conserve the Zanzibar Stone Town, which is a world heritage site, approved by UNESCO. The Organization has over 200 members, gaining both recognition and respect locally with government institutions and by International Organization with whom we are partnering.
Since 2014 ZSTHS has been partnering with Fondazione ACRA, an Italian non-government organization. We together are working in preserving Stone Town heritages for future generations, aiming at contributing to the economic growth through the preservation and promotion of the Cultural Heritage in Zanzibar, by disseminating the understanding of preservation issues by using the remarkable traditional craft skills, fostering the knowledge of history, culture and promoting tourism sector on awareness about Stone Town as a World Heritage Site.
That is where, we, as ZSTHS and ACRA, join efforts, in implementing an integrated approach for the preservation and promotion of the Stone Town Heritage. Therefore, we are mainly working in 4 areas:
1. Enhance skills and competences of workers and specialized operators on restoration and conservation;
2. Advocacy with local authorities and construction sector;
3. Improve skills of tourism operators and tourist guides on the promotion of Stone Town as a World Heritage Site;
4. Increase awareness among local population. Among different activities; every year, we organize the commemoration of World Heritage Day, which is celebrated globally on 18th April, with the support and participation of Zanzibar Government and Local Authorities.
In this regard, when the tourists arrive for the first time in Stone Town, they can easily immerse themselves in a fantasy trip where princesses, slaves, spices, ivory, missionaries, explorers and sultans originated from Oman Empire were present in Zanzibar as taking efforts to build Zanzibar since 18th Century, as a historic Island in the Indian Ocean and so forth.
“Zanzibar Built Heritage Job Creation” is a project funded by the European Union (EU), implemented by Fondazione ACRA and Zanzibar Stone Town Heritage Society (ZSTHS) in association with Stone Town Conservation, Development Authority (STCDA) and Karume Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) since July 2014. Among different activities, this project has trained more than 400 carpenters and masons in conservation. In addition more than 90 students have been trained at the Karume Institute of Science and Technology in carpentry and masonry in Conservation. In order to guarantee the long term sustainability of the Action, trained masons and carpenters will be supported in the access to the labour market, through the constitution of the “Conservation Youth Brigade”.
Conservation Youth Brigade is a professional association that will provide service to the trained craftsmen and students with additional skill in conservation. This association will act as a training and job placement agency linking and exposing the group of trained youth who are currently facing difficulties to access jobs in the market to construction companies and building owners who play a very big role in the industry.