As is sometimes the case, my Feel Good Friday inspiration today came from bad news that happened earlier in the week. This time it was the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral. It made me wonder if there was an organization dedicated to protecting monuments and historic places and it turns out there is - the World Monuments Fund.
Founded in 1965, the World Monuments Fund (WMF) is a private nonprofit "dedicated to saving the world's most treasured places". They do this by working with "local partners around the globe to provide financial and technical support for preservation, restoration, and long-term stewardship". Since their founding over 50 years ago, the WMF has raised 300 million dollars, trained or employed over 1000 people and conserved over 600 sites!
Not only do they respond to sites damaged by earthquakes, floods and wars, they also have several proactive programs. That includes World Monuments Watch, a global nomination-based program that uses cultural heritage conservation to empower communities. For example training Syrian refugees in Jordan as stone masons so they can rebuild monuments destroyed during the war in Syria. Learn more in this short video.
In addition to training craftspeople in restoration, the WMF works with communities to build economic, technical and governmental infrastructure to protect and preserve historic sites. If you want to learn more you can check this link and read about their featured projects.
You can support the work of the World Monuments Fund by traveling with them, making a donation, liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @WorldMonuments. If you'd like to direct your donation to the restoration of Notre Dame, you can do that here.