rise’s work on Heritage and Conservation

Happy World Architecture Day 2022!

The Basotho nation takes great pride in being cultured in the spirit of all the generations that came before us, that is why it is still a norm to greet elders on the road even if they are strangers, or to help one another cultivate crops even if there are no formal relations. Just as the culture of “Motho ke motho ka Batho” (translates to you are a person because of other people) is being preserved, it is equally important to conserve the buildings that make Lesotho the country that it is. Heritage conservation encourages the strategic use of resources and energy expended by prior generations, it discourages the total replacement of new, energy-consumptive materials, such as steel and plastics. In Lesotho, physical heritage attracts tourism, which is why the country is known for its richness in culture, history, and beauty, this in turn yields external funding for the local economy, potentially stimulating economic growth and prosperity. 

The lived-in architecture, the strategic locations, and the uses of these buildings tell unique stories of how Lesotho came to be and serve as a reminder that the history of the country belongs to its people. Just as these magnificent buildings have been passed down, they must be preserved for future generations.

… preserving our heritage, we preserve our identity.

What rise has achieved in Heritage Conservation so far…

Restoration plans for historic heritage

rise partnered with Seriti sa Makhoarane Heritage and Tourism Initiative to carry out an architectural survey and compile restoration plans for historic buildings in and around the Makhoarane area which is about 40kms from Maseru, the capital of Lesotho. The aim of this project is to preserve and conserve the heritage assets and buildings in the four historic communities – Morija, Matsieng, Makeneng,

and Phahameng as many of the heritage sites in these villages were deteriorating, and the number of visitors and tourists has become relatively low. We built the capacity of local apprentices in their surveying skills and their abilities in the restoration of historical buildings. In partnership with Politecnico di Milano, Italy we trained and brought in Masters in  Architecture students to spearhead the project.

Virtual Heritage and Conservation Workshops

Architectural heritage specialists Janine de Waal and Graham Jacobs under the supervision of rise provided lectures to young architects, representatives of the Ministry, university professors, and heads of archives and museums, who together took the opportunity to discuss the degree of priority and restoration strategies of the villages of Morija and Makeneng.

With the aim of working, in communication with all the stakeholders involved, to identify the historical heritage sites of most interest, and define national rules and types of interventions that can be implemented to preserve the tangible heritage of Lesotho. 

Heritage Conservation Masterclass in Matsieng

Seriti sa Makhoarane Heritage and Tourism Network (SSM) in collaboration with rise held a first-of-its-kind Built Environment and Heritage Masterclass in Makeneng. This class was held at Makeneng (Matsieng), the royal village of Morena Lerotholi, the second-generation successor of Morena Moshoeshoe I.

Architectural heritage specialists Janine de Waal and Graham Jacobs facilitated the Masterclass and shared their knowledge on the conservation of heritage in buildings. The Masterclass followed a participatory methodology as it involved knowledge and skills sharing between trainers and trainees. Because of it, a combination of people from different disciplines can now help create awareness and help youth in Lesotho with job creation in the Heritage and Conservation spectrum.  The participants and other interested persons now have the opportunity to establish an association of Heritage activists to advocate for issues and causes in Heritage Conservation. Read more about it here

Webinar and Lecture on Heritage Conservation

rise in collaboration with Seriti sa Makhoarane Heritage and Tourism Network (SSM) hosted a webinar on Heritage and Conservation with the aim of educating viewers about initiatives and indigenous materials that can be used for the conservation of architecture.

Watch it here.

It doesn’t end there, on October 14th, rise will host a lecture on Heritage Conservation at Limkokwing University which is open to the students and the public. Be on the lookout for the full details on our social media platforms. 

rise thanks the efforts of all the people and partners who have made this project possible so far, including the Embassy of Italy in South AfricaPolitecnico di MilanoJanine de Waal and Graham Jacobs.

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