Alba Eglesia acts for the sustainable transformation of rural communities from Transylvania through education and conservation initiatives. The core of our work is focused on Viscri UNESCO World Heritage Site, where Alba Eglesia was founded in 1996 by a group of locals aiming to safeguard the local heritage following the mass migration of the Saxon minority.
The name of the foundation was inspired by the first mention of the village, in 1400, in a document in Latin as Alba Ecclesia (Weißkirch, white church). The Latin ecclēsia comes from ἐκκλησία (ekklēsía) in Ancient Greek (ekkaléō means “to call forth, to summon”), its historical and etymological meaning thus being assembly. It was later used to name the assembly of the citizens in city-states of ancient Greece.
This name was therefore chosen to illustrate our mission, bringing the community together around shared humanistic values.
One of the first projects of the Alba Eglesia foundation was the restoration of the local school from Viscri, with support from the municipality of Büllingen, Belgium, twinned with Viscri since 1989. Also with support from the municipality of Büllingen, Caroline Fernolend, at the time president of Alba Eglesia, installed in Viscri the first telephone landline in a rural community with a digital switchboard.
After a long break, the foundation resumed its work in 2022, when a new board of young locals was elected. Alba Eglesia started once again to provide assistance to the local community for the conservation and interpretation of the local cultural and natural heritage.