Los Portales Ecovillage, Spain
EVS start: June 2017
EVS period: 6 months
At present, there are more and more young people who are looking for answers to the challenges that the global world poses to them in the ecovillage experience. The ecovillage movement seeks to connect with nature and human needs for health, integration and coherent vision of the future and its objectives are sustainability and resilience. The ecovillage Los Portales, founded in 1984 and located in Castilblanco de los Arroyos (Seville, Spain), is one of the oldest and most stable in Spain. Since 2011, young people from all over the world have come looking for an experience that meets these challenges, and then bring this seed back to their places of origin.
The project "Learning to Live and Grow in an Ecovillage" is designed for two volunteers who are interested in discovering and experiencing this way of life. During 6 months they will immerse themselves in the life of the ecovillage and its different activities, accompanied by people with long experience.
The aim of the project is to propose to the participants the acquisition of a series of tools through the following activities:
- management of an orchard to produce food for 30 people;
- kitchen for collectives: learn how to compose and prepare balanced menus for groups;
- management of a herd of 30 goats for milk production and processing of dairy products (cheese, yogurt);
- elaboration of organic artisan bread learning the process from beginning to end;
- contact with the three types of renewable energies of the ecovillage: solar, wind and hydro;
- management of personal and group processes: tools for facilitation and conflict resolution and for the development of creativity.
All activities will be carried out from the ground up because we are aware that the integration of learning is thus faster and lasting. The person in charge of each activity will give the training and explain the tasks to the volunteers, putting special emphasis on the safety measures to avoid any accidents. The coordinator will help the volunteers define their interests and personal learning and development program through the activities and will hold weekly meetings with them, in order to ensure that the aims of the established program are met. He will also be at their disposal to resolve any matter relating to the scheduling of activities.
The final result should provide the volunteer with a global vision of how life develops in an ecovillage, opening to a world of possibilities that can range from wanting to integrate into one of them to imagine how to create his own project with similar characteristics or simply, to know the existence of this movement and to take an interest in it in his country of origin.
The phrase "Be the change you want to see in the world" sums up well the desire that our association wants to bring to our society and, especially, to its young people.
Permaculture in Zajezka Ecovillage, Slovakia
EVS start: 8th of March 2017
EVS period: 8 months
Zajezka ecovillage is a starting educational Permaculture site and working farm.
Its main goal is regenerating soil with animals and perennials, sharing knowledge with others and building a community of families and individuals that live off the 20 ha property.
They grow vegetables and fruits in a No Dig Garden and orchard that provides food to the farm members, short-term volunteers, guests and workshop participants.
Sekier is also a meat-producing farm, grazing animals and eating extremely good quality pastured meats, dairy, eggs and vegetables. The ecovillage organises and hosts workshops on permaculture and traditional crafts about once per month. Apart from that, it hosts larger educational events and camps during the summer, as well as celebrations and informal gatherings of the local community.
This EVS is going to be a valuable experience on multiple levels. Following the whole growing season on the farm - seeing the plants, the animals and people reacting to the changes of weather and light will be very enriching. You might be outdoors the whole day, every day and learn to become aware of your surroundings and the impact you have.
You will be working in an international team, finding the dynamics to work together efficiently.
This EVS will give you confidence to start a self-sufficient farm project yourself in the future, experiencing how wonderfully work, community and free-time can merge together into a meaningful life connected to nature.
Offer and expectations:
GEN Office in Findhorn, Scotland
EVS Start: mid October 2016
EVS period: 1 year
The international office of Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) located in Findhorn, Scotland is looking for up to three enthusiastic, creative and flexible EVS volunteers who are passionate about the work of GEN.
EVS will engage in various departments within the GEN International Office and in the Findhorn Foundation, such as:
GEN-Europe Office in Arterra, Spain
EVS Start: September 2016
EVS period: 6 months
GEN-Europe is a network promoting and supporting ecovillages and communities across Europe in their efforts to build pathways to a sustainable future on a social, economical, ecological and cultural level. European brunch of Global Ecovillage Network (GEN-Europe) is located in Spain, in the community Arterra Bizimodu. There are two EVS postitions: in IT Working Group and in Communication Working Group.
IT Working group objectives::
- To support the office in a variety of IT-related issues;
- To improve IT environment made up of well-working systems
and administrative processes.
Required Skills and Competencies. The ability to:
- Work with OpenSource IT systems (WordPress, OwnCloud, etc)
- Learn new systems quickly;
- Resolve and document IT issues;
- Work on the Office Suite – both commercial and open source;
- Work in a team and work independently;
- Perform back-ups, upgrades and other IT admin functions.
Communication Working Group objectives:
- To research the 20 years of GEN-Europe´s existence, to document its achievements. This involves interviewing members and councillors (past and present), consulting archives, analysing data and performing impact assessments, amongst other research activities.
Required Skills and Competencies. The ability to:
- Organise and plan a research project;
- Interview research participants;
- Analyse data using quantitate and qualitative research methods;
- Write well-structured and coherent reports;
- Include graphical design and other multimedia features in the report.
The EVS will live in an ecovillage, participating in communal activities such as cooking, cleaning and eating together, as well as other projects and tasks from time to time.
Sieben Linden Ecovillage, Germany
EVS start: April 2017
EVS period: April-November 2017 (8 months)
Sieben Linden Ecovillage is an intentional community in a very rural area in the North of Germany. We are living with 140 people of all ages in a newly-built village where we strive to organize all aspects of our life in a way that we have a low ecological footprint.
The small community of around eight young volunteers is a subcommunity of the big community of Sieben Linden Ecovillage. The two EVS-volunteers (from France and Sweden) will share a caravan with two bedrooms which is situated at the „Young-people‘s place“ in Sieben Linden, where all young volunteers are living.
The community and working language in Sieben Linden is German. That‘s why some basic knowledge of German and the strong intention to improve your German skills is a prerequisite for participating in the EVS. The Erasmus+ Programs offers online-learning-tools to improve your German skills before coming here.
EUrban Connections - environmental project, in Verona, Italy
EVS Start: September 2017
EVS period: September 2017 - June 2018 (10 months)
The voluntary association Legambiente Volontariato Verona was born in 1983. It joins the voluntary National Federation of Legambiente and nowadays it counts around 200-250 members. As written in its statute, this association aims to promote an active citizenship participation with the main focus on the prevention of urban decay specifically when regarding environmental matters and the conservation of the artistic and cultural heritage.
Many activities are organized to increase the citizens’ awareness about these issues through the denounce of some situations of degradation and the ideation of cultural and touristic activities.
During the last decade, Legambiente Volontariato Verona has supported actions for the safeguard and the promotion of green areas as well as the historical heritage by involving many local, Italian and foreign volunteers. For these reasons, in 2000 UNESCO assigned the award for the Monumental Wall and Fortification Parks of Verona. This kind of recognition offers Legambiente association both a concrete and potential European and international dimension.
Main activities of the association:
The work that the volunteers will come to do offers a multiplicity of actions that all tend towards the usability of the Park of the Walls, also thanks to the creation of the Visit and welcome Center of the Park of the Walls to create a new touristic circuit to which the European volunteers can contribute.
Legambiente, as an environmental association, fights climate changes every day, with information campaigns towards the citizens and with direct action to reduce carbon emissions that suffocates our planet every day. Volunteers will be included in these actions, but also their life will be enriched by the experience of a more sustainable lifestyle.
Each volunteer will be involved in the daily work in the park of the walls and the forts of Verona and the park of Villa Buri, together with other volunteers and the professionals to continue the actions of renovation and to guarantee the access the to green areas of the city.
They will be involved in the restoration and valorization of the magisterial belt of Verona, guaranteeing to the citizen, tourist, schools, the access and the visit in different parts of the fortifications of the city. Among those places, the bastion of San Francesco and the Scarp battery, abandoned for many years, have the necessity to proceed the intervention of restoration and requalification and a following phase of valorization and promotion.
They will participate in all our campaigns from the National Legambiente that happen during the year, they will participate in the project Salvalarte (“save-the-art”) that valorize patrimonies considered of minor importance and they will have the possibility to update the Permanent Volunteer Center.
The methodology used for the evolution of the project will be non-formal education and learning by doing, thanks to a direct experience in the field.
The activities that will be done by volunteers will be orientated towards the citizens, thanks to these initiatives, these group of persons (class, young, tourist and citizens) we will try to reach the ones that are interested not only in the initiative itself, but also in the fact that it’s done by a foreigner volunteer. We hope that in the long term, the Veronese citizens will realize the amazing patrimony historical, cultural and natural and will decide to take care of it.
Eco-project in Slovakia
Start: Autumn/Winter 2016 and Spring 2017
Eko-osada project is located in Biele Karpaty mountains of Slovakia. It is a pioneering self-sustainable settlement aiming to present an effective connection of habitation and food-providing garden. Eko-osada also teaches and encourages founding of other self-sustainable settlements.
* Promotion of ecological principles, co-living with nature with regard to obtaining habitation and food in a nature-friendly way;
* Application of home-building with natural or recycled materials
* Garden founding based on the permaculture principles;
* Providing information on food, energy and financial self-sufficiency;
* Alternative education of children as well as adults heading towards development of moral and mental values.
Role of the EVS intern: integration in the community life from the working, social, cultural and spiritual point of view.
Building of strawbale houses, manufacture of straw panels, yourts, mixing of earth plasters, manufacture of compressed earth bricks, wind pump, shingle production, earth oven, reed harvesting and reed mat manufacture, maintaining the settlement, taking care of domestic animals, wool combing. Agricultural and permacultural activities: garden and orchard. Food production and preservation. Manufacture of art minor furniture, drums, bows and arrows. Hand-crafted manufacture of own designs is strongly supported. Help with organising/coordinating of courses about natural building and self-sustainability.
Regular (voluntary) physical as well as spiritual exercises - yoga, tai-chi, tchi-kung, meditation, dance, jogging. Bow shooting, kite flying, drumming, singing, mandala drawing, indian sauna.
"We want volunteers make activities which they like, inspire them and which allow them develop their skills. After introduction to EVS activities we expect volunteers to be self-active if possible"
Our offer and possibilities of learning opportunities:
Knowledge and experience in the field of natural building and self-sustainability - creative activities at experimental building sites (work with wood, clay, stone, earth plasters, decoration), permaculture garden maintenance, farming (domestic animals). Furthermore gaining of communication and organisation skills when coordinating courses/activities in eco-village. Intercultural learning as well as team work when doing activities with other volunteers or residents of the eco-village. The learning process will be regularly discussed with the supervisor and with the mentor who gives support to use the Youth-pass. Not only discussions but also non formal approach (diaries, photo books) can be carried out.
Regular language classes will be given at the place. Volunteers will take part in trainings organised by the National Agency - on-arrival training and mid-training. Integration to the Local community will be supported. Close to the eco-village there are few neighbours who welcome new people from different cultures and like to show their typical way of life, and their culture.