From Spring till Autumn 2023, between 6 and 7 months, starting in April 2023
Bozevce village, Kosovo
Open for young people from France, Croatia, Slovenia or Turkey
Boževce is a tiny village community situated in the Eastern part of Kosovo, in the Municipality of Ranilug. The village used to be inhabited by 600 people, but nowadays that number has been reduced to only 40. It is hidden behind hills, between forest, rocks, streams and meadows. It is divided in three neighborhoods which stretch along a total of 3 km. People still living in the village nowadays are mostly elders who still preserve the knowledge of simple and sustainable living in remote peaceful areas.
In this remote village, with help of friends and volunteers, GAIA has been developing a long term program in a property which will serve as a place for education and practices of sustainable living, natural building, organic food production, communal living, etc. The activities have been taking place since 2017 and it has been initiated by long term volunteers and through an international project Permaculture as a Path to Peace. The activities include different activities in the fields of natural building, mainly with local materials such as earth and straw, food production and permaculture. In the last 5 years we organized several international workcamps, training courses and youth exchanges, as well as practical workshops for local youth with local craftsmen. Together with volunteers and friends, different objects were renovated or constructed with the use of natural materials and sometimes traditional techniques.
THE TASKS OF THE VOLUNTEER
The volunteer will take part mainly in activities related to natural building, but also other everyday responsibilities.
The volunteer will need a bit of time to get introduced, adapted and familiar with the place. Instructions on safety and use of tools will be organized in the beginning and it will be necessary to respect all safety guidelines.
Most of the time the volunteer will:
- support the activities around construction or renovation of objects
- support preparation and realization of educational activities
- document processes and activities
- help maintaining tools, materials and locations
This can sometimes include physically demanding and not always very interesting tasks, such as digging, moving stones, mixing mud, moving straw bales etc.
Besides that, the volunteer will also:
- help with gardening, composting and similar
- support animal care when needed
- help with the maintenance of the facilities
- visit neighbors and help them out with field work
Depending on the interest and skills, the volunteer may take part in activities related to mapping of practices, knowledge, activities and organizations in the field of natural building.
INTERESTS AND APPROACH
In the first place, the volunteers should be interested in environmental problems and passionate about possible solutions.
The volunteer should be interested in sustainable and simpler living, environmental topics and holistic approach to social and environmental problems. The volunteer should be ready to live in a small village, but also in a small community with other volunteers, members of GAIA and animals. It is expected that the volunteer is ready to work in a team, communicate in an open and direct way, to be willing to learn, adapt and to respect local customs. Sense of initiative and self-motivation is more than welcome. Finally, volunteers should be willing to learn local languages: Serbian and/or Albanian.
The volunteer should be comfortable with animals and respect the program’s protocols for working with them. There are several dogs and cats, as well as chickens, geese, goats and bees.
If you are not willing to adjust to the local culture and to dedicate yourself to the project and the place, please consider some other options for volunteering. If you cannot live without urban life, parties and traveling, please do not apply.
Food will be vegetarian and vegan, mostly made with local produce from the village and surrounding villages. Part of the food will be grown and collected by volunteers themselves.
There is no public transport to the village, but only to the nearby towns of Kamenica and Ranilug. Therefore, the volunteer should expect limited traveling options, but when needed and/or agreed they will be taken by the car to the nearest bus stop. The volunteer will share living and working space with other volunteers, surrounded by lots of unspoiled nature, peaceful time for themselves.
All costs of accommodation and food will be covered. The volunteer will get 90 euro a month for pocket money, have a basic language course, health insurance and a mentor. Travel costs will be covered and we strongly recommend traveling by land.
HOW TO APPLY
If you are interested, you should fill in the application form before February 15th. We will contact interesting candidates even before the deadline. You will be asked to upload your CV as well.
If you have any questions, write us an email. Please contact the volunteers’ coordinator Alexandre: firstname.lastname@example.org