Permaculture education in Boževce/Bozhevc – environmental program
DESCRIPTION OF THE ORGANISATION
GAIA is peace organisation from Kosovo, dedicated to peace building, sustainable living and solidarity between people across ethnic boundaries and minorities rights. Since 2010 GAIA organizes workcamps, youth exchanges, public events related to environmental topics, youth empowerment and human rights, trough music, video, ARTivism, volunteering, non-formal education etc. Volunteering program is the core activity of GAIA as well as spreading the idea of volunteering for peace around Kosovo.
GAIA is branch of Service Civil International (SCI), one of the oldest volunteering organization dedicated to promoting a culture of peace by organizing international voluntary projects for people of all ages and backgrounds. So far, GAIA has been working mostly in smaller ethnically diverse communities and our work has been mostly focused on issues and topics which are being neglected or simply forgotten.
Since 2017 GAIA started developing a permaculture idea, through project Permaculture as a Path to Peace, which is partly taking place in Bozevce. In this remote village, with help of friends and volunteers GAIA is creating a project on half hectar property whcih will serve a place for education and pracises of sustainable living, natural building, organic food production, communal living etc.
More information about projects and actions of GAIA can be found at www.gaiakosovo.wordpress.com and about SCI at www.sciint.org
VOLUNTEERS’ TASKS & ACTIVITIES
The volunteer will be part of an experimental permaculture project run by a group of enthusiast, therefore it is expected that the volunteer becomes equal member of the team.
The volunteer will take part in diverse activities which will be planned and adjusted according to different factors and priorities, such as seasons, resources available, current priorities etc.
Plan and permaculture design, developed at PDC in Vukomeric in October 2017, will serve as guidance and starting point for most of the activities.
However, the general overview according to seasons will be the following:
Autumn – getting to know the project and communities
- harvesting herbs, berries, fruits, vegetables
- preparing and conserving food for winter
- preparation for winter (insulation, storage)
- preparing gardens, mushrooms production and compost
- work in the forest garden
- getting familiar with local customs, community and the language
- taking care of animals
- wood storing (heating and building material)
- maintenance of objects and buildings
Winter – time for learning, reflection and retreat
- preparation of educational activities for spring and summer
- exploring possibilities for gardening
- lots of learning about nature and culture
- visiting and supporting older people in the community
- taking care of animals
- preparing seedlings for Spring
- taking part in educational activities
Spring - lots of outdoor work and educational activitie
- gardening and composting
- running educational activities for youth and children
- collecting herbs, mushrooms
- hand work (with wood, tools, natural materials...)
- helping in building and renovating objects and utilities
Summer – volunteer camps and festival
- support coordination of volunteer groups (workcamps) in Bozevce and other communities
- support preparation and realization of GAIA festivals (BREfest in Sharr Mountian)
- maintain facilities and gardens
Documenting cultural and natural heritage. Preparing texts fro the web page, GAIA and SCI newsletters. Taking care of animals and other living and non-living beings.
SKILLS AND COMPETENCES
The volunteer should be interested in sustainable and simple 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 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 Albanian.
The volunteer will be offered to attend several training courses/workshops which will help them in running activities. For instance, a training for camp coordination, permaculture workshops, project writing seminar etc. The volunteer will also have a chance to participate in a youth exchange, in Kosovo or some other country around the Balkans.
The volunteer is also encouraged to initiate a personal project in and with the community. It could be a language course, audiovisual or creative workshops, documentation, workshops in schools etc.
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 town of Kamenica and Ranilug. However, the volunteer will be able to use a bike, while transport to longer distances will be organized by a car.
The volunteer will share living and working space with other volunteers, surrounded by lots of unspoiled nature, peaceful time for themselves.