Interested in permaculture? Do an internship in Bulgaria!

26th Settembre 2022

We are looking for 1 volunteer living in Switzerland, between 18 and 30 years old, for a stay of 6 to 12 months.

The  project  starts  as  soon  as  possible or from January 2023 and  lasts  6-12  months.  It  is  part  of  the  Erasmus+  program “European Voluntary Service (EVS)”.

The European Voluntary Service (EVS) programme was created in order to promote solidarity and a sense of community among younger people within Europe (and other partner Countries). With this project, participants get to volunteer for many different organisations with various cultural and social aims. This is a great opportunity to learn new skills and develop their competences, it is not merely an internship experience, as it allows space for self-discovery and the development of personal projects.

EVS is financed by Movetia, the Swiss national Agency and therefore completely free for all participants. It includes travel expenses, food and accomodation, a language course and pocket money.

THE GREEN SCHOOL VILLAGE AND VENETS PERMACULTURE, BULGARIA

Description:

The project is based in the village Todorovo, Bulgaria, in the Danubian Plain in Northern Bulgaria, about 3 hours by car or train from the capital Sofia. The Green School Village (GSV) is a non-governmental organization that is working for the balanced and sustainable living of people by delivering courses and events in the broad field of Permaculture design. It is the official representative of the Permaculture Association of Bulgaria. It supports various projects and initiatives in the field of Permaculture and Regenerative Design, accrediting LAND centres (Permaculture demonstration sites) and certifying Permaculture designers and teachers. It is your hosting organization for this project. Venets is a purpose-driven organic farm, pioneering polycultures and permaculture at commercial scale in Bulgaria. Its mission is to grow food not solely for making profit, but to create value – for people and the planet. Venets strives to regenerate, rather than exploit natural resources, such as biodiversity; to produce healthy food that is accessible to everyone and tailored to the needs of different consumers, including elderly citizens; to create opportunities for its employees, many of whom belong to the Roma minority; and to allow urban citizens to connect with nature and learn about healthy food and sustainable, regenerative agriculture.

Tasks:

This experience will allow you to learn and to help improve life for the local community in
various ways:

  • Volunteers will learn from helping an organic farm that supports the local community and the biodiversity of its area and contributes to both, by tending to the gardens and supporting the farm’s community-supported agriculture subscription scheme.
  • The local mayor’s administration and the local library have identified ways that volunteers can make a valuable contribution to enhancing outdoor spaces and recreational areas in and around Todorovo.
  • Volunteers will help launch and develop a community-supported agriculture project that will provide food boxes to elderly people in Pleven, with produce from Venets and other local farms, delivered to their door by young local volunteers.
  • Volunteers will practically help the elderly people of Todorovo, who have a lot of inherited gardening knowledge to share, but often not enough strength to complete certain tasks, to grow flowers and vegetables, through the local cooperative and social
    enterprise “Chernyalka”.
  • Volunteers will write a weekly blog about their activities, and interview LAND centre candidates or Permaculture designers for the website of the Permaculture Association of Bulgari. This can include presenting traditional Bulgarian gardening techniques and
    methods of preservation learned from the locals.
  • Volunteers will learn how to write a Solidarity project with the local youth, supporting an identified local need. They might visit and interact with an already running Solidarity project of the Association written by previous volunteers.
  • Volunteers will create a seed library for the local community, collecting and storing local seeds and creating a scheme for a fair exchange.

Accomodation:

The Volunteer’s house (named “the red house”) is self-catering, basic and comfortable in the heart of the village. The house has two bedrooms (to be shared by two volunteers each), a living room, a shared kitchen, and a small bathroom. It is equipped with Wi-Fi, a washing machine, heating and electricity. It has a garden, where some of the farm’s produce is grown. Volunteers can help to create an additional outdoor shower area for the group soon after arrival.

Requirements:

  • You are between 18-30 years old and available for the full 6 months
  • You are interested to get to know rural life in Bulgarian villages
  • You commit to a reliable and quality engagement that will prove satisfactory for both sides

Basic conditions offered to long-term volunteers:

  • Accommodation and all meals.
  • Erasmus+ Program provides health insurance and travel expenses, plus training seminars at arrival and mid-term.
  • Bulgarian language classes (optional) Pocket money
  • Continuous mentoring and support since arrival and throughout all the stay. Final certification about the work done and competences acquired.
  • The practical and logistic matters will be handled by your sending organisation. SCI Switzerland will organize all administrative matters like insurance and visa.

How to apply:

Please write to evs@scich.org if you are interested in becoming an Erasmus+ volunteer or if you have some questions. Please note that you can only apply if you are between 18-30 years old and if you have not volunteered through the Erasmus+ before.

Send your application via email to your Sending Organisation SCI Switzerland at evs@scich.org with the subject: “Green School Village”, and include all the following documents in English:

  • CV, Curriculum Vitae
  • Specific motivation letter for the project Deadline for the application: as fast as possible

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