We are an autonomous project house that provides cheap live/work space for its members, as well as services to the neighborhood. In the Coworking space, parents can work and bring their kids along. Volunteers babysit.
Our project is a work space for parents with children. Children can socialize while parents work and help each other with babysitting.
This project is inspired by authors who agree with non-coercive child rearing methods and by the "Attachment Parenting" philosophy. It was established with the help of financial donations, state funding (only in the first year) and aid-in-kind from many people who believed in the project. It operates on the 2nd floor of a Victorian-era house in the neighborhood of Lindenau. With 160 square meters, the space boasts of 7 rooms, including a kitchen and bathroom.
Here, parents can work (freelance/home office), study, surf the internet, or just spend time socializing and networking. By helping each other with babysitting, and with the help of volunteers, parents can work or take time for themselves, their hobbies or errands (be it on-line or not).
The project promotes attachment and respectful parenting, and serves as a platform and venue for workshops addressing nursing, diaper-free, slings, etc. From time to time, it also hosts discussion groups about respectful parenting, as well as groups and classes for kids (music, languages, painting…).
Children can meet other kids, make friends, learn, play, see their parents working, nurse on demand, be diaper-free if they want… they can have working parents but still be with them!
Our project has been covered extensively in the media; you can find interviews and videos on-line. We are seemingly making a difference!
We are a non-profit organization with no salaried positions. We are all volunteers. The fees that parents pay merely cover the operating costs. Our books are open.
**PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU HAVE READ OUR COMPLETE LISTING BEFORE CONTACTING US**
**The minimum stay is 3 weeks. Please don't apply if you can't stay at least 3 weeks :-)**
++++ 1-WEEK-STAY POSSIBLE for two friends or a single person for the week before/around the 30th of April! ++++
++++ Type of work in that week: We are participating in the annual summer festival (April 30th) of this street and you can help during our events! ++++
We offer food and lodging in exchange for a maximum 25 hour week during week days.
Type of work:
Two volunteers regularly babysit from Monday to Friday (10:00-12:00 and 1:00-4:00PM). It is useful if you have experience with children aged 0-3, but if not, it is OK to give it a try, as long as you are motivated and creative. Basic German is helpful, but not critical.
Volunteers mainly entertain the kids while the parents work. The parents stay here, and they take care of changing diapers, feeding and putting to bed. When there only 3 or less children present, the second volunteer will help cleaning (tables/desks; vacuuming floor; taking trash out). The children have priority over these tasks. The parents themselves take on cleaning tasks, especially if there are always more than 3 children around.
As part of our community, we expect you to participate in the regular chores such as shopping, cleaning, cooking, like everybody else in the house. The time for this is included in the 25 hours mentioned above.
There are usually about 2-3 volunteers with us at a time. Long stays have priority over short stays. A stay shorter than 3 weeks is not possible because training and introducing people to the house takes time. A three week stay is guaranteed, and may be extended after a one week trial period. Let us know your preferred length of stay when you contact us, even if it's longer than the 3 weeks.
We know from reading your profile that you are open-minded, responsible, and hard-working. You love travelling and learning about other cultures. You don't have much experience, but you are a quick learner. If you'd like to send any other info about yourself, we'd be grateful! :-)
****Please let us know if it is okay to share your profile with other volunteers whose stays would overlap with yours. We (including volunteers) vote on bringing new people into the house.*****
German, English, Spanish, French
There are 4 small guest rooms in the house, which are partially renovated, but furnished and clean. Normally there is one person per room, but friends may share a room. In the winter, heating is carried out with Victorian-era coal furnaces. There is one tiled bathroom, the other ones are in some intermediate state of renovation. There are three public WCs on other floors. There are three kitchens. Each volunteer gets his own furnished private (small) room. Friends/Couples may share a room.
We cook mainly vegan, you may eat dairy and meat if you need. We have an easy to use best-of vegan recipes book that you can use, so don't worry!
There is a cat living with us. It doesn't visit the project space, so people with only mild allergies won't suffer at all. Please let us know of your cat allergy, so we don't accommodate you near the cat.
About the house:
We live in a beautiful house constructed in 1885, 15 minutes from the center of the city. We found it in 2009, abandoned, trashed, and selling cheap. Electricity and water services have been restored for the most part. About 90% of the house is now habitable. The project house includes an events space, bistro, coworking/day-care, workshop, storage spaces, three kitchens and plenty of bedrooms. Through a network of friends and parties, this house has become a lively center of philosophical, political, and scientific discussions.
Leipzig, and especially this neighborhood, is culturally very rich. You may benefit from:
- German classes for free/donation based
- "language nights", for free (every table has a different language, people meet, talk in different languages and form tandems)
- a large variety of venues with art exhibitions
- many housing projects with attached cultural spaces, where they host political discussions and lectures
- a well developed alternative subculture with a variety of musical styles
- a few venues with open poetry or jam-sessions for musicians and poets
- alternative projects such as a repair café, an upcycling and material collection store, a cooperative organic food store, a self-organized "institute for autodidactic learning," as well as quite a few collectively owned enterprises.
Leipzig is graciously endowed with many parks, beautiful architecture, and is surrounded by many lakes. Leipzig has an excellent tram system, and for better or for worse, you have excellent access to it from our house. Our neighborhood Lindenau, and Plagwitz, to the south, are two of Leipzig's alternative quarters. We participate in events hosted by allied housing projects and we host events ourselves.
We are interested in general in projects, ideas and conversations about sustainability - if degrowth, decrecencia, sustainability, financial crisis, CSA, permaculture, peak oil etc. interest you - let us know! We are also interested in helping people in their own projects with our knowledge and resources, projects like for instance: building bike-machines, cargo-bikes, a repair shop, clothes repair, urban gardening, CNC-router, fablab, DIY-furniture
Lastly, this is an *alternative* project house This means you might encounter someone with long hair asking embarrassing questions about the financial system, education, food, anything. If you live with your mom, ride horses or watch television, please ask for our website address first. We are happy to provide you information about the mental dangers you face.
About contacting us:
When you write us, it would be very helpful if you answered the following questions:
1) From when to when are you available?
2) how long would you like to stay?
3) is it OK to send your profile to house members and other volunteers, whose stay might overlap with yours, for voting?
Thank you very much!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
As a volunteer in our project you will be able to learn about many alternative ways of child-rearing, including:
- attachment parenting/respectful parenting
- bonding theory
- baby-led weaning
- diaper-free babies
- hand signs for children under 1,5 years old
- child rearing from an evolutionary biology point of view
- how & why to enforce limits in a respectful, bonding-safe way
- community building ("it takes a village to raise a child")
In the play group, you will also learn
- games and activities suitable for children under 3
- conflict solving strategies with children under 3
Apart from that, you have the possibility to practice:
- German with the kids and the parents
- or English in the house
As we are an alternative project house, living in our community will offer you the following learning fields:
- responsible use of food and resources
- vegan/vegetarian nutrition
- transparent distribution of tasks through our unique "task auction system"
- improving cooking skills; cooking for 6-10 people
- event organization for parents and/or kids, if you're up to it.
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