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BIG OPPORTUNITY FOR 2023!!!
During the period of 01/06/2023 to 31/12/2023 fixed dates, a whole period of 7 months.
The project is called: "I know how, empower the group, and heal the Earth".
The activity is fully funded by the European Solidarity Corps.
Refund of travel costs, monthly pocket money, food and accommodation provided.
Application deadline: 09/05/2023
LOOKING FOR PARTICIPANTS FROM
Austria, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Spain, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Moldova (Republic of), Montenegro, North Macedonia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, United Kingdom, British Antarctic Territory, Greenland
NUMBER OF PARTICIPANTS:
3, between 18 and 30 years old
Environment and natural protection
Health and wellbeing
Education and training
We happily invite you to live and grow together in this wild area of the Balkan Mountains: enhancing biodiversity, social unity, and personal growth! Master and be the host of our place, discover other eco-projects in Bulgaria. Give a hand and share authentic lifestyles! During your stay we will be focused on:
• Developing green skills: handling different tools, grow food sustainably, renovate and build a home, organize an eco-friendly household, balance between nature, local community, markets, and institutions.
• Regenerative ecology and agriculture: ability of local creation of living environments that are sustainably productive under changing conditions. Facing climate change.
• Self-improvement, family, and community life: healthy daily regime and habits, morning practices, regular sharing circle, healthy nutrition, teamwork. Helping local community and eco projects in Zhelen and Bulgaria.
ACCOMMODATION, FOOD AND TRANSPORT ARRANGEMENTS:
We share a hamlet of authentic clay houses, improved with common space, modern kitchen, bathroom and outside facilities: summer-greenhouse shower, dry toilet, summer kitchen etc.
Room arrangements: shared or private rooms.
Food: We are growing, foraging, cooking and eating a healthy, plant-based diet. Including small amounts of animal products like eggs (from our own chickens) and dairy products (yoghurt, cottage cheese, butter).
Transport during your stay: Living in the mountain we mainly walk. At one hour of walk from our home is a train station with regular connection to Sofia (60km) and Svoge (15km.) or a bus.
TRAINING DURING THE ACTIVITY:
Our open and pragmatic methodology provides knowledge, skills and attitudes for:
- Healthy and non-violent living;
- Regenerative landscaping;
- Planting endemic and useful plants: nutritional, medicinal, ecological;
- Renovation and construction of houses, using wood, clay, stone, straw and other materials;
- Maintenance of eco-farms: gardens, animals (horses, chickens, bees), buildings and machinery; - Receiving and training other volunteers;
- Exchange of production, physical and intellectual labor, with the local population;
- Consulting and volunteering for other projects;
- Non-dogmatic spirituality;
No previous experience needed. You need strong motivation and will to live the values and principles of the project, to practice its lifestyle. To be open and implement the desired habits, regarding food, daily regime and program. To be ready to handle responsibilities. For this, you need to be listening, flexible, hardworking and willing to persevere. The specific knowledge, skills and attitudes transmitted, are demanding openness and respect toward our experience in the last 20 years. Volunteers with specific needs, regarding addictions, or early quitting of studies are welcome!
The period of this opportunity is 7 MONTHS: from 01.06.2023. to 31.12.2023.
FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE COMMUNITY:
Join our community and experience a fabulous adventure of knowledge, skills, and attitudes!
Our project is focused on biodiversity, social unity and personal growth. We are between 4 and 10 persons at home and there are about 10 other eco projects in the village of Zhelen.
We happily invite you to live and grow together in this wild area of the Balkan mountains! To master and be the host and gardener of our place for a moment while some of us are consulting other projects abroad!
Since the year 2005, our association exists as an active part of a newborn community. We are in Zhelen village, west Balkan Mountains, 50 km. north of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. This village is widely occupying the southwest slope of the gorge of Iskar River, between 400 and 1400 meters of altitude. The nearest city is 10 kilometers from us - Svoge with 10 000 inhabitants. We have the pleasure to live surrounded by beautiful mountains and forests and share them with lots of wild animals, some local people and summer houses owners.
During the last 15 years, about 15 different projects joined, based on nature-friendly agriculture, non-violence existing and for some of us - vegetarianism. We build on the main principles of autonomy of each family unity, positive and constructive exchange or as a minimum - nonviolence of any type. Often 2-3 different projects are near each other, forming a cluster on 3-4 kilometers from the nearest clusters.
Our space represents one of these mutual helping unities. At the moment we are Barbara (Austria), Filip (Bulgaria) and Dragomir (Bulgaria) as permanent holders of the place. M.D. Dimitar Pashkulev is our mentor and is regularly present as well. Short and mid-term trainee and volunteers from all around the world are often present on the site because we provide integral lifestyle courses. Many friends are passing to relax and give a hand as well. In the last years, we have up to 100 volunteers and 300 visitors per year.
We dispose of 100 000 square meters of land, representing south slopes, mostly with a poor and dry soil. We are restoring the ecosystem by creating micro-reliefs retaining the rain and snow water, planting leguminous and graminae herbs to enrich the soil and attract birds. We are planting leguminous, rustic and useful trees to provide shade. Different zones are formed in the aim to enhance biodiversity and a healthy and fruitful environment. The aim is to create the perfect environment to live and grow your body and soul, organize different gatherings, training, pedagogical actions, or just relax. We take care of 2 horses and 3 chickens.
We have a modest guest room business (for a dozen of guests maximum) receiving families and travelers. We cook and share the healthy lifestyle with them as well.
In the morning we wake up early. We play, dance and do different practices for the body and spirit. Than we organize the day, share the tasks and take a breakfast. We eat vegetarian, with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and simple cooked meals from cereals and leguminous. Sometime - easy to digest milk products and eggs as well. We grow vegetables, regenerate the land around, build homes, receive guests, trainees, volunteers. We love working, walking in the mountain, resting and enjoy free and creative time. In the evening we do a group meeting to exchange feelings and thoughts - to propose, organize and share. We experience the seven habits of highly efficient people and the integral approach by Ken Wilber and other specialists. We go to bed early.
This place is for you, if you want to consciountly engage and be active while experiencing this lifestyle.
We practice self organization of time and we share freely the process and results.
We are looking for you if you are a clean, positive and very flexible hard worker able to observe and impact yourself .
Please, read the following frame describing our lifestyle:
You can stay with us after registering and signing a declaration that you will follow the rules listed below:
1. Peaceful and constructive cooperation is very important to us. We do not tolerate any disruptions to it, through aggressive words and deeds, disrespectful attitude, making noise at an inappropriate time, or other.
2. Maintaining the general daily routine and consuming foods from the recommended product range is desirable throughout the stay. We tolerate the consumption of other types of products but we ask for this to happen outside the communal meals and spaces, without cooking it.
3. We do not accept the propagation of views which counterpose people on the basis of their worldviews, ethnicity, gender or political stance. Similarly, we have low tolerance for aggressive advertising of commercial goods or paid services.
4. The healthy rest and training practices are negatively influenced by people under the influence of psychoactive substances. For this reason we do not welcome people who are addicted to such substances.
5. We cannot welcome underage people without a grown-up accompanying them unless as a part of an organised group, in which case we will need statements of consent from a parent or a legal guardian.
6. At this stage we cannot welcome people who have serious health problems with a high risk of dangerous complications.
7. Cooking in the sleeping premises is not allowed.
GENERAL DAILY ROUTINE:
• Morning: waking up at a particular hour, depending on the season (compulsory within the training program), healthy practices (with individualized elements), participating in the cleaning or the preparation of breakfast;
• Prenoon: work, health-related and/or educational practices, preferably outdoor, basic lecture (as a part of the holiday training program and desirable within the vacation program), participating in the preparation of lunch (for some people at the training and volunteer program);
• Lunch and rest (the latter taking place at variable times within the vacation, training and volunteer programms);
• Aftrenoon: for the vacation program - free time; for the training and volunteer program - work, theoretical and/or practical courses;
• Dinner, rest, cultural and creative activities - open to whoever wants to join;
• Going to sleep - there is an evening hour (the precise time depends on the season) after which going to sleep is recommended, and maintaining silence is compulsory.
RECOMMENDED FOOD PRODUCT RANGE:
1. Fruit - fresh, dry, and limited - processed;
2. Vegetables - raw and cooked without frying;
3. Cereals (mostly whole-grain) with a predominance of gluten-free cultures;
4. Legumes - green and ripe, also fermented;
5. Raw nuts, seeds and vegetable oils, the latter in limited amounts;
6. Additional plant product: herbs and spices (excluding the spiciest ones), sprouts, seaweeds, brewer's yeast, etc.;
7. Bee products - honey, pollen, wax, propolis, royal jelly;
8. Biological dairy products with a predominance of the easily digestible ones – yoghurt, cottage cheese and others;
9. Biological eggs, the egg whites in limited amounts;
10. Food supplements - herbs (in different forms), minerals (including some cooking salt and potassium salt), vitamins, etc, depending on an expert judgment;
11. Sprouted and fermented foods.
The WORKAWAY VOLUNTEERS are free of charge and work 5 hours/day;
The volunteer program includes living in accordance with THE RULES AND THE DAILY ROUTINE while contributing to the maintenance and development of the facilities.
The minimal period for WORKAWAY volunteering is 40 DAYS.
It requires a considerable level of responsibility and the input of volunteer labor. During this period they can switch to other programs.
(The activities with * are compulsory in 70% of the days)
05.00 – 06.00 h. Awakening; Personal hygiene; Drinking hot water;
06.30 – 07.30 h. Morning practices: Massages and physical exercises; Practising respiratory and psycho-regulating techniques; Personal practice (in nature if possible);
* 07.30 – 08.30 h. Community related duties:
• 08.30 h. Breakfast (in silence if possible);
* 09.00 h. Morning meeting and organisation;
* 09.30 – 13.00 h. Work for the project (including 30 min for breaks);
• 13.00 h. Lunch & Relax;
• 17.00 h. Work for the project;
• 18.30 h. Dinner;
• 19.00 h. Evening meeting – feed backs and organisation;
• 20.00 h. Free time: healthy practices, music, cultural exchange;
* 21.00 h. Relax. It is advised to sleep, as a minimum we keep silence.
Each of us is giving about 60-90 efficient minutes per day to maintain the house and take care of its habitants – cooking, cleaning, garden, animal & machines care, etc..
Let's build together a community providing the best conditions for biodiversity, social unity and personal growth!
Types of help and learning opportunitiesArt ProjectsHelp with Eco ProjectsGardeningDIY and building projectsAnimal CareFarmstay helpCreating/ Cooking family mealsHelp around the houseGeneral Maintenance
UN sustainability goals this host is trying to achieve
Cultural exchange and learning opportunities
By living together we can implement primordial techniques, skills and attitudes of self-organisation for successful life: set your own priorities and a planning, healthy cooking and eating, balanced daily life regime, practical exercises for well-being of the body and soul, natural medicine and prevention, creation of natural foods and products, social psychology, moral values system, eco-friendly business.
An important space is given to the rehabilitation of the land and biodiversity: creating living soil, combat the erosion, establish a vegetal cover of endemic and useful plants, creating habitats for endemic animal species, management of the forest as a renewable source of energy and matter, reduce, reuse and recycle the wastes.
We also dance the Panheurhythmy dance and present main ideas of a lifestyle based on the teachings of Beinsa Douno from Bulgaria - without dogmas and expectations that you will follow : )
A dozen different eco-friendly and spiritual projects are growing in our village - you are welcome to meet these people and discover their lifestyle as well!
Through our place are passing many people from different ages and cultures -Local, European and World wide.
Being a host here will meet you with many interesting people and projects and will open many doors and opportunities.
We need some responsible persons to get familiar here and hold the place during the moments some of us are not present;
Our plan for 2023 includes:
Maintenance of the Permaculture vegetable and medicinal garden;
Watering in dry season;
Restoring an old building - work with clay and wood;
Installing rain water catchment systems on the roofs;
Fencing and pre-landscaping preparation;
Regenerative and Water Retention Landscaping - terraces, pools;
Post-landscaping work - soil preparation, seeding nitrogen fixators, herba graminae, planting trees and shrubs.
Growing a food forest;
During the warm season we provide an accommodation in to a caravan, beautiful tee-pee, or tents with outdoor kitchen, shower and toilet. Everybody is invited to bring his own sleeping bag, rain protection, working clothes and shoes and a headlamp. Clothes for warm, cool and rainy weather as well.
We dispose of comfortable indoor kitchen and bathroom with hot water to use when the weather is cooler.
We are particularly attentive to the food we offer - our cuisine is entirely based on the principles of healthy eating!
"Let the food be your medicine and the medicine be your food."
These words from the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates are applied in the choice and preparation of our dishes.
Our cooks have gone through a special training in the cuisine of M. D. Dimitar Pashkulev.
It is a vegetarian, predominantly plant-based, low-fat diet rich in minerals, vitamins and easily digestible raw and sparingly cooked foods.
It is an abundance of fruit and vegetable salads and shakes (snacks) with superfoods, cooked and roasted cereal and vegetable dishes with sprouts, delicious sauces with herbal spices and more.
Besides tasting it, you can understand the subtleties of its preparation!
Food supplements from main importance are offered - Mg, K, Zn and others.
What else ...
As a workaway volunteer you can enjoy Music, Wild Nature, Local community, Caves, Streams, Cliffs and rock climbing spots, Sofia city... The Local projects of Zhelen community offer their eco building, eco gardening, pottery, eastern spirituality, childcare, eldercare and many other activities...
Most of the indigenous local people are friendly but be careful - they will invite you to alcohol abuse together! Some of the grandmothers and grandfathers are really amazing and full of knowledge - a real Jedis!
In our project we experience an entire transformation of personality through positive development of all three dimensions of the integral approach.
The followers of the payed courses we offer receive more free time and a coaching while mastering the science and practice for:
• Balance the character;
• Deepening the main competences;
• Elevate and stabilize the level of consciousness;
Combining training and vacation this program is dedicated to learn from each other as well as from the nature.
You join a balanced life rhythm which includes various practices for the body and soul, healthy food, walks in nature, individual and cooperative creativity, as well as physical and mental labor dedicated to biodiversity and social unity.
Unlike the chaotic diving in the ocean of information, we are harmoniously moving into integral approach by Ken and other specialists.
We improve our manifestations and achievements, acquiring fundamental knowledge in the main directions which are:
• Approaches and dimensions in the integrated system;
• Natural medicine and prevention;
• Ecology and ecological agriculture;
• Psychology and pedagogy;
• Some others...
This leads to fruitful self-development !
Our sustainable homes and gardens in the village of Zhelen offer the necessary environment for integral development of the body, mind and personality. We are looking forward to make you experience this fabulous adventure!
What is the integral approach?
• A beautiful synthesis between the world's wisdom and applied sciences;
• An understanding of the unity and differences in nature, humans and society;
• A system for harmonizing one's health, relationships and life goals;
• Respect for individual characteristics and talents.
What does the integral approach have to offer?
• Gaining insight into a new level of the “puzzle” of life;
• The necessary methods and means for succeeding in important spheres of life;
• Overcoming the inertia of every-day life through an exciting journey inside oneself;
• The secrets to harmonious communication as well as sharing knowledge, attitudes and experience in an interesting fashion;
• Developing skills and learning techniques for the body and mind, healthy nutrition, herbal remedies and ecological culture.
A little more information
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Can host digital nomads
Good Wi-Fi, multiple working spaces possible.
Space for parking camper vans
The last 4000 meters of durt road up here are in a bad state. Good ground clearance vehicles are making it, except winter months.
How many Workawayers can stay?
More than two
5 hours a day, 5 days a week
These are extra optional ratings when members leave feedback. The average rating left for each option is displayed.
Accuracy of profile:
Willing to learn, loving to work and motivated.
Our home is always open to you, dear Carolina, thank you!
I was there for 5 weeks and the time flew by!
It was not always easy, but when I needed them, they were always ready to help me. Many thanks!!!
The place is magnificent, totally surrounded by greenery, it's a place of peace and serenity.
I have learned so many things,
They were helping with their best intentions to develop and to sustain our project and they were ready to develop themselves as well.
Thank you, Sasafras and Bailey for being so open and ready to adapt to our lifestyle and food regime.