Help on our non-profit horse-breeding farm on Skyros island, Greece

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  • Last activity: 21 Jun 2024



 Min stay requested: at least 3 weeks



  • Description


    We are a small non-profit organisation based on the breeding of the endangered (300 worldwide) small-sized Skyrian horse, one of the rarest and most ancient breed of horse in the world. As we receive very little help from the government (we used to receive none but recently entered a new European programme which hopefully will make things a bit easier), the whole conservation of the breed depends upon our volunteers' and our own work! The main goal of the organisation is the controlled breeding of the horses so as to avoid in-breeding which within such a small population could have dramatic consequences. The breed has also been the object of several studies in Greece and abroad, particularly to examinate its unique DNA and try to understand where it comes from and why it is so different from other horse breeds on the planet. Another important part of our work is the promotion of the breed at home and abroad, through interviews, documentary movies and good online communication. The aim is to find people interested in buying or adopting horses that could go away to good homes (!) so that we can keep breeding better quality horses every year.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Language practice
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    General Maintenance
  • UN sustainability goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainability goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    The cultural exchange is permanent at the farm and around the island, both with the locals and with other volunteers from all over the world. You can improve your English and learn Greek while at the farm, learn about farm maintenance and being around horses and work with them in a natural, respectful way.

  • Help


    We need help with the horses and also with some tasks in the fields during the spring and summer months. If you have some experience with horses you can help train them (ground work but no riding as our horses are "mini", ie. suitable only for small children) but if you don't have any experience in this field it's not a problem as we will show you what you need to know.

    If you come early in the season, the help required will consist in cleaning fields, feeding horses, fixing and painting fences, building shelters, preparing the campsite etc. During the Summer months, the main works consist in feeding and watering horses, cleaning the fields that are near houses, informing visitors about our work, preparing the horses and leading rides for the children. Since 2018 I have also started giving riding classes in the morning, so experienced volunteers can also help handling the horses and helping the kids during the lessons. Very experienced and gentle volunteers only might also be trusted with one or more horses to train. Please note all training and riding is done bitless, and the training often has to be done earlier in the morning to avoid the hottest hours and be available when the visitors arrive.

    You can also contact us if you have any special skills (photography, communication, translation…) which could be helpful to us in any way in our conservation programmes.
    Greek-speaking volunteers will be used in guided tours and to inform those interested in the organization.

    Volunteers at the farm help about 5 hours a day, 5 days a week. We expect you to be flexible on that (time and days), we do not want people who will run away at the end of the shift if there is still help required to do and it takes 10 or 15 minutes. We want to host people who are genuinely interested in the project and really want to help with it. In the Summer, volunteers are separated in two teams, one volunteering in the morning from 8:00 or 9:00 to 13:00 , the other in the afternoon from 16:00 to 21:00 (or 17:00 to 21:00). Volunteers decide together which shift they want to be in for the next day. There is a possibility some volunteers to work two hours in the morning shift and two hours in the afternoon. These working times are subject to change if for example the working horses need to be fed earlier in the morning, so that sometimes one or two volunteers will be asked to do the feeding outside of these hours (they will then have a shorter shift that same day or another).Also volunteers at some stage might do volunteer work outside the farm,for the well being of the island.For example clean beaches or clear a path which people have difficult access.

  • Languages spoken

    Greek: Fluent
    English: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    There is organized camping facilities waiting for you in an olive grove right next to our farm and each volunteer will have their own tent (is not waterprood)(couples and friends may have to share a tent in the Summer when we have many volunteers), with 2 outdoor showers and 1 toilet in the camp . Our last attempt at building compost toilets in the camp wasn't exactly a success so anyone with experience is welcome to help with this :-) The tents have proper mattresses ( camping mats) but you will need to bring your own sleeping bag and/or sheets. (Of course you could bring your tent and mattress)

    Breakfast and lunch all the volunteers at camping
    No dinner

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The island of Skyros is very quiet in the winter but gets very busy in the summer and the main village is quite lively in the evenings! The southern part of the island is an uninhabited Natura 2000 reserve and there are many hiking paths in the mountains and forests where you will be able to enjoy the beautiful sceneries and endemic animals and plants.

    Stay at the farm: 3 weeks minimum.

    Thank you for your understanding.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    This host can provide space for campervans.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 422241361284

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