We are an intentional community-run school situated in rural Latvia. Our school has 20 pupils ages 7-16 and has a Christian profile, which allows us to maintain a close-knit family atmosphere. Children stay in our school dorms during the week. Next to the school is an apple orchard and almost a thousand bushes of currants.
At a distance of 30 km from school (6 km from Madona), we have a small organic farm where we grow food for our own consumption. Children are also involved in community life and farming activities, learning how to grow plants and take care of the animals. We cook our meals using mostly our own home-grown food. The favorite is the home-made ice cream made from our milk and school garden grown berries.
The buzz and activity in the school and the peace and serenity of the farm provide a nice contrast. In the farm, we have cows, chicken, goats, a horse, and 2 ponies.
Besides farming, children are involved in other activities like music (We have a brass band), arts and crafts, sports (cross country skiing in the fields next to the school and ice skating in the farm place).
So whatever your passion and preference (Be it teaching, arts and crafts, music, construction, gardening, sports, animal care etc.) we would find ways for you to contribute and express yourself, and in the process enrich the lives of everyone in the community.
Babysitting / child care
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
Workawayers would be able to learn various gardening, farming, construction, food preparation and conservation, and child care skills and make their valuable contribution to a community and school that has been running for more than 25 years (We are the first private school since Latvia's independence from the USSR!). We have many friends from Norway, Germany, Russia and other countries so you'll be able to meet them.
We have 4 main work segments. School, Farm, Construction work, and Maintenance. Workawayers can work with children in school and plan after-school activities and teach; Work on the farm, take care of the animals and tend the garden; Do construction work helping us to improve our living conditions and build our new community center; or Perform various maintenance tasks such as cleaning, or chopping wood for heating. All four segments are somewhat intertwined. Our teachers also work in the kitchen (assist primary cooks in cooking for school students and teachers) and do farm work. You'll be doing mostly one thing, but you'll be asked to help out with other things too, like in any household. We also have a garage and woodworking equipment. So if you're technically inclined that can be done too.
You will have a seat at the community/teacher table eating 4 meals a day.
English, Latvian, Russian, German, Dutch
We have multiple guest rooms in a 2 storey building near the school. There are two bathrooms and showers, one on each floor. Since the house is not otherwise inhabited by our community members you might be asked to heat it in the winter. We have another room for 1 person or a couple near the Grostona farm.
Volunteers can buy a bus ticket from Rīga to Barkava, but step out at the bus stop called Stalidzāni (closest bus stop to our school) Bus fare at the time of writing (11.2018) is 7.90 €. Buses on this route depart from Rīga bus station twice a day at 15:25 and 17:40. Someone from the school will pick workawayers up in Stalidzāni with a car. The school is about 6 km from Stalidzāni bus stop.
A better option is to go to
the closest town to school - Madona approximately 2.5 h (3h by public transport) from the capital Riga.
This is a bus schedule for a weekday
Holidays and weekends have different schedules you can find on the same website.
On Fridays there's also a train to Madona at 6:51 PM.
Again someone from school can pick you guys up in Madona. So if you fear you might miss a small bus stop such as Stalidzāni, just go to Madona. All Intercity buses in Latvia have WiFi.
Cross-country skiing, biathlon, and orientation are popular activities in our region.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Minimum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week