Paw adventures to garden magic: volunteer at our project for dogs, cats, and nature enthusiasts near Kyparissia, Greece

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  • Last activity: 3 Jun 2024



 Min stay requested: 1 month or more



  • Description


    Join Us in Caring for Animals and Creating Garden Magic in our small NGO featering the Pilot Project Sanctuary here on the Peloponnese.

    >>> Free slots: from 1st December onwards - looking for a couple or a handy person who can paint and repair
    UPDATE: For December 2024 onwards we are looking for a handy couple to stay 2-3 month or even longer. Apply as soon as possile if interested.

    >>> from 2025 onwards we are looking for couples (25+ in age) to stay 2-6 months and really immerse themselves in animal welfare and sustainable living - please apply asap if interested. We will provide volunteer contracts to keep you save.

    I am looking for volunteers, interested in the beauty of simple greek lifestyle who would like to make this healing place a more beautiful and functional one. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
    - singles 25+
    - couples
    - siblings and friends 20+
    - people 50+
    - people with medical background or social workers
    - animal lovers

    - Meet Moses the cat and his tribe - the Masters of Heart Coherence
    - Meet Juliette the free living watch dog - the Master of Independence and Responsibility
    - Experience minimalism - and enjoy simple greek lifestyle
    - Make an impact - show us your skills and creativeness
    - Create beauty - there is still so much DIY to be done
    - Meet animals on eyesight and heartbase - and learn to talk to them

    The program is not only for animal lovers and animal caretakers but volunteers who understand and value this project about human-animal relations and Co-Living. My name is Marie-Anne. I am a retired bavarian vet and animal whisperer. When I first came to Greece I was stunned by all the suffering I saw - in humans, animals and nature. A lot of violence here, maltreating each other seems to be usual. Meaning each spring the strays at the beach are poisened and killed out of mere despair and lack of knowledge. People throw dogs out on the street once they get fed up of them just like garbage.

    My Sanctuary Project is about creating a difference and showing that it is not so complicated to do so. I moved to Greece and rented a little neglected olive groove house nearby my house. First step was to create a livable place there. We now have a 50 qm Volunteer House with bath, sleeping room, main room with kitchen, sun terrace and garden. The houses are in a deserted area, no noise, 300 m up the mountain and 2,5 km from the Ionian sea. Wild and beautiful surroundings.

    Short after the place was there, stray animals came searching for help and food. We now have a group of 5 cats living in the house, 1 stray cat in the process of moving in, a few stray cats that want to be wild but still need food and care, 1 dog at the moment that applied to move in as watch dog and lives free on the property, 2 hunting dogs that will go for adoption in 2024, a pack of three stray dogs that come for food and care twice day (will need taming, treatment, and facilitate adoption), wild turtles and other animals passing by looking for medical care, water, food and a bit of love. We respect their will and do what we are called for.

    Now that the place and the animals are there in a basic form, we need to make it beautiful, repair, recycle, upcycle, do landscape and garden work, make it a better place and give it back it's natural beauty and order. That is a lot of work to do that sometimes needs specialists and sometimes needs all round caretakers. On top the newly founded NGO that is in charge of my projekt als pilotproject for innovative animal care - neads a lot of social media and fundraising work.

    For 2024 we are looking for:
    - someone with knowledge in landscape work, as we need to find a solution for the steep slopes and we will need to install a watering system for the gardens
    - someone who can do an image video
    - someone who is fit in social media and storytelling who helps to find donors and do a fundraising plan
    - someone to do a blog post on and pics on each of the cats and dogs that live here
    - someone for DIY and painting
    - someone with gardening skills
    - and a lot of animal lovers with (best with medical background, there is always wsome kind of treatment to do)

    The olive groove house is the place where you as volunteer are ment to live. It is apt for a single person or a couple. Depending on your talents and knowledge you can help to take this place to the next level - make it beautiful, give it a natural touch and still improve the situation of the animals living there or passing by there. We are always looking for skilled craftsmen, artists, photographers, social media specialists or caretakers - there is nearly nothing we won't find helpful. Your stay will be 3 to 6 weeks (longer is possible) - time to leave your footprint here. In case you are doing maintenance or garden you will be helped by our Albanian gardener Ilia, in case you are cleaning, painting or doing art you will be helped by our Iranian house manager Nasrin, in case you are doing online work, you will connect to me.

    As said before: essentials are honesty, truthfulness and reliability. We expect you to communicate open and non violent. We prefer quiet and clean people. Neurodivergent people especially on the autistic side of the spectrum are welcome. It is a non smoking area and house, no drugs, no noise, no excess of alcohol. Visits of foreigners in your time here have to be talked about and approved in advance. You are supposed to be at the house each night, as you need to care for the animals.

    What we offer is a healing place, silent nature, purity, empathy, heartfulness and any transfer of knowledge or healing advice you may need. At least two of the stationary cats already have healing abilities and enhanced heart coherence. We offer animal contact on eyesight. Currently there are 5 cats living in the volunteer house, 3 dogs to care for and a few associated stray cats and dogs to feed.

    Equipment: please bring our own laptop if you want to do online work and bring your own art equipment, if you want to do artwork.

    NOTE: Plan 6 months upfront as we are usually booked at least 4 months upfront - usually we do not offer LAST MINUTE Programs or stays.

    NOTE: We need to talk to you via video conference upfront to your stay once you applied. We will not take volunteers without having talked to them at least once online.

    NOTE: You will be the one and only volunteer here - we rely on you - nobody can replace you. Do not apply in case you have problems with commitment or self-organization. Work-Relax balance is increased if you come with a friend, a sibling or apply as a couple.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Charity Work
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
    Help with Computers/ Internet
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    The main thing you can do in this place is to connect to nature and animals, to relax and heal, calm down from the every day stress and conflicts of life. The cats are masters of heart coherence and I am a former vet, specialized on naturopathy, homeopathy and acupuncture as well as resilience training. I can teach you taming animals, communicating with animals, and awareness with animals as well as answer your questions on medical subjects and personal resilience. I have a life time experience in treating animals and humans in all sorts of illnesses and conflicts which you can profit of. Though you might be used to sharing meals I can teach you to do fasting especially intermittent fasting. I myself do 16:8 right now. This is why I won't offer to share meals but occassionally a coffee or snack downtown.

    I lead an academy for consciousness training and of course workawayers can participate in the online classes that suit them. The guesthouse has WiFi and internet.

    The area here does not offer much cultural things. There are a view ruins, nearly now bigger town, definitely no festivals or bigger events. For this you need to visit Athens which is a 4 hours exhausting drive from here.

    So let me put it straight: this is a very calm, very natural healing and relaxing place, very apt to find yourself, contemplate, train being alone and work on your personality. This here is no party area. We live in a lonely place 300 m up the mountain and 2,5 km away from the sea. You can find jackals, vipers, black widow spiders and centripeds here. It's wild and beautiful. I love it. If you look for more than nature, do not apply.

  • Help


    Daily Autumn/Spring Schedule
    7:30 animal feeding, changing the water, cleaning animal plates
    8:00 animal care such as grooming, caretaking, walking the dogs, playing with them
    9:30 Q&A talk with Marie-Anne
    10:00 house keeping and cleaning in your place - we expect you to be a clean person
    10:30 - 13:30 find yourself work to do in maintenance, painting, repairing, gardening, beautfying accourding to the list we made for the week
    14:00 make sure of your resting time with the animals or go to the sea for a swim, or use this time for shopping
    17:00 water the garden or do some harvesting, planting or weeding anything that needs to be done in the garden accourding to the list
    18:00 walk the dogs
    19:00 feed all animals, change water
    19:30 cook for yourself and enjoy the roof terrace with the marvellous sunsets we have or light a cozy fire in the wood stove
    late: have a look at the dogs before you go to sleep (our dog is running free at night to protect the property)

    After waking up and having your greek cup of coffee you will start with animal feeding and animal care. At 9:30 I am there for you to plan the day or answer the questions and needs you have. You are quite sure to go through an emotional process while staying here. This place has high energy quality, is full of nothingness, so you will meet yourself and your shadows and Moses will be your cat therapist through all the time.

    In the forenoon you are expected to do your housekeeping, washing etc and then go for the volunteer work you selected. The thing to accept is that your animal care and garden care is on daily base. It is not too much to do but daily. Your free time is mainly in the early afternoon. Evening feeding time differs due to sunset time.

    Garden watering can be work in summer, and you are supposed to care for the plants, look at their needs and not do watering automatically. It is about plant care and plant understanding too. You have a garden at the volunteer house where you can plant and harvest for yourself.

    In the evening you are free after feeding the animals - the only thing is to look for the dogs before you go to sleep. You will meet a lot of nothingness, maybe the first time realize how loud your normal life is, because here you will hear nothing but nature.

    The guesthouse has no TV and no Radio - on purpose. But is has good and free internet. You are expected to be quiet and not noisy.

    Free Time
    Your free time will usually be in the afternoon and after evening feeding. This place is best for people who love nature, the sea, sunsets and enjoy quiet introspection. Great place for reading, writing, painting, meditating, doing yoga or Qi Gong.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    Greek: Intermediate
    Spanish: Beginner
    Italian: Beginner

    This host offers a language exchange
    I am an author and I do live talks online every Sunday with international speakers

  • Accommodation


    Bungalow for yourself
    Accomodation in the 50 qm guesthouse with bathroom incl. washing machine, sleeping room, main room with kitchen, sunterrace. The house has a woodstove for the heating in winter and an aircondition for the cooling in summer.
    The house will be professionally cleaned before your stay.
    The house is equipped with basic houshold goods, towels, bed cloth, kitchen equipment.

    Pickup at Kyparissia bus station during daytime is included.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    This region is called Messinias, it is not much culture here, but nature pure and untouched. This stay is for people who want to connect to animals and nature, relax, retreat and heal. No good for people who are afraid of poisonous animals or solitude. Not the place for people who consider feeding and playing with animals as work. You should only apply in case you love animals especially cats and if you know how they behave naturally.

    This place here is an experiment in alternative animal protection and welfare. Your interacting with the animals and making pictures and posting them is needed and wanted. I have a youtube channel, a telegram group, a facebook page as well as an instagram and TikTok account for this experiment. I would appreciate if you are used to interact with social media and post from time to time.

    We do have a WhatsApp Volunteer Group where we post and share information. Once your application is accepted, we will add you to the Group to give you access to the information about the animals and the project upfront to your stay. So you will know the animals already before you arrive.

  • 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

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    The internet is quite slow lately for the stationary line - we have a mobil speed up solution with a 100 GB limit for fast internet - you should make sure that your work and the task of caring for animals and garden do not get in conflict concerning time and attention.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    You can park a van in the olive groove but you need to make sure that the van can drive up the mountain, the last 50 m is stone road. I can send you a video of the way up so you can verify.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    20 hours a week (animal care, animal petting, grooming and playing with animals is daily and not included in this 20 hours)

Host ref number: 823865884458

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