Help our NGO conserve and convert a heritage brewery into a self-sufficient community space in Alveringem, Belgium

  • Favourited 440 times
  • Last activity: 20 Apr 2024

Availability

  2024 

 Min stay requested: at least a week

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Details

  • Description

    Description

    Hi all! After a sabbatical of 5 years and visiting 42 countries, we chose to do the impossible. Restoring an abandoned old Belgian brewery close to France.

    Meanwhile 10 years later and close to our first activities like Permaculture gardening, organizing an art festival and kayaking... we would love to welcome you and show you around, AND give you the chance to discover Bruges, Ghent, the North of France (1 km from our place) and the Belgium coast!

    Tickets to Brussels are affordable and the train station of Poperinge is just 10 minutes away from our place!

    I am a coach but ready to learn from you. And so is our team!

    We are located at a small river site (Dode Ijzer) and do live in a small castle. We love ecology and sustainability and are striving for self-sufficiency with our feet on the ground.
    Btw did you know the Brewery has a most interesting past and used to be one of the 5 largest breweries about 100 years ago..., we hope to see young people learn and evolve in our community!

    Health and safety provisions

    We keep high standards of health provisions on our site. This is important to us.
    For the 10 years that we work with volunteers, we never let them use professional machines nor may they climb high trees or walls, unless you are a professional in that field.
    We provide you with working gloves, goggles, and helmets and ear protection is available.
    Even washed clothing is available if you’d miss something.
    But the greatest step we took after Covid: volunteers can choose their work favorites and their work buddy on Monday at our weekly meeting! A job you like to do is a job you care about, disliking what you do is never good in life.
    With any job that is very specific/non-household type, we give a clear explanation and training of how/what/when.

    In the case that something goes wrong we are insured pretty well:
    As far as friends of the brewery are concerned, the following coverages are provided
    1. Civil liability: Mixed physical and material damage: 1,500,000€
    This is therefore for the damage caused to third parties in the context of the operation
    2. Physical insurance for the volunteers themselves :
    Permanent disability: 12,500€, death: 12,500€, medical costs: 1,250€
    Two complete sets of first aid and a large fire extinguisher are ready for the unlikely chance that something would go wrong. Better safe than sorry, we also learn every day.
    If you have any questions, just ask.

    Our organization is a not-for-profit foundation.
    For many years we are registered as a not-for-profit organization VZW we are driven to pursue our statutory objectives as the conservation of our old buildings, and having 'living sustainable and self-sufficient as a goal.
    Have a great day!

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Art Projects
    Help with Eco Projects
    Gardening
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    Creating/ Cooking family meals
    Help around the house
    General Maintenance
    Help with Computers/ Internet
  • 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

    With some experience in community life right now we endeavor self-sufficiency in a sustainable and comfortable lifestyle. This is a place where you can start projects, experiments, even art-projects and achieve results with the help of the people around you. We really want to pioneer ourselves into the future and explore all kinds of possibilities in the range of heating, solar power, water purification, gardening, and also art and cultural explorations. and even more...
    At this point we do live with a small pioneers group permanently around the Brewers' castle and the actual brewery.

    We have a no drugs (soft/hard/paddo) -policy. Beer we do share and preferably drink together, f.i. at our campfire.
    We aim to recycle as much as possible, both in food and materials, and diminish the waste as much as possible.
    Our meals are not lavish, but surely more than enough, and we like to reduce water usage and any other kind of spoilage to a minimum. And of course, you can take a shower any time!
    On a daily basis, our lives are filled with working on various projects, including cleaning, maintaining, improving or relaxing. As there is always something to do, we choose our time off at any time we like. Feed the chickens, work in the garden or set up our own cinema, build a stage for a band or create our own yoga room. We even have a sauna you can do it all here. And together that will be way much more fun.

    As we are a co-housing and sort-of community living together and sharing together, we expect that everybody naturally and without asking for clean parts of the quarters and mansion and all facilities like you would do in your own place too. We see this part not as work-away hours, but just commonality: We’re not a restaurant nor a guesthouse with housekeeping, but a community. That takes more than doing the dishes, but you will find that it is community life to its fullest and even more grateful.
    We have a washing machine and you are welcome to use our sauna (€3)
    We have also a more and more extending fitness area you can use, our ping-pong tournaments are legendary, and feel free to use our yoga studio or watch occasionally a movie in our cinema. We have a fast internet connection.

    Last but not least “We are looking very much forward to your arrival, and hope you will enjoy our little paradise!

    All the best, have a great day and maybe...
    see you soon

  • Help

    Help

    Volunteering hours are free to choose to depend on the work and situations but usually generally between 08 am to 01 pm, with a coffee pause. Dinner is usually all together close to our fireplace and soon around the outside kitchen.


    As we are registered as a not-for-profit organization VZW we are driven to pursue our statutory objectives as the conservation of our old buildings, and having 'living sustainable and self-sufficient as a goal.

    Our today's challenges:
    - Installation of Solar panels, and a small windmill
    - Building a Pizza- & bread oven with a Rocket stove (with the recuperation of heat to produce warm water)
    - Landscaping & making the garden as the herbs and vegetable winder ready
    - Playground for kids & installing an educational escape room to learn how beer is made
    - Making a wooden floor in our boat
    - Growing consumption mushrooms in our cellar
    - Installing water pipes and connections for our self-sufficiency
    - Helping run our community, making & keeping it a happy community

    From Belgium with love,
    have a great day!

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    German: Fluent
    English: Fluent
    French: Fluent
    Dutch: Fluent

    This host offers a language exchange
    Always ready to learn, but especially at our place learning languages is gret fun as we all adept to the language that we feel like the most

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    We provide breakfast, lunch, diner, and a (exceptionally shared) room for workawayers. We have 5 spacious rooms with lots of light and character available.
    We also have a camper / RV private camper-parking for 3 to 5 vans with their own toilet, electrics, and water, or we could find you a corner in the meadow if you’re into camping and you bring your tent.
    Or would you prefer our small treehouse at the waterside..? Or our tiny house where you can smoke whenever you want.

    We provide full meals for all and you are most welcome to help preparing/cooking too. We love different cultures and different cuisines. We love to strive for balanced and healthy meals, who knows you can teach us something else?
    We are a flexitarian kind of group and are open to any new things we come across. If you have special diet requirements, we try to fit your needs or find a solution, so let us know upfront before we go shopping.

    NEW we have a wooden 'pipowagen' wooden caravan totally off grid with solar battery pack and water solution, wood fire and insulated with sheep-wool. If you really want to be on your own in the nature and between the sheep...

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    The beach is 25 minutes by car, the French border only 1 Km away from our brewery. England is 2 hours away by car.
    The ancient historical intresting towns of Bruges, Ghent, Lille, Dunkirk and Bergues are all reallly easy to reach. The last one only like 12 minutes to drive. And YES we do have bikes!
    Around 1914 - 1918 the battles of the First World War were fought around here. Old bunkers, trenches, or smuggling routes, it's all here to discover. Quite some musea about warfare, and historic places to visit. Did you know the most important Marchall Foch lived in our place?
    We can arrange a lift easily and the bus stop is near. Our village is quiet and calm, a few bars and a small shop, but the nearest town (Poperinge) is only 15 minutes drive away.



  • 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

    We have a pretty decent internet connection, an office you can use, or you can find yourself a place somewhere in the range of our routers and run your own wire to make your own temporary spot.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    We have our own camper field for about 5 or 6 vans. 10 Amps shared electric sockets, a separate toilet, and running water about everywhere. We have a nice small treehouse hanging over the river if you want that 'other' experience

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets

    We look separately at situations as we have animals too. But we love animals so if it is possible we defiantly consider

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    4-5 hours a day

Host ref number: 916726635456

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