ESC: “Living perma-Culture“ November 2021 – November 2022

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Description of project:

Living permaculture was one year project, where was participating 5 volunteers from France, Italy and Germany. Volunteers were exploring together “What is perma-Culture” not only in a material way, but also in philosophical, social, and also personal ways.

artkruh_dobrovolnictvo_exc-logoThe title we chose for this project is “Living perma-Culture” for its metaphorical but also its practical meaning.  For many people permaculture mainly means caring about the garden and plants.

Permaculture however is a wider concept that includes in addition to earth care, caring about the people and their needs. It is based on relationships that should grow and support each other.

Growing inside was approached either in a philosophical, emotional, or mental way in our vision and understanding of the world. Growing outside was related to gardening, relationships, nature, or our skills.

Perma comes from permanent –something that can be sustainable. Culture is a complex of specific spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional traits of a society or social group, which also includes a common way of life, lifestyle, value system, traditions, and faith.

This project was offering to the participants opportunities of:

  • developing social and community skills
  • gaining Permaculture knowledge and skills
  • gaining manual working skills (using many different working tools for building, gardening, woodcraft, pottery, smith…)
  • gaining knowledge and skills in organization and project management (workshops, cultural events, courses, youth exchanges…)
  • experiencing life in a rural area in Slovakia and acquiring basic knowledge of living with the environment

They were learning and applying the philosophy of Permaculture, which means building sustainable, productive, and lively human settlements.

Main activities was:

  • Gardening (planting, plant care, soil care, water, trees, bushes …)
  • Preparing, planning, managing and carrying out projects and educational activities (Storytelling – training for Youth workers; Future forest – ecological&artistic  youth Exchange; Permaculture design course, Orchard course, Permaculture for teachers)
  • Non-formal activities for children in the local school and local community (English/language sessions, creative workshops., cultural exchange…)
  • Propriety maintenance and reconstruction ( cutting wood for heating the spaces, painting …)
  • Permaculture design
  • Composting, Recycling, Up-cycling
  • Woodcraft, pottery, jewelry, medicinal cosmetics and other products

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Volunteers  became skilled and competent in a variety of tasks that are important for living in rural areas and in a community. They were encouraged and developed  creativity and entrepreneurship as they discovered the potential and the different sources offered by this natural environment in order to enable people to live in a more meaningful and respectful way in rural areas.

Volunteers had also oportunity to study Slovak language which help them to be closer with local community.

As a managing tool for our projects, we were using, testing and developing the Dragon Dreaming project design methodology, where individual positions and tasks are distributed according to the topic of the project and the capabilities and needs of all participants.

This project has been funded with the support of European solidarity corps program.

For actual volunteering oportunities you can check here.