September 2021 - August 2022, Prenčov, Slovakia
Description of project
The 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 can be approached either in a philosophical, emotional, or mental way in our vision and understanding of the world. Growing outside can be 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.
We will explore together “What is perma-Culture?” not only in a material way, but also in philosophical, social, and also personal ways.
This project will offer to 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
Our organization is located in Prenčov, a small village in the middle of Slovakia, in the region of Banska Bystrica, under the hill of Sitno and surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes. The village has many folkloric houses, a rich cultural heritage and living traditions. Life in the village is strongly connected to the nearby town of Banská Štiavnica. This town is a part of the UNESCO cultural heritage and it is one of the most popular destinations in Slovakia especially in summer, with many cultural events throughout the whole year.
The region of Hont, where we are settled, is mostly rural with a lot of small traditional villages and a beautiful environment, but a lack of work, educational and social opportunities. Sadly, consumerism is becoming the leading motivation thus making traditional, rural methods and crafts slowly disappear. People are losing the relationship and the contact with the soil, nature and with themselves. As a result, rural areas are losing productivity with a rising level of dependence on national budgets or EU grants. The lack of working opportunities leads young people to passivity, migration to cities or abroad which leads to depopulation. We are reacting to this situation with our long-term goal to explore possibilities of sustainable lifestyle in the rural area and the role of the individual within the community . We want to support the process of change in our region towards a modern rural sustainable lifestyle, with an emphasis on interconnecting cities and rural areas.
We are looking for volunteers who are willing to participate actively in all the process, who are open to work and learn in a wide range of activities ready to work physically and be responsible for the duties and agreements. We search for volunteers who are looking for living and working in a rural area connected with nature and community, who feel concerned about climate change issues and are willing to learn and live responsibly. We appreciate it if volunteers have some manual skills of using working tools, or other skills needed in rural areas, but it is not required. However some preconditions for rural and community life is needed.
We want to support volunteers in becoming skilled and competent in a variety of tasks that are important for living in rural areas and in a community.
We want to encourage and develop their creativity and entrepreneurship as they discover 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.