Description: The workcamps organized with Draganac Monastery became a tradition of GAIA, where volunteers are given an opportunity to challenge themselves by living in simple conditions and to explore religious customs. This is a workcamp where all good people are welcomed to be who they are. It is always beautiful to have volunteers from many different countries in one place to share their cultures and promote the message of peace and mutual respect.
Type of Work: The main work will be helping with the preparation of an Orthodox Christianity “Slava”, a celebration in honour of a saint, which is together with Easter and Christmas one of the most important celebrations. The “Slava” of Draganac Monastery is on 26th of July, in honour of St. Archangel Gabriel. Volunteers will be working with monks and novices on organizing, cooking and washing dishes, preparing rooms for guests, cleaning and with other everyday work. The volunteers will also help with agriculture related tasks, as the Monastery cultivates vegetables, has an orchard and takes care of chickens and goats.
Study Theme: Volunteers will learn about simple lifestyle in a remote area. Surrounded by nature, volunteers will learn from and about it. Since Kosovo has an abundant diversity of nationalities and nature, volunteers will have an opportunity to learn about its cultural and natural heritage. Since we will work very close to the monastery and within it, there will be plenty of time to learn more about the monastic way of living, Orthodox Church in general and their customs and traditions.
Accommodation: Eventhough we will be mostly working within the Monastery, our living space will be in an old village called Stari Draganac, less than 2 km (15-20min walk) outside the monastery. Volunteers will sleep either in a renovated house or tents, and should bring their sleeping bags and mats. Simple toilets and outdoor solar shower will be used. There is no electricity nor running water, so connection with nature and other volunteers is guaranteed :D Food will be prepared by volunteers, on an open fire and it will be as sustainable as possible - local, vegetarian and seasonal products.
Requirements: Good will and open-mindedness :) Be prepared for a proper camp. Also flexibility is good to have when it comes to the work schedule, as sometimes we will have to wait for work and sometimes we will cook/clean for hours.
Approximate Location: Draganac Monastery is between Gnjilane/Gjilan and Novo Brdo/Novobërda, famous for it's medieval fort. The Monastery is surrounded by hills and forest, and today it is the centre of the spiritual and religious life and missionary work in the eastern part of Kosovo. Around 10ha of land and forest, between Stari Draganac and the Monastery itself, belongs to the Monastery. It is planned that this property becomes an ethno village, with gardens, orchards, animals and place for pilgrims.