Building with nature in mind
Description: Since 2017 GAIA has been working on an abandoned estate in a village of Bozevce, a small and remote community in the Eastern part of Kosovo. The village has around 60 inhabitants, mostly elders with rich traditional knowledge. Since it is situated in a remote and hilly area, the environment is clean, peaceful and rather inspiring. The program includes volunteering and educational activities about natural building, beekeeping, gardening and permaculture. This place provides opportunities for learning about simple living and reconnection with nature. Currently, there are several long-term volunteers and few GAIA staff involved in this program, as well as several domestic animals like dogs, cats, bees and chicken.
Type of Work: Volunteers will help the construction of the straw-bale structure which will be used for food production. The foundations and post and beam (wooden construction) will be prepared before the camp. The volunteers will set strawbales in the walls and add the first (cob) layer on them. Work will be physically demanding, but still appropriate for everyone regardless of their skills. Working with mud and straw is fun, inclusive and great team building activity.
Study Theme: Participants will have plenty of possibilities to learn about sustainable living, permaculture, medicinal and edible plants, and nature related topics. Through practical parts, volunteers will have a chance to learn about natural laws and materials, tool handling and some basics of permaculture design. They will also learn about local traditions, handicrafts and challenges of living in remote areas. Volunteers will be able to learn about local cultural heritage.
Accommodation: Volunteers will be staying at the property in tents. Cooking will be done together with all volunteers and food will be vegetarian/vegan and local. There is one house for long-term volunteers with basic facilities and the future educational house. Volunteers should bring their sleeping bags, sleeping mats and biodegradable toiletries. There are composting toilets and outdoor showers. Lifestyle is sustainable, simple and without much technology and virtual connections. Not appropriate for people who are afraid of animals.