Call for Partners: International Workcamp “Hands On”, Germany 2012
24/06 – 07/07/2012, Darmstadt
The “Hands On” workcamp is a project combining physical work with intercultural learning. Its aim is to support international exchange between local Naturefriends groups. It also seeks to nurture the intergenerational exchange between young and adult Naturefriends by working together on mutually beneficial projects involving local Naturefriends and their houses. Most importantly, this project seeks to provide a space for international voluntary activism by Naturefriends for Naturefriends in a sustainable manner. In short, this workcamp will promote international solidarity between Naturefriends. It is intended to be the starting point for a series of workcamps bringing together younger and older Naturefriends. On the practical level the project's main aim is to convert an overgrown meadow into an area where youth and kids groups can meet and enjoy spending time outdoors. The meadow is located in the immediate neighbourhood to the Riedberghaus, a Naturefriends House run jointly by the Young Naturefriends Hesse and its adult sister organisation, Naturefriends Hesse. During the project the meadow will be cleared from overgrowth and a fire pit with seating will be constructed. We will also build a wooden shelter and a small water playing area for younger children. A part of the meadow will be turned into an outdoor playground where children can build and play with natural materials like wood, clay, water and grass. The work will be facilitated by local adult Naturefriends with experience in landscaping and construction work. The main target group are young Naturefriends from Europe who are curious to spend two weeks using their hands in an international group of volunteers. No previous experience is required. The language of the camp will be English. The focus of this project rests with working on the piece of land in front of the house and transforming it into a safe and at the same time enjoyable area where children and youths can spend their time experimenting, exploring and relaxing.
The whole programme of the workcamp will deal with different ways of working manually- we will not only work in the meadow but will also explore traditional arts and crafts such as weaving baskets. Other sessions will concentrate on modern approaches to handiwork, such as re-using waste for jewellery. It is our belief that starting out with the theme of manual work, be it in construction or decorative crafts, will prove to be a fruitful approach to broader issues like environmentalism, modern excesses of production, expected shortages of natural resources and the value and price of labour in our times. Following this belief, the program of the work camp includes also excursions to workshops where people with special needs work as well as a guided tour highlighting the mechanisms of globalisation in the consumer market. The issue of environmentalism will be addressed through a variety of means such as direct contact with regional farmers providing the cooking ingredients and the selection of the working materials. A Green Team, consisting of participants, monitoring the environmental impact of the camp will be set up and further awareness raising measures will be included in the program.
In the Naturefriends’ movement most of the member organisations and local groups are carrying out their activities at a local level. Many of them may not be aware that their group are part of large international work – International Young Naturefriends, an umbrella structure that connects young Naturefriends all over Europe and gives them chances to meet, work, and learn together in an intercultural environment. We want to connect and inspire active volunteers in the Naturefriends network to come together and discover their shared values and interests. They will be able to observe how their peers in other countries live the shared Naturefriend values of tolerance, solidarity, respect and love and care for nature. They will be able to exchange ideas, inspirations, games that they can use in their local activities. The participants will also have a chance to make friends with Naturefriends and other countries that can form a base for future cross-border cooperation.
We are looking for motivated organizations that share the values of IYNF and are keen to explore the environmental education, sustainability and non-formal and experiential education through games in nature. Partner organisations will be responsible for arranging the travel of participants and preparing an evening of insight into their cultural and naturefriendly reality. Presentations relating to traditional and local arts and crafts will be welcome. IYNF is looking for 2 partner groups of up to 8 participants.
Deadline: To become partner of the project please write to Ewa Iwaszuk, the Networking Coordinator of IYNF at email@example.com, explaining why you would like to become a partner of this project, until 20th April 2012.
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