NOTE from March 2nd 2012: The below is slightly outdate.
Please contact us if you are interested in volunteering or internship.
We seek a couple of self-financed
seasonal vegetable and orchard gardeners;
Finances to be earned through sale of produce/products
Volunteering at PermaLot
During our 7 years of operation we estimate that we have had the help of min. 1600 volunteers; Quite an impressive figure and there’s little doubt that PermaLot wouldn’t have been what it is without all of this help.
However we have to limit it now... The truth of the matter is that in spite of all of the many kind and great people who has helped, the volunteering also has it’s downsides. As most of the downsides are seen and felt by the permanent volunteers, (mainly Radka and I) and at times the local population, we have decided to limit short-term volunteering, none the least as we're now focusing our energy on the local level. In spite of the potential increase in workload, we hope it will bring us more harmony, which we need to heal the feeling of disharmony caused from always being hosts, managers, educators, friends as well as at times ‘mother and father’ and psychologist…[Sigh! If only all volunteers were mature, balanced, experienced people…perhaps we would be able to become it too?]
We have arranged a series of educational weekend events, along with a few longer courses. The events typically focus on learning by doing, along with ensuring good facilitation and educational material. In other words: If you are interested in visiting us: see our current program and register for one of the events. During this time we can both experience each other and discuss volunteering possibilities. However, if you feel you have a real need and capabilities to stay as a volunteer, please write us an email introducing yourself, your motivation and vision of your stay or call. Reflect on the common contradictions between hosts and volunteers, read the site and newsletter objectively (not with projections of an eco-fairy land, filled with lovely enlighted people, doing crafts and smelling the flowers all day, while not using electricity etc.) search within you, and if you still feel your presence would not be the course of unreasonable resource drain, then write us a mail (which include a thorough introduction to yourself!) telling why you would like to come and why we would like to host you…[You should know how many requests we get for volunteering from people barely signing a name!] Please bear in mind that this pre-contact is a necessary requirement: Please do not come unannounced.
Another option you may want to consider, is to apply to come as a natural building intern for min. one month, or apply for the job vacancies we have as camp caretaker or farmer? See site for more information.
Please realize that ressources used due to your stay -including our time- has a price/value and have to be funded from somewhere, someone, and that hosting foreign volunteers is not part of the aim or mission of PermaLot. We have always been hesitant to write a price for volunteering here: Some of you bring valuable skills, others are a drain of resources. Some are from poor countries, others from rich. Likewise it's hard to put an amount of hours of required work: living our way is a 24 hour lifestyle (as being a mother) and we can't clock in or out: Is it work to make breakfast for 4-5 people? Bringing in the firewood? Setting hours also means we become a 'staff manager'; a job position we're currently not all that interested in. Let's say as a guideline that minimum focused daily work is 6 hours and min. price is 4 euro's; however for you foreigners who usually travel for min. 20 euro per day, please consider paying extra making the payment reflect the learning/leisure experience and/or to make it possible for the poor Romanians etc. to come here too.
…As a final remark we’d like to excuse that it has come to this state: Initially we kept our doors wide open, in order to promote growth of PermaLot. We hope that now, by only keeping the door sligthtly ajar, the chances are bigger that the right ones enters.
To help the situation we were part of initiating ‘The Travelling School of Life’; briefly told it is a chance for volunteers to develop a series of skills, (according to own design) by staying at various eco-venues along with other students, all optional and participatory designed, after an obligatory 3 week "Community Intro Course". See www.tsolife.org for details.