Archive | March, 2016

Working with Volunteers

28 Mar

I never cease to be surprised by the amazing people we now share our lives with. People from all walks of life and all different cultures have been so helpful, kind and friendly and have come to help us to realise our dream to set up an eco community in a very beautiful part of France. We would never have achieved so much here without the help of volunteers who give their time and turn their hands to a wide assortment of tasks and challenges. Some have specialist skills while others simply have willing hands and a warm heart and are willing to try learning a new skill or even a new language.

From utilising old tyres to build a set of steps in the woodland to allow us to reach the water meters, to collecting and spreading trailer loads of manure for the garden. 20130903-224536.jpgimg_0686

From preparing and planting vegetable plots to clearing rubble and repainting walls, ceilings and floors and helping with the general maintenance of the buildings. Their help is invaluable.

All this work does not happen without planning and supervision so it does mean more work and some challenges for me. Possibly the biggest challenge this year has been working with a couple from the Czech Republic who when they arrived spoke very little English and no French, only Czech! After two and half months it is now possible to talk to them without using Google translate and to learn a little more about them and explain what we are trying to achieve here.

It is not all smooth running all of the time as the volunteers have to share a communal space with only a very small bedroom each. This sometimes leads to conflict which occasionally requires some intervention from us. we also introduce them to Nonviolent Communication (NVC) to help reduce or deal with conflict as it arises.

It is rewarding to see people learning new skills and languages and seeing the changes and improvements being made to the site.

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If you know of anyone who would like to spend a little time in south west France and would be willing to work for just two hours a day in return for accommodation show them our website http://www.volunteer-france.com.