“Volunteering for Sustainability”

Zavod Veles je sodeloval pri projektu ” Prostovoljstvo za trajnost”, kjer je Petra Jazbec moderirala trening za mladinske delavce na temo prostovoljstva ter ESE programa.

Udeleženci so napisali naslednji članek:

The training “Volunteering for Sustainability” took place between the 16th and 20th of November 2019, at the Vzdelávacie centrum Zaježová in Zajezka Ecovillage in Slovakia. It was a Youth Worker Mobility, financed by the EU under the Erasmus+ programme.

This event brought together a diverse community of 27 participants representing 12 organizations (eco-villages, intentional communities, youth networks, permaculture research institutes) from Turkey, Armenia, Poland, Spain, Romania, Slovenia, Ukraine, Russia, Kosovo, Germany, Bulgaria and Slovakia.

The training course offered a thorough grounding in the structure and possibilities of volunteering, including through the new EU program European Solidarity Corps. A large amount of information was presented in a dynamic and exciting way through very creative facilitation; with presentations, group work, games, walk and talk networking, reflection time and sharing circles.

We explored and experienced the deeper meaning of solidarity on a social, environmental and cultural level.

The group departed with a clear idea of how participants can use these opportunities in their organizations to further the vision and scope of projects and engage young people; developing their practical skills while promoting solidarity, social inclusion, active citizenship and employability.


The beautiful hilltop ecovillage where the training was hosted has approximately 150 inhabitants spread across the area. Some members of the community are managing and maintaining the center, which offers, in addition to the educational venue, a tea house, an outdoor activity center, a sauna, a meditation room.

We also had the opportunity for a study visit to a farming project where volunteers are hosted, learning from their practical example, as well as the community-run kindergarten and social centre, giving us the chance to see the positive results and experiences of real ESC projects in a growing community.

The group left with a feeling of inspiration, clarity and motivation. We now have new friends, collaborators and supporters across Europe and beyond.

Volunteering for Sustainability

Questions for pop-quotes:


  • How do you experience leaving your country for the first time? (Soph)

“We were happy to present our country and our work to people who have not heard a lot about Armenia. “

“We have many stories and experiences to share from our country (Armenia) and now it’s even easier to get there!”


  • What opportunities and networking do you see arising from the course? (Soph)

“Its been so inspiring meeting such a diverse, motivated people from around Europe.

Our organization now has many new contacts and possibilities for collaboration arising from the feeling of openness and support in the training.”

  • What has been your experience of the course structure and facilitation? (Ton)

Pretty well structured and open for suggestions from the group. (Christi)

I have only good experiences. (Miroslav)

Good but maybe something missing in practical about hosting ESC volunteers in ecovillages and more about budget and quality label. (Alex)

Good :) (Krasi)

I think the training is well thought. I especially enjoyed meeting people from different countries, cultures and to connect on a professional level as well as on a personal level. (Jule)

  • What is the most valuable thing that the course has brought for you? (Alex)

Bartek & Jacek: So the beer is not the answer?Networking and learning from other people’s experiences.

Alex: The most valuable thing that the course has brought me was a picture of intentional communities in Eastern Europe and the amount of effort people are putting in to build and live a functional, regenerative lifestyle.

  • Has this experience changed your perspective on your own work in any way? (Alex)

Bartek & Jacek: We learned about all the problems that could appear, it’s much easier because we have everything here and people told stories about things that might happen so you can predict things about everything that can appear and all the technical things and the bureaucracy that can appear.

Alex: I now see that integrating people into a sustainable community often implies integrating them into your personal life.