GAIA is looking for coordinator of a group EVS in Sharr mountain

In summer GAIA is hosting a group of 12 EVS volunteers in Brezovica for a month within the Mountain spirit project and we are a looking for a person to coordinate the group, to work with GAIA’s team on program and content, to take care of logistics and administrative stuff. The group EVS will be focused on documenting biodiversity and nature of Sharr mountain.

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Mountain Spirit is a Strategic EVS project run by several partners from the Balkans and coordinated by Velebit Association Kuterevo from Croatia.

GAIA Kosovo (branch of Service Civil International /SCI/) is one of the organizations which will host short term and long term volunteers interested in nature conservation. From 21st of July until 19th of August, we will host 12 volunteers from different European countries in Brezovica in Sharr Mountains. Description of the volunteering project can be seen here.

Besides group EVS, GAIA is already hosting 4 volunteers and is planning to organize different events related to nature, art, youth and culture within Balkan LyNKS project. More than 40 young enthusiasts and a team of volunteers will be doing research, documentation, art, clean up actions and organization of BREfest 2.0.

At this moment, we are looking for a person who is willing to spend at least month and a half in Brezovica and to coordinate 12 volunteers through EVS project.

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It would be ideally that this person:

  • is involved and active in GAIA or at least took part in some of the activities
  • has basic experience in nature conservation / environmental protection
  • has experience in working with volunteers and international groups of youngsters
  • has good knowledge of English and at least basic knowledge of Albanian or Serbian
  • can work in international team, has good communication skills, sense of initiative and is flexible and open to work in dynamic and challenging situations
  • has solid knowledge about EVS and Erasmus+ program or is willing to learn

Tasks for the Mountain Spirit EVS coordinator in Sharr mountain will be the following:

  • preparation of the infosheet, program and activities
  • regular meetings with the program team, reporting and initiating activities
  • daily coordination of the volunteers
  • providing support to volunteers for realization of activities, organization of free time and travel
  • preparing report (narrative and financial) of the activity after it is realized

We would prefer to engage someone from GAIA, rather than from outside world :), but if you see yourself as someone who could support Sharr program and EVS group, please feel free to apply.

Those who are interested should send their Cover letter and CV to gaia.kosovo@gmail.com before 25th of May 2018. Cover letter should include information on motivation, experience, skills, expectations and similar.

EVS coordiantor will have accommodation covered through the project and honorarium of at least 300 EUR per month (brutto); maximum duration of engagement will be 2 months (July and August), but we are open for different agreements.

For any questions, do not hesitate to ask… (contact Mira Popova at gaia.kosovo@gmail.com)

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Call for participants for Young Friends of the Earth Europe (YFoEE) summer camp for young activists in September

Every year Young Friends of the Earth Europe (YFoEE) organizes a summer camp for the young people that have the strong urge to voice their concern for the environment and become activists for a fairer society respecting nature and people. This years camp will be hosted in Cyprus from September 3rd–9th.

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Young FoEE, together with groups from our European network, as well as different social and environmental justice groups, will gather together for seminars, workshops and presentations, dialogue, games and training.

If you’re under 30 and would like to know more about how to become an activist for the environment and society, then apply and join them!

The main topic of this years camp will be on putting intersectionality – recognising and working to dismantle linked forms of oppression such as racism, sexism, transphobia, and ableism – into practice in YFoEE campaigns for social and environmental justice.

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Applications from people who feel under- or un-represented in the environmental movement are extremely encouraged to apply – for example, on the basis of (dis)ability, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, ethnicity, or country of origin.

The summer camp will be in English, but linguistic support can be provided (please specify this in your application). Young FoEE will cover the costs of food and accommodation at the summer camp, and travel to and from it.

Depending on funding YFoEE will be happy to host at least one participant from Kosovo, so don’t hesitate to apply.

More details and the application form here!

Deadline: May 25th

Sharr mountain is looking for an EVS volunteer from Croatia for 4 months

GAIA is looking for one EVS volunteer from Croatia to join activities who will join activities for documenting biodiversity of Sharr National Park and dedicate time, energy and inspiration for protecting this unique mountain. Volunteer service starts in June 2018 and will last for 4 months until the end of September.

Mountain spirit – Strategic EVS for Nature Conservation is a project involving several EVS short and long-term volunteer exchanges in Croatia, Kosovo, Serbia and Bulgaria. It aims at combining efforts of international volunteers and local people from mountainous/rural areas for nature conservation activities in protected areas or species. Moreover, we plan several complementary activities which will strengthen the capacity of organizations and volunteers for working on the topics and for cooperation with the respective organizations.

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More than 70 people between 18 and 30 years will volunteer from 2 weeks to 8 months in the mountains of Croatia, Kosovo, Serbia and Bulgaria in the upcoming 2 years. More information will be available on the project website.

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Detailed description of the EVS opportunity and some info about the project you can find in the attached call for volunteers.

If you are interested to apply, you have to fill in the online form choosing the option “4-month long EVS in Sharr Mountain (Kosovo)” and sending CV and specific motivation letter to gaia.kosovo [at] gmail.com with the subject Sharr_volunteers_long-term_[your name].

Looking forward to your applications!

Permaculture Design Certificate Course in Croatia 18-29 October – call for participants

GAIA Kosovo and ZMAG Croatia (Green Network of Activist Groups) are inviting you to apply for PDC course which will take place in Croatia, in Recycled Estate from 18th till 29th of October. This PDC is part of 3peas – Permaculture as a path to peace project supported by Erasmus+ program of the EU and is open only for members of the organizations who are partners in this project.

Organization Number of participants Max travel reimbursment (EUR)
SCI Italy 2 180
SCI Catalunya 2 275
PVN Albania 2 275
CID Macedonia 2 275
VCV Serbia 2 180
VUK Croatia 1 180
CVS Bulgaria 2 275
Bugday Turkey 1 275
SCI Hellas 1 275
SCI France 2 275
SCI Germany 1 275
Utilapu Hungary 2 180
Nešto Više Bosnia and Herzegovina 2 180
GAIA Kosovo 2 275

Participation fee for this PDC will be 60 € for program countries and 40 € for Western Balkans (Albania, Kosovo, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina).

Continue reading “Permaculture Design Certificate Course in Croatia 18-29 October – call for participants”

BREfest celebrated Sharr Mountain nature and culture

From 11th to 13th of August more than 150 people joined BREfest, a festival of music and nature organized by GAIA (SCI Kosovo) at Brezovica, Kosovo. Local people and guests from around Kosovo and neighboring countries gathered in the ski center of Brezovica for this nature celebration.

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BREfest – live music and fire in Brezovica ski resort, Sharr mountain, Kosovo; photo credit: Gowhere.bg

The idea behind BREfest was to highlight the beauty of Sharr Mountain, to raise awareness of environmental topics and to provide space for people who love the mountain to meet and to share their vision for the future.

The message of the festival “Sharr is more than snow“ emphasised the unique, natural and cultural values of the mountain, besides the attractive skiing slopes in winter.

Before the festival, volunteers from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Serbia, Turkey and the United Kingdom, together with local volunteers, prepared the place and the activities, and also organized a clean-up action in the mountain. Extinction of a Trash mountain in Sharr mountain is a short video telling the story of the clean-up action.

A few days before the event, the participants of “Tour of Freedom“ also joined the group, bringing stories and experiences from their bike travel through Kosovo. The travelling workcamp crossed Kosovo from North to South within three weeks. The volunteer got to know local communities and the environmental and social challenges they are facing. They got involved and inspired actions to act on those issues. The Bike Tour volunteers told their stories through impressive exhibition of pictures and words and via engaging human library on the first day of BREfest.

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Opening of the exhibition of Tour of Freedom travelling workcamp; BREfest 2017, Kosovo; photo credit: Aleksandra Hiltmann

During the three days of the festival, the program was diverse with different activities, on topics including environment, migration and future challenges to the region. There were several workshops, such as Recycle Art, DIY (Do it Yourself), printing and sewing. In order to start each day with positive energy, BREfesters discovered the art of Capoeira Angola – a mixture of game, dance, martial art and music with roots from Brazil and Africa.

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DIY workshops during BREfest 2017, Kosovo; phto credit: Aleksandra Hiltmann

Every evening movies regarding the daily festival topic were screened.  To explore the mountain, activities such as guided tours, a herbal tresure hunt and a poetry session in nature were organized.

There was also a space to discuss topics such as migration, zero waste and environmental challenges in Kosovo. Participants of “Route to Connect“ field study trip, shared their take on the current refugee situation, through an exibition and discussion. This linked the history of Sharr mountain, a transborder region with a history of migration throughout the past centuries, to the ongoing humanitarian crisis on the Balkans and beyond.

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Route to connect exhibition, BREfest 2017; photo credit: Aleksandra Hiltmann

A group of 30 children and youth from Imaginatorium, an alternative educational center in Gracanica, also joined BREfest on Saturday, taking part in the different activities like arts, walking tours and games. For most of the kids it was the first time to explore the wild and unspoiled nature of the mountain and to be surrounded by so many volunteers from all around the world.

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Children from Imaginatorium in BREfest 2017, Kosovo; photo credit: Polina Raynova

Jimmy Mustafa Band, a Roma band, Trio Bibera, a jazz group, and Rootsman, a reggae band from Macedonia,  joined the festival for the musical evenings. This mixture of genders and ethicities was an example of how music can connect people.

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Jimmy Mustafa Band performing; photo credit: Gowhere.bg

BREfest was intended to promote a different approach to appreciating nature, by provoking the participants to consider their own impact on the environment. Food was vegan, free of charge and cooked by volunteers.

„Share and exchange“ was another festival principle which was implemented by encouraging sharing tranport to the ski resort, and also exchanging skills, homemade products, food and experiences between people.

After the success of BREfest 2017, the team is already thinking about organizing it again in 2018. And we hope to meet again with anyone who wants to join us to celebrate the nature and culture of Sharr mountain!

Raquel Amaral, Portugal, an EVS volunteer in short-term EVS „All colours of Sharr mountain“, part of „Thinking like a mountain…“ project supported by Eramsus+ programme of the EU.

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