Our Offer: Volunteering and Learning combined!
We are planning to develop a volunteering experience of the special kind: To counter the desertification of our region (and rural areas in general) and answer current environmental and social challenges in a positive way, we are going convert our farm into a space of learning, teaching and experimentation, in service of those who want to develop a sustainable business on their own.
This can encompass areas like simple handicraft to high tech activities like drones and sensors. From our experience we know that running a business which aims for sustainability in an unsustainable world requires a broad range of skills and knowledge. Our curriculum reflects this and, to support you in your endeavour, will branch out into a wide range of topics, from basic business skills over the practical knowledge around your special interest, up to alternative energy (our main experimentation activity), psychology, sociology, history, philosophy, science, sustainability and general technology. You will be encouraged to enrich the curriculum with own ideas or to suggest additional study topics that we can explore together.
Additionally, we aim to question the very foundations economy and business are based upon, want to experiment with new ways of organizing work and decision-taking in groups, and through a regional network of mutual support mitigate the risk of self-exploitation and failure by working together with various initiatives already present in the region.
We are making use of our vegetable garden to support our aim of offering our curriculum free of charge. We believe that the independence of knowing how to grow your own food can be an important element of an independent and dignified existence and of a more healthy work-life balance. We are aware of the many different approaches and philosophies around organic gardening and plan to experiment with various approaches in a systematic way to find out what works and what doesn’t. You are welcome to bring your ideas to be put to the test!
What are the expectations for volunteers? How long should I stay?
Our project is in the beginning stage. During the first phase of our project we will prepare our land and buildings and start with the development of our curriculum - the work will involve a lot of cleaning and tidying up, some gardening, building and planting trees. While these preparations are ongoing, you can opt for a shorter stay to help with some of the simpler tasks before the definite start of the project. In general, we recommend a longer stay of at least a month, as this enables us to present you with a more interesting range of volunteering activities.
We have a set of rules that guarantee a smooth experience for all involved. Please take some time to read through them: Terlamonte Project Rules
Even if our teaching activities have not started officially, there will be a lot to learn already, and we would love to be inspired by your ideas for such a project. What would you want to learn, what to teach? How would you run a regional network of sustainable businesses? What are potential issues with our ideas? If you had the choice, how should society be organized? If you can identify with our approach and if we are getting along, you are of course welcome to extend your stay and become a longtime volunteer/trainee. We expect around 5 hours of help during 5 days a week, plus some cleaning and cooking. We will consider your input if you find you should work less/more/differently.
In a later stage, we will only accept long-term volunteers who want to learn with us while preparing to set up their own business.
Do I need special skills or knowledge to visit you?
You need no special skills or knowledge to visit us. But if you know how to drive a tractor, build a roof, bake cakes and train the dog, we will be obviously very happy to have you here!
The most important: You should bring an open mind and your unhindered curiosity, and leave any fixed mindset at home. While we sympathise with all who are trying to make the world a better place, we do not shy away from pointing out flaws where we find them, and usually try to avoid shifting the blame onto the powerful few or onto ‘society’. We all are society, and if we want to implement change, we need to implement working systems, not ideas based on wishful thinking. That is what Terlamonte Project is about.
What if I find you guys to be a pain in the neck?
With a project of this scale, frustrations are bound to appear earlier or later. We plan to address the birthing pains of our project with black humour and mindfulness free of religious affiliations. But of course it is possible that you arrive for a longer stay and find that you don’t get along with us and our approach. In this case, we will do our best to find an alternative for you in the region and of course you are free to leave any time you choose, as it would help neither us nor you if you are not happy with being here.
What about food and accomodation?
We have several comfortable rooms in our house, and although we experiment with off-grid systems, we are linked to the grid and have running warm water and internet. We will cater for all kinds of vegetarians, vegans and omnivores who accept that we will eat meat sometimes. We provide three meals a day, some of them self-service, but we try to eat together at least once a day.
Did we forget anything? Contact us if you need any additional information!