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Volunteer opportunities in FRANCE

Marking and maintenance of hiking trails in Pays du Buech
Rosans, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur          April 27 - May 11, 2014

Volunteer project: The Hiking area of the Pays du Buech brings together five communities from the Hautes Alpes around a common objective: develop, invigorate and promote non-motorised hiking activities: pedestrian, bike tourism, VTT and horse riding, for the purposes of tourism and local development. In the face of extensive maintenance work required every year over the 1000 kilometres of trails, since 2010, the communities invite international volunteer groups. This workcamp is an occasion for a true immersion in nature: it will allow you to discover the beautiful Hauts-Alpins countryside, its fauna and its flora. The proposed work is accessible to all but it involves walking in the mountains every day to reach the project site.

This project involves clearing brush from paths invaded by vegetation, cutting down trees, pruning or marking out the trails in the Rosanais sector. In this region lying next to the Drome, the meeting of Alpine and Mediterranean vegetation creates a diversity and a surprisingly rich flora, whether it be in the wild or in the heart of the countryside. Every week, the group will move to different sections, a time to discover the countryside from different points of view.

Language: English

Free time activities: During the free time, you will be able to go swimming in the Rosanais lake and in nearby rivers, carry out sporting activities and organise international meals with the local inhabitants. During the weekends, touristic outings to discover the region may also be organised. For the enthusiasts of VTT and bike tourism, note that the session in May finishes with the “Buiscyclette”: a local sports event that takes place in a convivial and familial atmosphere with numerous activities.

Accommodation: Camping

Location: Rosans (30 km from Serres, 40 km from Nyons, 200 km from Marseille)

Terminal: Rosans

Age range: 18 and over

                                                                                                         

 

Expanding the facilities of a social and cultural center in the Southern Alps
      Saix, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur          May 19 - June 6, 2014

Volunteer project: The project will take place in the heart of the Hautes Alpes, in the old farm of Fai situated at an altitude of 1000 meters. The old buildings of the farm have been developed into small apartments and group accommodations. From April to December, the farm organises inclusion projects for local people who are faced with social and professional difficulties and hosts teenagers and young adults experiencing family, health or professional difficulties in order to give them a possibility to get professional experience. In the summer, professional artists and musicians also come to work in this extraordinary place. Together, they create and perform at the yearly festivals that take place at the Fai.

The expansion of the reception facilities at the Faï and the increasing number of guests and people who are living there permanently involve the creation of a wholesome and accessible new stocking space to put the household and kitchen linen. During the project, you will work on the construction of this linen room by building walls, installing electricity, creating shelves and doing some painting. This renovation work will allow you to learn about the different phases of a simple room arrangement.

Language: English

Free time activities: As the Faï is surrounded by an extraordinary nature, it is an ideal place when it comes to discovering mountain hiking and the rural villages with their peasant markets and local products. In the evenings, you can organise games, film nights, international meals… You can also organise more “touristic” trips to the towns and villages of the region.

Accommodation: In bedrooms for 5 to 6 people.

Location: The Fai Farm is located 3 km from the village of Le Saix, 18 km from Veynes Dévoluy and 30 km from Gap in the Southern Alps of France.

Terminal: Veynes Dévoluy

Age range: 18 and over

                                                                                                         

 

Preserving the unique environmental qualities of the Leucate Pond
      Leucate, Languedoc-Roussillon          June 7 - June 28, 2014

Volunteer project: The Leucate Pond is a pond situated at the border to the Mediterranean sea in the south of France. It has two sources of fresh water but at the same time it is also connected to the sea by two channels. This sea-pond is maintained by different organisations such as the syndicate Rivage which works for the protection of this particular natural spot.

The volunteers' activities in this project will consist in removing invasive plants that threaten the balance of the pond's biotope: “the witch's claw”.
Different visits and information meetings with local environmental structure officials will be organized for the participants in order to discover the area and its challenges, and raise awareness on this exceptional environment and the protection needs.

Language: English

Accommodation: In tents on a camping site, all the facilities provided

Location: Leucate village at the sea side, 40 km from Perpignan and Narbonne

Terminal: Leucate-La Franqui

Age range: 18 and over

                                                                                                         

 

Help running a vacation program for people with disabilities
Saint-Maurice, Rhone-Alpes          June 9 - June 27, 2014
Saint-Maurice, Rhone-Alpes          August 31 - September 19, 2014
Saint-Maurice, Rhone-Alpes          December 19, 2014 - January 5, 2015

Volunteer project: The project is in support of a centre, which runs adapted camps for physically disabled people. You will help a person with disability in his/her daily life during the vacation: showers, meals, etc., but moreover you will be with him/her during the different activities organized by the centre. The first 2 days of the project will be dedicated to a special training in order to allow you to learn the good behaviors and techniques to help the people. Former volunteers will tutor you during this training. You will work directly with the staff of the centre and under their supervision.

Working at the centre is a really intense experience: days of work are going from 7:30 am to after dinner. Sharing the residents’ daily life requires constant investment and a lot of energy, however, supervisors and other volunteers will support you at all times. Once a week, you will have to take on the night watch; the day after will be your day off (only one day off per week), for resting or visiting some local attractions with the group.
The group will be of 4 international volunteers; there will be also French volunteers involved in the project who speak English, and you will be welcomed in a very familial atmosphere.

Special requirements: Please remember that your role here is to allow the vacationers to spend a great holiday and that you should show a great involvement in the project. You are expected to be motivated, open minded, patient, caring, respectful, creative and able to get along well with people. Basic French is welcome to facilitate contact, but is not obligatory for participation. Please include a motivation letter in your application.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: With the disabled people, you will participate in many different activities: adapted sports, manual activities, mountain leisure activities, swimming in a lake, visit of Grenoble or Gap... You will have many occasions to discover the region. Moreover the centre focuses on a regional approach to tourism and food ! You can discover French cuisine in the mountains !

Accommodation: You will be hosted within the centre with other volunteers. Dormitory or rooms of 2-3 people. Meals shared with the disabled people. Any food diet can be accommodated (gluten free, vegetarian...).

Location: The centre is located in the wonderful region of Trièves, surrounded by the Alps mountains, at 68 km from Grenoble and 67 km from Gap.

Terminal: Clelles-Mens

Age range: 20 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Restoration of the medieval Castle of Arifat
Arifat, Midi-Pyrenees          June 15 - June 28, 2014

Volunteer project: The town of Arifat welcomes international volunteers to help in the preservation, promotion and development of the Castle of Arifat. Supervised by local leaders, the group will work on the renovation and restoration of a room located in the outbuildings of the castle site. The work will consist of restoring double walls, remaking the ceiling, installing laminate flooring and painting the walls. Four volunteers are needed for this project.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: The place offers many opportunities for hiking, visiting local heritage sites, swimming, tennis, climbing.

Accommodation: You will stay in bungalows in a camping. Please, bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Located in the Tarn department, the village Arifat belongs to Canton Montredon-Labessonnié. The Castle of Arifat represents the typical architecture of the medieval castle sites.

Terminal: Albi

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Restoration of a stone wall on the Tour de France route
L’Alpe D’Huez, Rhone-Alpes          June 15 - June 28, 2014

Volunteer project: The project will take place in L'Alpe d'Huez  - a ski resort in the Central French Alps. L'Alpe d'Huez is one of the main mountains in the Tour de France and has been a stage finish almost every year since 1976.

The aim of this project is to help the community of Huez restore its cultural heritage and create an intercultural exchange. Guided by municipal employees, the volunteers will continue the restoration of the stone wall of the cemetery, next to the village church. The wall is located on one of the mythic bends to get to the Alpe d’Huez station, very famous part of the cycling race. The chapel within the cemetery has already been renovated so the wall looks very old and sad. Your task will be to make this wall look nice, which would involve masonry work. You will work 4 to 5 hours a day, 5 days a week, in the morning. No special knowledge or experience is required for this project, except being motivated, curious and loving to work in a group! This is a mountain workcamp for outdoor lovers.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: The village has many activities to offer: walking, biking, swimming, meeting local people, etc. The region is great for hiking.

Accommodation: You will be hosted in apartments in the village. Please bring your own sleeping bag.

Location: The village of Huez, with almost 1500 inhabitants, is a popular mountain station, sitting on the magnificent Oisans mountains, at an altitude of 1000m. Tourists come here in winter for skiing and in summer for multiple open-air leisure activities.

Terminal: Grenoble

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Renovation of hiking trails and heritage sites in Saint Alban
St Alban Leysse, Rhone-Alpes          June 15 - July 5, 2014

Volunteer project: Together with the local community members, the international volunteers will do maintenance work on communal paths and various public facilities such as small heritage sites, street furniture, etc. This may involve weeding, cleaning, landscaping and masonry work. The local volunteers are mainly retired people who love their village! The group will work 5 hours a day, in the morning, 5 days a week.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Trekking with the locals, meetings and exchanges, visit of Chambéry, of Aix les Bains, trekking in the park of Les Bauges, the cross of Nivolet, swimming pool, lake…

Accommodation: You will be hosted in a local building in the village center. Mattresses will be provided but please bring your own sleeping bag.

Location: The small town of St Alban Leysse has around 6000 inhabitants and is 3km away from the city of Chambéry, the capital of Savoy, which counts more than 50 000 inhabitants. Settled at the edge of the mountains and natural park of Les Bauges, the region offers many outdoor activities such as mountain trekking.

Terminal: Chambery

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Restoration project in the town of Etoile sur Rhone
Etoile sur Rhone, Rhone-Alpes          June 29 - July 19, 2014

Volunteer project: International volunteer groups have been working on this restoration project for a few years, along with the teenagers of the Youth and Culture Centre. In the past years, clearing and cleaning work was done by international volunteers, as well as restoration work on the walls and on the building.
This year, you will work on the restoration of an ancient stonewall in the village, which involves traditional masonry work. Guided by a professional, the group will work 4-5 hours in the morning, Monday through Friday, for the 3 weeks of the project

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Discover Crest (visit the Tower and the old town) and various sites of the Drôme valley such as Die (old town and cooperative cellar), Saillans (magnanerie), Aouste (oil mill), etc.; visit of the towns of Valence, Montélimar (museum of the miniature and manufacture of nougat), Romans (the shoe museum); excursion to discover the Vercors; sport: rides, swimming, canoe (Drôme); Lake festival at Etoile and national day on 14th of July; meeting with other workcamps. The local youth will be happy to share some leisure activities with you (sports, trips…)

Accommodation: In a former chapel. Dormitory, kitchen and sanitary facilities in the chapel. Mattresses will be provided; please, bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Located 10 km south of Valence, in the Drôme department, Etoile (5,000 inhabitants) is a town which overhangs the Rhône valley. Its village, at the heart of an enclosure of the 15th century, reveals an architectural heritage of quality: a church, apparent stone houses, a chapel and a castle. As for its countryside, it is characterized by very diversified landscapes (the banks of the rivers Rhône and Véore, agricultural and fruit-tree zones, hills and woods).

Terminal: Valence

Age range: 18 - 30 years old 

                                                                                                         

 

Volunteering in an Emmaus community
Neuilly-Plaisance, Île-de-France          June 30 - July 18, 2014
Neuilly-Plaisance, Île-de-France          August 4 - August 22, 2014

FRENCH SPEAKING PROJECT
Volunteer project:
Emmaus is a community that welcomes marginalised and homeless people, mostly men. They are called "companions". The community provides them with a place where they can live and work. It is a place where people live together in a spirit of solidarity. Some companions live there temporarily while going through a tough phase in life and the community supports them towards social reinsertion; others see life in the community as an alternative way of life. There are 3 founding principles in all Emmaus Communities: welcoming people (everybody whatever their origin and their past); working, which is seen as fundamental for a sound life and as the way to reinsertion and reconstruction of self esteem; sharing is the third pillar of life in the community.

The work will consist of helping the community in the everyday tasks such as: sorting out second hand clothes, sorting out second hand furniture, materials or books… helping to collect the second hand items from people's houses (only strong volunteers can do that), selling the books, clothes, furniture to the public, tidying up the different little “shops” in the community… and finally, any job that can be useful for the well-being of the community.

There are 50 men living in the Emmaüs Neuilly Plaisance community. Most of the companions have had hard times and harsh experiences. They are often tough people in appearance, who won’t talk much at first. Volunteers should be mature, and aware of the difficulty of establishing communication with the companions and of gaining their confidence.
It is important to keep in mind that this is a social project, so that volunteers have to adapt their timetable to the one of the companions. Volunteers will have to be really motivated because it is a difficult work: they will work from Tuesday to Saturday from 7:30 am till 5:00 pm. Sunday and Monday are free. Please note that although the project is close to Paris, you will have limited time to visit the city, due to long working hours.

Special requirements: A motivation letter in French is required, to ensure that the volunteers understand the project and explain why they want to participate.
Coming to Emmaüs means a commitment to respect both the companions and the rules of the community. You have to show tolerance and open-mindedness.

Language: French

Possible free time activities: Walk along the Seine, visit of Paris, of Vincennes, activities to be organised with the companions.

Accommodation: To facilitate communication and integration, volunteers will take all their meals with the companions at the restaurant of the community. Volunteers will be hosted in basic conditions in a prefabricated building.

Location: Town of Neuilly-Plaisance, department de Seine-St-Denis (Ile de France)

Terminal: Paris

Age range: 20 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Renovation of footpaths by the Seine River
Juziers, Île-de-France          July 6 - July 26, 2014

Volunteer project: Located at the doors of the natural park of the Vexin, Juziers and its 3900 inhabitants are proud to host their fifth international volunteer project with the objective to protect their local heritage and to put the community on the road to opening and discovery. The municipality is really enthusiastic by the idea of welcoming a group of volunteers and will assign them the rehabilitation of hiking paths and the opening of a footpath into the city.

Under the supervision of local technical agents, the volunteers will work on the rehabilitation of hiking paths. Some of the activities are cutting logs, clearing, digging in. You will also participate in the opening of a footpath. The work will be 5 hours a day, in the morning, 5 days a week.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Visits, excursions, barbecues, international evening, hikes in the forest...

Accommodation: You will stay in the municipal house. Mattresses will be provided, so you will have to bring your sleeping bag only.

Location: Located on the right side of the Seine, at 38 km from Paris, Juziers is a city-door of the natural regional park of the Vexin. This park spreads over 66 000 hectares and gathers 99 municipalities with the goal to preserve the natural environment, to rehabilitate the built heritage and to develop the agriculture with respect to the environment.

Terminal: Paris

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

 

Preserving the environmental heritage of the Trieves
Mens, Rhone-Alpes          July 6 - July 19, 2014

Volunteer project: Located in a region of unspoilt nature, the community of Mens seeks to maintain a balance between increasing tourist interest and sustainable land management. The community wants to preserve and enhance its environmental heritage and welcomes a group of international volunteers to help with this project.

The volunteers will be involved in the maintenance and clean-up of natural areas, including clearing and cleaning of green spaces, rivers, footpaths, weeding, pruning, etc. The group will work 4 hours a day, 5 days a week. 

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Hiking, meetings with locals, swimming, biking…

Accommodation: Sleeping in tents in the camping of Mens. Kitchen and showers available on site. Mattresses will be provided, please bring your own sleeping bag.

Location: Workcamp in the heart of the mountains! Mens is located in the Trièves region, on a 700m high plateau, where you can enjoy numerous hiking opportunities and spectacular vistas. The village has 1500 inhabitants and attracts every summer many tourists, sports enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Terminal: Clelles-Mens

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Restoration of an ancient castle in the Pyrenees
Durban-sur-Arize, Midi-Pyrenees      July 6 - July 25, 2014
Durban-sur-Arize, Midi-Pyrenees      August 18 - September 6, 2014

Volunteer project: The Castle of Saint-Barthelemy stands on a hill just above the gorges of Arize, in the municipality of Durban-sur-Arize, sheltering the remains of a medieval castle and a chapel. The aim of this project is to go further in the conservation of these buildings and continue the protection of the site, secure access to the castle and complete the permanent visitor and volunteer facilities. A group of international volunteers is invited to help in this work.

Supervised by a technical leader, the volunteers will take part in various maintenance and development projects on the site of the Château Saint-Barthelemy. This includes restoration of walls (masonry works), clearing of vegetation, etc.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Located in the heart of Séronnais, the site offers many hiking opportunities.

Accommodation: You will stay in tents on the grounds of the castle. Housing conditions are very simple and basic (dry toilets and solar showers). This is a project for nature lovers. Access to the castle is only by foot (15 minute up a steep path from the village).

Location: Located halfway between Foix and St Girons, Durban-sur-Arize, crossed by Arize, is a charming village in the Ariège part of the Regional Natural Park of the Pyrenees. The village has a remarkable built heritage with many preserved stone buildings. The Castle of Saint-Barthelemy is an ancient medieval fortress dated back to the 11th century.

Terminal: Foix

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Street rehabilitation project in a medieval town in Rhone-Alpes
Châteauneuf-du-Rhône, Rhone-Alpes          July 6 - July 26, 2014

Volunteer project: Châteauneuf-du-Rhône is an old medieval town in southeastern France. The local people are committed to preserving their heritage and are asking for your help.

Under the supervision of a professional, the international volunteer team will be responsible for the rehabilitation of a cobblestone street in the city centre of Châteauneuf-du-Rhône. This would involve mainly masonry work. You will be working 5 hours a day, from Monday to Friday.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Possible visits to Montélimar and its city centre, its nougat factories, Valence, Pierrelatte, La garde Adhémar, Donzère, Avignon (the bridge, the Papal Palace), Grignan. Numerous hiking trails in the region to explore, as well as canoe, swimming, tennis, biking, etc.

Accommodation: In a municipality building. Mattress will be provided. Please bring a sleeping bag.

Location: Châteauneuf-du-Rhône is a medieval town of 2200 inhabitants, located in Drome Provençale, 7 km south of Montélimar. At the heart of a lavender-colored greenery, Châteauneuf-du-Rhône enjoys its ideal location at the doorway of Provence and close to South-Eastern big French cities.

Terminal: Montelimar

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Volunteering in an Emmaus community
Etoile, Rhone-Alpes          July 6 - July 26, 2014
Etoile, Rhone-Alpes          July 20 - August 9, 2014
       Etoile, Rhone-Alpes          August 3 - August 23, 2014

Volunteer project: Emmaus is a community that welcomes marginalised and homeless people, mostly men. They are called "companions". The community provides them with a place where they can live and work. It is a place where people live together in a spirit of solidarity. Some companions live there temporarily while going through a tough phase in life and the community supports them towards social reinsertion; others see life in the community as an alternative way of life. There are 3 founding principles in all Emmaus Communities: welcoming people (everybody, regardless of their origin and their past); working, which is seen as fundamental for a sound life and as the way to reinsertion and reconstruction of self esteem; sharing is the third pillar of life in the community.

The group of volunteers will work from Tuesday to Friday, 7 to 8 hours a day, as the companions. Days off on Sunday and Monday. Volunteers have to be motivated and have to respect the timetable at all times (it is very important for the companions to have fixed schedules).
The work will consist in helping the community in their everyday tasks such as: sorting out second hand clothes, sorting out second hand furniture, materials or books… helping to collect second hand items from the people's houses (only strong volunteers can do that), selling the books, clothes, furniture to the public, tidying up the different little “shops” in the community… and finally, any job that can be useful for the well-being of the community.

Special requirements: Coming to Emmaüs means a commitment to respect both the companions and the rules of the community. You will be expected to show tolerance and open-mindedness. No special knowledge or competence is required for this project, except being motivated, curious and loving to work in a group. Motivation letter should be sent with application.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Discovering Crest (visit of the tower, abseiling...), and various sites of the Drôme valley such as Die (old town, and cooperative cellar), Saillans (magnagnery), Aouste (oil mill)...; visit of the town of Valence, Montélimar (museum of the miniature and manufacture of nougat), Romans (the shoe museum); excursion to discover the Vercors; sports, rides, hikes, swimming, canoe (Drôme). The community will organize leisure activities for the volunteers such as concerts and visits outside the community.

Accommodation: You will be hosted in a building in the community. Mattresses will be provided but you have to bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Located at 10 km south of Valence, in the Drôme, Etoile sur Rhone (5,000 inhabitants) is a town which overhangs the valley of the Rhône. Its village, at the heart of the enclosure of the 15th century, reveals an architectural heritage of quality: a church, stone houses, a chapel and a castle. As for its countryside, it is characterized by very diversified landscapes (the rivers Rhône and Véore, agricultural and fruit bearing zones, hills and woods). The community is sheltered in a priory at 1.5 km from the village.

Terminal: Valence

Age range: 20 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Restoration of traditional ovens in Auvergne
Chalvignac, Auvergne          July 6 - July 26, 2014

Volunteer project: The village of Chalvignac, located west of the Cantal has a rich architectural heritage. Some buildings are listed as Historic Monuments (Miremont Castle, St. Martin church); others are still essential part of the life of the village, like several bread ovens which are still used at various holidays and events. In this context, the municipality of Chalvignac hosts for the third time this year international volunteers whose mission is to restore two traditional ovens. This project will also promote meetings and exchanges between residents and international volunteers.

The volunteers will work on the restoration of the old bread oven in the center of the village and another one located 1,5 kilometers from the center. The work activities include exterior cleaning, removing invasive vegetation off the roof, repairing joints inside the building and delivery of stones for places inside the oven. You will be supported by a local professional in restoration. You will work 5 hours in the morning, Monday through Friday.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Local volunteers will help you discover the natural and historic riches of the region. Taking part in the Chalvignac workcamp represents a way to get integrated into the local life for 3 weeks and to discover the local culture: Miremont Castle celebration (on the 12th, 13th and 14th of July), the Crouzit-bas hamlet fest (the 22nd of July). Hikes, excursions and sports activities with the local youth will be offered during your stay.

Accommodation: You will be accommodated in the school in the center of the village. Mattresses will be provided. Bring your own sleeping bag.

Location: Chalvignac is a charming village with a population of 500 in the south-west of the Auvergne region, in the department of Cantal, near the Dordogne’s Gorges. Its natural surroundings are exceptional, with beautiful landscapes. The village has a lot of heritage buildings, witnesses of the historic past of Chalvignac: the lime kilns of the 19th century, the Château de Miremont Historical Monument, St. Martin church.

Terminal: Mauriac

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

 

Restoring a hiking trail, organising a village festival and a photo exhibition in Ardeche
Rocles, Rhone-Alpes          July 6 - July 26, 2014

Volunteer project: The volunteer project will take place in the small village of Rocles in the heart of the Ardèche. You will participate in the restoration of a hiking trail that should connect the village of Rocles to the neighboring community of Joannas. You will be supervised by the elders of the village for a variety of tasks such as clearing brush, carrying away the cut branches, installing signage and benches along the trail. You will work 4 to 5 hours in the morning.

Besides these working tasks, you will be asked to help local volunteers and community members to organize a festive celebration for the village.

In the last week of your stay, you will be invited to prepare a photo exhibition that reflects the volunteer workcamp, its memorable moments and the results of the work. The photo exhibition will be presented to the local people of Rocles at a farewell party and at other events afterwards to promote the international volunteer projects.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Hiking, horseback riding, dinner with locals, meeting with volunteers from other workcamps, swimming in the river, canoeing…

Accommodation: You will be hosted next to a community building in rather basic conditions. You will sleep in tents (tents and mattresses provided; don’t forget to bring your own sleeping bag). Kitchen and shower available in the community building, as well as solar showers outside. No Wi-Fi in the village.

Location: Rocles is a small village in the Ardèche mountain with about 250 inhabitants, quite isolated but very welcoming! In summer time, it's visited by tourists and holidaymakers in search of tranquility and outdoor activities. Located 30 km away from the next town, Aubenas, Rocles has only two shops: a bakery and a restaurant. The local people, especially the youngsters, will be ready to show you around.

Terminal: Valence

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Chazeron Castle restoration project
Loubeyrat, Auvergne          July 7 - July 26, 2014

Volunteer project: This volunteer project will support the efforts of the community of Loubeyrat for restoring and reviving the Castle of Chazeron.

The international group will join the restorations by rebuilding one of the external stone walls of the Castle. The volunteers will work under the guidance and supervision of a professional and will gain technical knowledge and skills related to the reconstruction of this kind of buildings. For the successful completion of the project, it is important that the volunteers are motivated and interested in the built heritage.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Many activities will be carried out during your stay, such as hiking and excursions, participation in the festival taking place in the castle, visiting various tourist places around.

Accommodation: Accommodation is provided inside the castle. Remark: You must respect the place and must not interfere with the sightseeing tours during the day. Mattresses will be provided. Please, bring your sleeping bag. The dining room is inside the castle.

Location: Chazeron Castle is located in the town of Loubeyrat, 30 minutes from Clermont-Ferrand. The castle offers a unique overlook on the Auvergne volcanic area.

Terminal: Riom Chatel-Guyon

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Preservation of the ruins of a castle from the XIIc.
Bramevaque, Midi-Pyrenees          July 7 - July 26, 2014

Volunteer project: Supervised by an experienced mason, the group of volunteers will continue the conservation of the ruins of the castle of the Earls of Comminges in Bramevaque. The work activities include clearing of the overgrowth, masonry, building small stone walls. The site hosts several hundreds of visitors in the summer months.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Hiking, swimming in the river, visit of prehistoric caves, the famous abbey of St Bertrand de Comminges, the water sports resort of Antignac, the Barousse museum.

Accommodation: You will stay in tents on the grounds of the castle. Important: the living conditions are very simple and basic. This is a remote place and the project is suitable for nature lovers. Access to the castle is only by foot (10 minute walk up a steep path from the village).

Location: Bramevaque is a charming rural village of 30 inhabitants, at the foot of the Pyrenees mountains marking the border with Spain. The site offers beautiful landscapes and view points. The Barousse valley is one of the most remarkable valleys of the Pyrenees; it is also on the itinerary of the “Tour de France” cycling race. The nearest cities are Montrejeau (15 km) and Toulouse (25 km).

Terminal: Montréjeau-Gourdan-Polignan

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

 

Environmental and heritage protection work in Auvergne
Chambon sur Lac, Auvergne          July 7 - July 26, 2014

Volunteer project: The rich natural and architectural heritage of Chambon sur Lac gives the town a special attraction. Located in the heart of the Auvergne volcanoes, it is adjacent to a popular lake for tourists in the hot summer days. The town has also other advantages which attract tourists both in summer and winter. Number of events enliven the area throughout the year.

The volunteer work will include diverse environmental activities on three different sites. The first week will be about enhancing the Couze Chambon river and maintenance of its banks, which would involve clearing the banks and removing brush and invasive vegetation along a stretch of 50 meters of shoreline. In the second week, the group will work on the maintenance and rebuilding of a hiking trail that goes around the town. In the last week, the volunteers will be removing vegetation and clearing around the ruins of the Château de la Motte de Varennes. The Castle dates back to the 10th century (1000 years old !).

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Different activities will be offered during your stay in partnership with local associations: tours, hiking, excursions, swimming, canoeing, museums.

Accommodation: In tents on the municipal campground. Mattresses provided. Bring your sleeping bag.

Location: The village of 351 inhabitants is a part of the Natural Regional Park of the Volcanoes of Auvergne. It is located in the Massif du Sancy formed 5 millions years ago. The village enjoys unspoiled and beautiful landscapes made of volcanoes and lakes. Chambon sur Lac is a bustling tourist spot in the summer. It is 40 km away from Clermont-Ferrand.

Terminal: Clermont-Ferrand

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Organic gardening and social inclusion program in Gerzat
Gerzat, Auvergne          July 8 - July 26, 2014

Volunteer project: The Organic Farm Cooperative in Gerzat in an ecological farm operated by passionate farmers who are committed to growing organic food, developing sustainable agriculture and providing social support for disadvantaged members of the community. They regularly distribute baskets of fresh organic produce to those in need, and also employ people who are part of a social inclusion program, to help them gain experience and skills and facilitate their return to mainstream society.

For 3 weeks, the volunteers will take part in various activities in the Organic garden: essentially gardening, plant maintenance, weeding, fruit and vegetable picking. Interest in gardening and growing plants would be appreciated. You will work together with the garden staff and people of the social inclusion program. You will work 5 days a week, 4-5 hours a day (in the morning).

Special requirements: You need to have some basic French in order to be able to have a better experience during the project.

Language: English and French

Possible free time activities: Visiting Clermont-Ferrand, Puy de Dôme, and hiking nearby.

Accommodation: You will be accommodated in tents nearby the garden. Mattresses and tents are provided but please bring your own sleeping bag. Meals will be prepared with organic produce from the garden.

Location: The garden is located in the town of Gerzat (10,000 inhabitants), in a protected rural area. The area is protected because this land represents a specific agricultural interest and is threatened by the urban expansion of Clermont-Ferrand (10 km).

Terminal: Gerzat

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Restoration of historical monuments in a rural village of Puy de Dôme
      Montmorin, Auvergne          July 9 - July 19, 2014

Volunteer project: This year marks the 12th international volunteer project hosted by the municipality of Montmorin. The village is famous for its rich heritage and the community is committed to the preservation and redevelopment of these historic sites.

In the frame of the international volunteer project in Montmorin, you will complete the restoration of the community oven of the hamlet of Coissard and learn about old methods of construction and use of antique materials. The objective is to put the oven back in operation for the people of Montmorin. The group will work 5 hours per day only in the morning, 5 days a week. 

Special requirements: You will be in contact with local people who don’t speak English, so you will be expected to speak some French.

Language: English and French

Possible free time activities: Visit of the medieval castle at Montmorin, visit of Billom, swimming pool in Billom, tennis, basketball, visit of the castles around (Mauzun, Ravel, Martinanches), walk in the Madet valley, canoe at Ste Marguerite, hike to the Puy de Dome, visit of Clermont Ferrand, visit of Issoire (international folklore festival).

Accommodation: You will be accommodated in the school of the village. Mattresses will be provided. You will go by car to work. There are no shops in the village. The nearest shops are in Billom (4 km).

Location: Montmorin is a small rural village of 518 inhabitants, formed by 40 hamlets. The village is located, for one part, in the region of Buttes and the other part is in the Regional Natural Park of Livradois-Forez. Montmorin has a rich heritage, for example the Montmorin castle, built in the 12th century, partially destroyed now. It is classified as “Monuments Historiques”. This village will delight those who love nature and the great outdoors. Altitude: 600 m. Towns nearby: Clermont Ferrand (25 km).

Terminal: Clermont-Ferrand

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Building eco huts in the Natural Park of Vercors
Vassieux en Vercors, Rhone-Alpes          July 10 - July 24, 2014
Vassieux en Vercors, Rhone-Alpes          July 28 - August 11, 2014

Volunteer project: The project is based in an outdoor nature camp in the heart of the Vercors Regional Natural Park, a protected area of forested mountains in the Rhône-Alpes region of southeastern France.

Volunteers will help build eco-huts on the site of the camp. Guided by a professional carpenter and facilitators of the place, the group will perform various tasks: construction of the floors, framing, setting up and installation... You will also be asked to take part in other activities related to the operation and maintenance of the site, such as gardening, writing a blog, crafts and various construction works (e.g. building a solar oven), preparation of an open day for visitors, etc. The volunteers, with the support of the team leaders, will also create a theatrical performance to promote the local heritage and environment.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: With the help of the group leaders, you can organize numerous activities for leisure and discovery, group games in nature, introduction to Aikido, hiking, visiting local producers, creating a radio show. The Vercors plateau is known for its great acts of resistance during the Second World War - you can also explore this piece of local history on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the resistance.

Accommodation: You will be accommodated in tents on the camp site. Mattresses will be provided, but please bring your sleeping bag. The camp host pays special attention to the management of resources, energy and waste on the site, but also to the source of materials and food. Whenever possible, meals are prepared with local and organic products.

Location: The campsite is located a few miles from Vassieux en Vercors, a mountain village at more than 1000m above sea level.

Terminal: Die

Age range: 14 - 17 years old

Extra fee: 350 Euro

                                                                                                         

 

Preserving and promoting the natural and cultural heritage of Auvergne
Picherande, Auvergne          July 13 - August 2, 2014

Volunteer project: At the heart of the Regional Park of Auvergne volcanoes, the village of Picherande is committed to preserving and promoting its natural and cultural heritage.

The volunteers will help enhancing the area around the waterfall “Cascade de la Barthe”. You will build a trail with a wooden bridge to reach this beautiful waterfall. You will work 5 hours a day, 5 days a week from Monday to Friday.

You will also take part in the local Gentian fest: decorating the village, setting the installations and taking part in the parades in the traditional clothes of your country/region.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: During you stay, you will enjoy the activities organised in the village: the Fest of Gentiane with parades, friendly meals, fishing contest, and the Saint Fest. Some other activities will be also offered: hiking with the locals, visit of a traditional cheese factory, etc.

Accommodation: Accommodation in tents on the campsite of Picherande (3 minutes walking from the village center). Mattresses and tents provided. Bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Picherande is a village of 385 inhabitants, located in the Massif du Sancy, formed 5 millions years ago. The village is a part of the Natural Regional Park of the Volcanoes of Auvergne. The village benefits of a preserved environment and great landscapes. It is 60 km away from Clermont-Ferrand.

Terminal: Issoire

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Restoring the built heritage in an idyllic rural village
Saint Nectaire, Auvergne          July 13 - August 2, 2014

Volunteer project: Saint Nectaire is considered one of the most beautiful villages of Auvergne. In this idyllic setting, a group of international volunteers will work on the restoration of the local architectural heritage.

Volunteers' main task will be restoring a gîte located nearby the Romanesque church of Saint Nectaire. Interest in building restoration is essential! Technical leaders will guide you through the work.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Various activities will be offered during your stay: tours, excursions, hiking, swimming, canoeing, museums ...

Accommodation: The volunteers will live in the local school. Mattresses will be provided. Please, bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Saint Nectaire with its 725 inhabitants is located in the Puy-de-Dôme department in Auvergne in central France. It is part of the Regional Natural Park of the Volcanoes of Auvergne. Saint Nectaire is located in the Massif du Sancy, formed 5 million years ago. The village enjoys unspoiled and beautiful landscapes made of volcanoes and lakes. The area is known for its soft cheese casino and thermal baths dating back to the beginning of the century.

Terminal: Issoire

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Construction and renovation projects in scenic villages in the heart of Beaujolais
      Pays d’Oingt, Rhone-Alpes          July 13 - August 2, 2014

Volunteer project: For the third year in a row, the communities of Châtillon, Chessy-les-Mines and Le Bois d’Oingt come together to host a group of international volunteers in the heart of Beaujolais!

The team of international volunteers will work in cooperation with a group of local young people on several different project sites. Supervised by volunteers and technical employees, you will perform various maintenance, development and enhancement works in the towns of Châtillon and Le Bois d’Oingt. These would include painting, trail maintenance, construction of a cabin for ecological toilet, construction of a bat shelter, etc. Work is in the morning, 4-5 hours per day, 5 days a week.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: You will have various opportunities for discovering this scenic area. Possible leisure activities are: visiting villages in the surroundings (Oingt, Theizé, Jarnioux, Ternand, Chatillon d’ Azergue...), walks to the chapel panoramic site, visits of vineyards and caves of the Beaujolais wine, excursions in Lyon (many museums, zoological park, cathedral…), meetings and shared evenings with the local population, bike tours, tennis, swimming pool, etc.

Accommodation: You will be hosted in the neighbor town Chessy-les-Mines, on the former camping site. You will sleep under tents, on ground mattresses. Please, bring your own sleeping bag.

Location: The Pays d’Oingt is located 40 km north of Lyon, in the “Land of golden stones”, a lovely part of Beaujolais, known as "Little Tuscany". One can discover here many charming old villages and vineyards on the hill tops. Testimonies of past heritage are present everywhere.

Terminal: Lozanne

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Enhancement of the Fortress of the Dunes in the North of France
Leffrinckoucke, Nord-Pas de Calais          July 15 - August 4, 2014

Volunteer project: After eight successful years of hosting international volunteers, the municipality of Leffrinckoucke wishes to invite a new group to take part in the restoration of the "Fortress of the Dunes", a military fort built in the XIXth century. The goal is to develop and enhance the site so that it can be visited and used for cultural purposes by local associations and groups, and at the same time to create intercultural dynamics by favouring links between the local people, visitors and volunteers.

The volunteer project is based in a fortress, located in the North of France, 500 meters from the beach, and 500 meters from the town of Dunkerque. With a technical leader, you will work on various parts of the site of the fortress. The planned activities consist of clearing the outskirts, restoration of the external staircases, collecting old paving stones and branches and clearing undergrowth off the ditches. This work will be carried out in small groups.
The volunteers will help prepare and participate in a meeting with associations of the town (Beach Fest) during the last weekend, and will present the international volunteer workcamps.

Language: English

Accommodation: Under tents, at the municipal football grounds (stade municipal). Kitchen and showers nearby.

Location: The town of Leffrinckoucke is located a few kilometers from the town of Dunkerque. Buses are available to reach neighbour towns. The nearest train station is in Dunkerque, and many connections are available by TGV to Lille (35 min) or Paris (2 hours).

Terminal: Dunkerque

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Support the organisation of the international film festival in Apchat
      Apchat, Auvergne          July 16 - July 29, 2014

Volunteer project: You have a passion for Cinema? Then this project is made for you! An international film festival in Apchat called “ONE Country ONE Film” will be organised for the fifth time this summer. The main goal of the festival is cultural exchange between countries. This film festival is located in a rural area and also aims to gather the local population around a common cultural event. It will take place from the 25th to the 27th of July. The films are short or long independent movies. Filmmakers and international actors are invited to participate. For the third time this year, international volunteers will be associated with the event.

As a volunteer, your work will be divided in three parts: before, during and after the festival. You will be under the supervision of the organisers. Before the festival: setting up the projection room, installation of tents, chairs, road signs, creating decorations. During the festival: setting up the projection room every day, information/box office, refreshment area, opening ceremony, keeping the area clean. After the festival: dismantling the installation, cleaning up the site. Please note: You will work a lot during the whole duration of the festival. The rhythm of the work can vary from one day to another. Be flexible and committed. The work could be physically demanding.

Special requirements: You need to have some basic French in order to have a better experience during your stay.

Language: English and French

Accommodation: For the first half of the project, you will be accommodated in local people’s houses in a friendly atmosphere. You will share the meals with your host family. This experience will be full of sharing and conviviality. For the second half of the project, you will stay in a community hall, so bring your own sleeping bag.

Location: Apchat is a small village of 210 inhabitants located in the south of the Puy-de-Dôme department, in the Auvergne region. Apchat is located in the Natural Regional Park of Volcanoes of Auvergne in a protected natural environment. The village has also a great built heritage including the Saint-Medard Church from the 15th century which is listed as a Historical Monument since 1985. You will be proposed some activities during your stay.

Terminal: Issoire

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Extra fee: 50 Euro

                                                                                                         

 

Waste management and recycling awareness activities at the Garance Reggae Festival
Bagnol sur Cèze, Rhone-Alpes          July 20 - July 30, 2014

FRENCH SPEAKING PROJECT
Volunteer project:
The Garance Reggae Festival has been organised for over 20 years in Bagnols sur Cèze, a small southern town at the gateway to Provence ! The festival takes place mainly in the Arthur Rimbaud park, a beautiful place surrounded by the Cèze river. The big stage, the sound-system stage and the numerous food, craft and disk stands will be installed there. For 4 days, more than 40 artists will perform. You will have a free access pass for the whole festival and your working days can be arranged so that you can take the most of the festival, the concerts and entertainment.

Four international volunteers will join the team of French volunteers (around 20 people in total) to manage the collection, sorting and recycling of waste on the site (assembly and installation of bins, collection rounds, cleaning on site), but also to run awareness raising initiatives on recycling among festival-goers who are camping. That’s why you have to be able to speak French. Be aware that you will have to work every day, in small groups. You will not have day off during the workcamp but many breaks every day to rest, discover the city and enjoy the crazy atmosphere of the event! You'll have the possibility to arrange your working schedule to attend the concerts you are interested in.
For this project, we are looking for motivated volunteers, ready to meet other people, and willing to have a good time while working on cleaning the place!

Special requirements: Ability to speak French is necessary for participation in this project (you will have to communicate in French with festival-goers during the awareness actions).

Language: French

Accommodation: You will be hosted together with the French volunteer team in tents. Tents and mattresses are provided. Please bring your own sleeping bag.

Location: Bagnols sur Cèze is located in the Gard department in the Languedoc-Roussillon région in southern France.

Terminal: Avignon

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Extra fee: 50 Euro

                                                                                                         

 

Rehabilitation of socially disadvantaged areas in Clermont Ferrand
Clermont Ferrand, Auvergne          July 20 - August 9, 2014

FRENCH SPEAKING PROJECT
Volunteer project: The group of international volunteers will be involved in the rehabilitation of urban furniture in a socially disadvantaged area in Clermont Ferrand. The work will mainly consist in painting and cleaning common areas of public housing. You will work with local youth in the heart of sensitive areas. The local participants are unemployed young people from different communities of Clermont Ferrand, who are part of a social and professional integration program. Motivation needed! You will work from Monday to Thursday, from 8am to 12pm and from 1pm to 4:30pm. Wednesday afternoon is free, as well as Friday.

Special requirements: Motivation letter required with application.

Language: French

Possible free time activities: Exchanges with sports and cultural associations, meetings with associations developing actions towards youth, where the volunteers will develop themes such as intercultural exchange, citizenship, meal prepared by the international group. In the town: walking tours, Cathedral, visit the various museums: the Museum of Art, museum Lecoq, museum Bargouin, sports activities, discovery of the Puy de Dome, visit of Vulcania.

Accommodation: You will be accommodated in an apartment.

Location: Clermont Ferrand is located in the Massif Central, at 410 metres above sea level. To the west, the city is dominated by a basaltic plateau (900m on average) with the chain of Puys, the largest chain of volcanoes (extinguished) in Europe, including the Puy de Dome, the most famous volcano. To the east, the metropolitan area reaches the plain of Limagne, with river Allier. The city is both a point of contact between the plain Limagne and Mountains of Domes. A large part of the city occupies a volcanic hill called the central plateau. It is, in fact, the edge of the crater, 156.000 years old. It is approximately 1,5 km in diameter and has been filled by the alluvium of the Tiretaine, a small river running through the city. Clermont is also built on the edge of the valley of Allier. The city has developed around this central plateau on which stands the cathedral, extending to the east in the plain, and to a lesser extent, on the hillsides to the west. Altitude: about 800 meters.

Terminal: Clermont Ferrand

Age range: 20 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Renovation of an old village square in Pont Saint Esprit
Pont Saint Esprit, Rhone-Alpes          July 23 - August 13, 2014

Volunteer project: The local people of Pont Saint Esprit are committed to preserving and promoting the exceptional heritage of their town, and are inviting volunteers from other countries to support them in a project for the renovation of the old town, steeped in history and old stone. The town council and local residents are all excited to host the group of international volunteers !

You will participate in the development and arrangement of a small square at the entrance of the old town. You will first have to demolish the concrete pavement and remove the rubble and earth. Led by local volunteers and municipal employees, you will then participate in the landscape arrangement of the square to restore its original character. Work is in the morning, 4-5 hours a day.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Hiking, dinner with locals, meeting with volunteers from other workcamps, discovery of Avignon (theater festival, former Pope’s residence), Nîmes…

Accommodation: You will be hosted in a community building in the town center, designed for hosting groups: collective rooms, showers, etc. Bed sheets will be provided. Please, don’t forget to bring your own sleeping bag.

Location: Pont Saint Esprit is town of 11.000 inhabitants, located at the doorway of the Provence, famous for its ancient stone bridge across the Rhône river. The town is quite lively in summer and you will have the opportunity to enjoy the open air cinema, night markets, and the “Nuits des étoiles”. The local people will be ready to welcome you and to show you their town and the surroundings.

Terminal: Bollène

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Vocal Jazz Festival in the medieval town of Crest
Crest, Rhone-Alpes          July 27 - August 13, 2014

Volunteer project: Each year, the Crest Jazz Vocal Festival is the highlight of the summer in town. The preparation of this major event needs a lot of time and people available. For more than 10 years, motivated volunteers have helped with its organization.

Guided by volunteers of the association organizing the Festival, you will participate in the installation of stages, platforms and dressing rooms, support the Festival promotion (posters, distribution of leaflets in the area), cleaning after each performance (scene, outside space…).
Note: Some tasks are repetitive, but essential. The organizers of the festival rely on your motivation to help them before, during, but also after the festival. Working hours will vary according to the needs. There will be little time for leisure or group life. The volunteers should be dynamic, motivated and enthusiastic, and of course, fond of music! You will have a free access pass for the whole festival duration and be able to attend most of the concerts.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Visit of the Tower of Crest and abseiling, visit of the towns of Valence, Montélimar (museum of the miniature and manufacture of nougat) or Die (old town and cooperative cellar), night markets, free concerts within the jazz festival, swimming pool.

Accommodation: In a sports hall. Mattresses will be provided; bring your own sleeping bag.

Location: Located in the Drôme valley, in the south of the regional park of the Vercors, the small town of Crest has 8000 inhabitants. It is a town which owns a heritage of quality, dominated by its medieval tower (52 m high). Very busy in the summer period, the town offers many sport and cultural activities. Towns nearby: Montélimar (40 km) or Valence (30 km).

Terminal: Valence

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Extra fee: 50 Euro

                                                                                                         

 

Crest     At the crossroads of two prestigious and historical routes, the Route des Dauphins which goes North-South and the Hannibal Road which goes East-West, Crest is the traditional stopping place for the visitor. How long has its Tower been dominating the City and who built it?
Many writers and historians have focused their attention on this picturesque place in the Drôme. All of them agree that the foundation of Crest dates back to the 10th century.
However it is likely that the Tower was prior to the City and that it already existed in Roman times. Nowadays we talk about La Tour de Crest as if there were only one tower. In fact, the study of its foundation led to the conclusion - one that has still to be confirmed - that it was built in the 4th century AD. One thing is sure: The tower was built in order to guard the road from Valence to Italy. This is the famous “Hannibal Road” which played an important part in Antiquity.
The foundation of Crest is attributed to the Arnauds, a noble family who owned several castles in the region. They also owned Crest on a “franc alleu” basis which meant without paying any tax to anyone.
In 1632, Louis XIII published an edict ordering the complete destruction of the citadel of Crest. This followed Richelieu’s order that all feudal fortresses be destroyed.
The local authorities managed to avoid part of this destruction program: the Castle and the walls were demolished, but the Tower was spared.
   

   

It was at about that time that the Tower was turned into a prison where a number of key figures were locked up for political reasons. They were followed in the 18th century by priests, soldiers, public servants and even nobles whose actions were not appreciated by the local authorities. People were imprisoned on a simple lettre de cachet, but they were given a great deal of freedom: the prisoners were allowed to organise receptions and balls and they would invite bigwigs of the city with their ladies. Thanks to these festivities, lots of escapes were recorded, the prisoners swapping their clothes with those of their guests.

                                                                                                                                  

 

Reopening an old Roman road and organizing a local festival in Midi-Pyrenees
Antichan de Frontignes, Midi-Pyrenees     July 27 - August 16, 2014

Volunteer project: The volunteers will participate in the reopening of an old Roman road through the village of Antichan de Frontignes. Some of the tasks are: pruning, weeding, cleaning of stones.
The group will also participate in the organization, conducting and closing of the local festival that enlivens the village and entertains much of the population every year.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: The site is rather isolated but offers many opportunities for hiking, exploring the beautiful local heritage sites, sports, possibility for swimming in the lake near the village ... and the village is very lively during the festival.

Accommodation: The volunteers will stay in tents near the village. Tents and sleeping pads are provided. Please, bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Antichan de Frontignes is a small rural village at the foot of the chain of the Pyrenees near the Spanish border, surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery. Altitude: 580 m, 87 residents.

Terminal: Montrejeau Gourdan Polignan

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Riverbank enhancement project in Gelles
Gelles, Auvergne          July 27 - August 16, 2014

Volunteer project: The village of Gelles in the Puy-de-Dôme department of Auvergne has been hosting international volunteer projects for more than 10 years. Volunteers have helped restoring heritage sites, renovating sports facilities, organising the village feast, improving the waste management practices, etc.

This year, the international volunteer team will help enhancing the river and maintaining the embankments. The work tasks include cleaning up the area and removing invasive vegetation.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Village festival in August, exchanges with the young people of the village, musical evening and traditional dance of Auvergne with a local folk group, basketball, pétanque at night, Gel’ Arc: shooting with a bow, international meal, football, tennis, excursion in Clermont Ferrand and hiking on the Puy-de-Dôme.

Accommodation: You will be accommodated in the presbytery in the center of the village. Beds will be provided, bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Located at 850 m of altitude, the village of Gelles covers a surface of 4753 ha and gathers a population of 1002 inhabitants. Gelles is sheltered by the small chain of Puys (Neuffont, Vialle, Banson, and Boucaud). Gelles has beautiful houses made of gray-blue stones, around the Saint-Georges church. Formerly, it was a stage on the Roman way from Clermont to Limoges. Today, close to major roads of communication, it offers beautiful nature. Gelles is 46 km away from Clermont Ferrand.

Terminal: Laqueuille

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

 

 

Creating an educational garden in Issoire
Issoire, Auvergne          July 27 - August 16, 2014

Volunteer project: The international volunteers will help create an educational garden in the town of Issoire. The first phase of the project will consist of cleaning up an abandoned piece of land to accommodate the educational garden. In the second phase, the volunteers will build wooden bins. They will also discuss within the team and come up with proposal for the garden plan. Interest in gardening and growing plants would be helpful. Local volunteers will work with the international participants.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Tour of Issoire (Abbey, Clock Tower, Centre of Roman Art), meetings with local youth, sport activities.

Accommodation: The accommodation is located in the local sport hall. Camp beds provided. Bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Town of 14,000 inhabitants, Issoire is located 35 km south of Clermont Ferrand, between two natural parks: the Auvergne Volcanoes Park and the Livradois Forez Park. The Allier river runs through Issoire and attracts many canoe riders in the summer.

Terminal: Issoire

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Building a traditional bread oven and improving a hiking trail in Livradois-Forez Park
Vollore Ville, Auvergne          July 27 - August 16, 2014

Volunteer project: Vollore Ville is a town offering an exceptional overlook of the volcanic mountains. The diversity of the natural and built heritage of the town attracts many tourists during the summer season.

The volunteers will build a traditional bread oven in the center of the town. A professional will teach you some traditional building techniques. The second work task will consist of maintaining a hiking trail nearby a natural canyon, which would require clearing and building steps.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: The protected natural environment around offers numerous possibilities for outdoor activities like hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, etc.

Accommodation: In tents on a campground. Mattresses are provided. Bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Vollore Ville is located in the heart of the Regional Natural Park of Livradois-Forez. It offers a remarkable view over the Puys, the Sancy Artense and the Park of Livradois. Inhabited since prehistoric times, crossed by the ancient Gallo-Roman route of Auvergne, it was a fortress deemed impregnable until the 6th century. Vollore Ville has a rich history and remarkable architectural and religious heritage. The castle that can be seen from everywhere in the area, attracts many visitors.

Terminal: Thiers

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Waste management and recycling awareness activities at the Inter-Celtic Festival of Lorient
Lorient, Brittany          July 29 - August 15, 2014

FRENCH SPEAKING PROJECT
Volunteer project:
Lorient is a Breton city, on the northwest coast of France, famous for its football team and … its festival! The Inter-Celtic Festival of Lorient is THE worldwide meeting of Celtic cultures. The Festival is a major music event in Brittany, which attracts over 700,000 visitors and more than 2000 artists and speakers each summer. For 10 days, concerts on stage and in bars, free fest’noziou, music workshops, conferences, daily parades, art and costumes exhibitions, a book fair, artisanal markets will take place.
You will have a free access pass for the whole festival and your working days will be arranged so that you can take the most of the festival, the concerts and entertainment.

Three international volunteers will join the team of French volunteers (around 15 people in total) to manage the collection, sorting and recycling of waste on the site (assembly and installation of bins, collection rounds, cleaning on site), but also to run awareness raising initiatives on recycling among people in charge of the stands and festival-goers. That’s why you have to be able to speak French. Be aware that you will have to work every day, in small groups. You will not have day off during the workcamp but many breaks every day to rest, discover the city and enjoy the crazy atmosphere of the event! You'll have the possibility to arrange your working schedule to attend the concerts you are interested in.
For this project, we are looking for motivated volunteers, ready to meet other people, and willing to have a good time while working on cleaning the place!

Special requirements: Ability to speak French is necessary for participation in this project (you will have to communicate in French with festival-goers during the awareness actions).

Language: French

Accommodation: You will be hosted in a big house together with the French volunteers. You will sleep on mattresses; please bring your own sleeping bag.

Location: Lorient is a city of about 60,000 inhabitants in the Morbihan department in Brittany in north-western France.

Terminal: Lorient

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Extra fee: 50 Euro

                                                                                                         

 

Cadip volunteer project review:

"I wanted to give you some positive feedback on my time in Clansayes, in France. I had one of the best times of my life. The program was exactly as I wanted, and so much more. I had wanted to travel to Europe, but not just backpack through the place. I wanted to get immersed in the culture to get a feel of how life can be over here. In Clansayes, I was totally in touch with the culture. The villagers treated me as a son, a brother, and a friend. The camp leader, Madj, was so diligent with regards to the positivity of our stay there. He was constantly organizing day trips, speaking with the villagers to request bikes for us, and anything else he could do to make our stay more memorable. I loved the people I was staying with. I met people from all over Europe, Russia, and Africa. I met so many people, but not only that, I had time to actually get to know them. I have learned so much from the late night political discussions with 2 serbs and 1 man from Spain. I spoke for hours, and listened for even longer. The mayor of the town was awesome, he took us swimming at his sisters house, he gave us the towns sound system when we requested music, and he pulled some strings to allow all 16 of us have a day of golfing practice. What a guy. I loved the way 2 or 3 of us would cook for everyone else, that allowed for some interesting meals, but also to get to know each other in a deeper way. If you cannot tell by my tone, I am absolutely endorsing this workcamp, I will speak extremely high of your organization and I will tell all of my friends in the states what a wonderful time I had. I believe that I am a better person for having this experience, thank you very much."

Stephen M.,
Cadip volunteer 2007

 

Restoration of heritage sites in a medieval village in Midi-Pyrenees
      Puy l’Eveque, Midi-Pyrenees          August 3 - August 23, 2014

Volunteer project: The charming town of Puy L’Eveque receives for the 11th consecutive year an international volunteer workcamp to assist in its work on renovating the local heritage and creating areas for rest and relaxation. The local council and residents, accustomed to hosting international groups are hoping for numerous exchanges with the volunteers and are willing to share friendly moments with you.

Supervised by a professional, you will continue the masonry work, started by previous international volunteer groups, for the construction of a stone wall. You will also take part in various beautification projects located in the historic village of Puy l'Eveque. This project is ideal for those who love old stones and manual work.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Swimming pool, canoeing and kayaking, visits to surrounding fortified castles, hikes.

Accommodation: In dormitories in municipal apartments. Take your sleeping bag.

Location: At an altitude of 130 m, 30 km west of the town of Cahors, Puy l’Evêque is a picturesque village of 2300 inhabitants. It is a former medieval town, located in the heart of Cahors vineyards. It is built on a hill overlooking the river Lot. It has a very rich heritage of stone built houses and walls. Nearest town is Cahors, rich in history.

Terminal: Cahors

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Preserving the environment of the Tartaret Volcano
Murol, Auvergne          August 3 - August 23, 2014

Volunteer project: Tartaret Volcano is the youngest of the Massif Central and is under environmental protection. The international volunteer group will be involved in the preservation of the environment of the Tartaret Massif. The group will work on the enhancement of the Couze Chambon river and maintenance of its banks. This would require cleaning and removing invasive vegetation. The volunteers will be under supervision of a professional. The group will work 5 hours in the morning, 5 days per week from Monday to Friday.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Tours, excursions, hiking, canoe, museums…

Accommodation: Accommodation under tents near the rugby playground. Mattresses will be provided. Murol is 860 metres above sea level; please bring a warm sleeping bag.

Location: Murol is considered as one of the most beautiful sites of the Auvergne region. The village of 560 inhabitants is a part of the Natural Regional Park of the Volcanoes of Auvergne. It is located in the Massif du Sancy formed 5 millions years ago. The village benefits of a preserved environment and great landscapes made up of volcanoes and lakes. The site attracted a lot of artists at the beginning of the 20th century who created the Murol School. Murol is 38 km away from Clermont-Ferrand.

Terminal: Clermont-Ferrand

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Renovation of hiking paths and organising a festival in Midi-Pyrenees
Le Truel, Midi-Pyrenees          August 4 - August 22, 2014

Volunteer project: Volunteers will work on an environmental project in the village of Le Truel in southern France. Supervised by municipal staff, the group will take part in the restoration of hiking trails: cleaning and clearing. You will work 5 hours per day, 5 days per week. Ability to work in a team is important.

You will also help in the preparation and organisation of the village festival taking place on August 9-10 on the theme of sports games. People from Le Truel and the neighboring villages get together for this event.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Hiking paths to explore, volleyball, soccer, tennis, swimming pool, fishing, water sports, exploring the architectural heritage of the region, etc.

Accommodation: You will be accommodated in a place, close to the municipal camping. Mattresses will be provided.

Location: The village of Le Truel is a small village (332 inhabitants) but during summer a lot of tourists drive in. It is dived in a natural environment with remarkable views and a swimming area.

Terminal: Rodez

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Rehabilitation of a rural heritage site in Auvergne
Chaspinhac, Auvergne          August 10 - August 30, 2014

Volunteer project: For the third year, the municipality of Chaspinhac hosts international volunteers. The town's unique natural environment and rich heritage attract tourists during the summer: the Saint -Julien Historic Monument, hiking trails, a church. The municipality has undertaken a 3-year rehabilitation of the Saint-Quentin site, which is a former hamlet overlooking the Loire. This site will eventually host an information point for hikers, a cultural center (open theater area), as well as exhibition spaces on the flora, fauna and local history.

This summer, the international volunteers will complete the third phase of the rehabilitation works on the Saint-Quentin site in Chaspinhac. The team will work on the preservation of one of the buildings (strengthening the existing walls, pointing with lime), excavation and clearing the site to welcome tourists. You will work 5 hours in the morning, 5 days a week.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Tours, hiking, excursions, meetings with local farmers are some of the possible activities. This workcamp is for those who like nature and are really interested in the environmental/ecological dimension of the project.

Accommodation: The group will be accommodated in a building in the center of the village. Mattresses will be available. Bring your own sleeping bag. Volunteers will build and use solar showers. You will travel from the accommodation to the work site by car.

Location: Chaspinhac has 800 inhabitants and is located 15 km north of Le Puy-en-Velay city (no transportation from the village to the city). It’s a village steeped in history that attracts many tourists and hikers, especially with its preserved environment. Several sites are under environmental protection: the Loire’s Gorges, the Loire’s Valley. One of the hiking trails that crosses the Saint-Quentin site, offers a beautiful view on the Loire’s Gorges. The hamlet of Saint-Quentin, built in the mid 19th century, hosted farms years ago. Deserted for more than 70 years now, the buildings are turning into ruins.

Terminal: Le Puy-en-Velay

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Improving the environment and organising a village festival in Aveyron
Saint Leons, Midi-Pyrenees          August 10 - August 30, 2014

Volunteer project: The city of Saint Leons welcomes this summer for the first time an international workcamp to help improve the living environment by renovating its local heritage and developing natural areas. Another aim of the project is to integrate the international volunteers in the local life, especially during the village festival.

Supervised by municipal employees, you will participate in various works around the theme of environmental protection and restoration of local heritage. You can help in different tasks such as cleaning and clearing of footpaths and cleaning of old houses for future rehabilitation.
Finally, during the last weekend, there will be the feast of the village. You will take part in the preparation of the festival along with the local residents.

Language: English

Accommodation: You will be accommodated in tents at the old football stadium, a 30 minute walk from the village center. Tents and sleeping mattress are provided. Bring your own sleeping bag.

Location: Located halfway between Rodez and Millau, Saint Leons is a charming village in the Aveyron department. Its uniqueness comes from its amphitheatrical location. Backed on the slope of the plateau de Lévézou, it dominates the valley of the Muse which course meanders through Tarn over a distance of 20 kilometers. From its rich past that dates back to the 6th century, there are remains of the castle which was recently restored, as well as many restored typical houses.

Terminal: Millau

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Couvre Feu music festival
Corsept, Pays-de-Loire          August 13 - August 29, 2014

Volunteer project: Couvre Feu is a music festival with rock, reggae, ska, metal, and pop rock concerts, which takes place every year in Corsept in the Loire-Atlantique department in western France. The 13th edition of the festival will take place on August 22, 23 and 24, 2014. The organization of such an event requires a lot of time and people available, and for more than 10 years international volunteers have been involved in the organization of the festival to help run the event and accommodate more than 25,500 visitors. 

Supervised by the directors of the organizing team, you will participate in setting up and taking down the festival. This includes the installation of circus tents (where concerts take place), closing the site with barriers, arranging parking lots, dressing rooms, refreshment stands and catering. During the 3 days of the festival, you will also participate in welcoming the public and site maintenance. The week following the festival weekend will be dedicated to dismantling, equipment storage, cleaning and restoration of the site.
Note: Tasks are a little repetitive but essential. Festival organizers are counting on your motivation to help before, during and after the festival. Work schedules will vary a lot according to the needs. Little time for leisure activities, but the atmosphere is very festive. Volunteers must be especially dynamic and enthusiastic, and of course must be music fans!

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Enjoying the beach and water sports; charming beach resorts like Pornic and Saint-Brevin-les-Pins; large sandy beaches dotted with fishing spots; walks along the coastal footpath in Bourgneuf Bay, along the Loire estuary, or in swamps and thickets of the hinterland.

Accommodation: You will stay, as all the other volunteers (400 people) and organizers of the festival, in tents at a camping site. Tents will be provided, you will need to bring a sleeping bag and mattress.

Location: Located on the south bank of the Loire estuary, and northern boundary of the Pays de Retz Atlantic, the village of Corsept has 2,600 inhabitants. Pays de Retz is at the heart of unspoiled landscapes between Brittany and the Vendee, west of Nantes and bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Loire.

Terminal: Nantes

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Extra fee: 50 Euro

                                                                                                         

 

Incredible Edible Billom
Billom, Auvergne          August 17 - September 6, 2014

Volunteer project: After 13 years of partnership with the Municipality of Billom, the locals welcome ever more enthusiastically the international volunteers. The project will take place in the heart of this beautiful medieval town.

The aim of the project is to help enrich the community of Billom by providing easy access to healthy local food. The volunteer work will involve the construction of several wooden bins to be installed in the medieval city, which will serve as community gardens for the local residents to plant different vegetables and aromatic herbs in the spirit of the Incredible Edible movement. You will work 5 hours a day, in the morning, 5 days a week, from Monday to Friday.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Participation in a medieval festival, meeting with the local associations, visiting the medieval city, swimming pool, football, basketball, tennis, hiking in the gorges of Madet, horseback riding, visiting Mauzun Castle and the Castle of La Chaux Montgros, visiting the park Livradois Drill, visiting the cities of Clermont-Ferrand and Issoire.

Accommodation: In the main building of the campsite. Mattresses will be provided. There's a supermarket, bakery, butcher’s shop, restaurants, pharmacy and café in the village.

Location: Billom is a village of 4800 inhabitants located in the Regional Natural Park of Livradois-Forez, 20 min from Clermont-Ferrand and from Thiers. Originally Gallic village and druidic center, the Romans made of it a stop on the great way connecting Lyon to Bordeaux. Its intense development enabled the village to become one of the first important towns of Auvergne in the XII century and to build its fortifications. Billom is renowned for its medieval quarter in the heart of the city and its architectural and historical heritage. It is a dynamic city that hosts many events throughout the year. Billom is 25 km away from Clermont-Ferrand.

Terminal: Clermont Ferrand

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Restoration of dry stone walls in the magnificent Valley of Champagny
Champagny, Rhone-Alpes          August 24 - September 13, 2014

Volunteer project: Supervised by local employees and employees of the National Park, the group of international volunteers will participate in the restoration of dry-stone walls on the path leading to the chapel of Friburge in the small valley of Champagny le Haut. You will live and work amidst a magnificent environment! The work activities are 5 hours per day, 5 days per week. You’ll have to walk 1 km every morning to get to the workplace.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Hiking, mountain-biking, Via Feratta, rock climbing, glacier museum, swimming, bowls, ping-pong, etc.

Accommodation: Accommodation in Champagny le Haut (5 km from Champagny Village) at the town’s campsite. Bar, restaurant, Wi-Fi access, grocery, washing machine, TV lounge, bowls playing ground, table football, ping-pong tables available at the campsite. Sleeping in tents. Mattresses will be provided; please bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Appreciated by tourists in winter for its ski slopes, the town of Champagny-en-Vanoise, situated at 1250m altitude, benefits from an exceptional natural environment. You will definitely have the opportunity to go for a hike in the alpine pastures and observe the mountain flora and fauna (marmots, ibex, chamois goats…) but also to meet the local people who will be delighted to show you the surroundings.

Terminal: Moutiers

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

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