Volunteer in France

Enhancement of the Fort of the Dunes in the North of France
Leffrinckoucke, Hauts-de-France       July 2 - July 18, 2024

Volunteer project: After more than a decade of successfully hosting international volunteers from 2006 to 2022, the municipality of Leffrinckoucke wishes to welcome for the 17th time an international volunteer group to take part in the restoration of the Fort des Dunes, a military fort built in the 19th century. The fortress is located in the North of France, 500 meters from the beach and 500 meters from the city of Dunkirk. The goal is to develop and enhance the site so that it could be visited and used for cultural purposes by local associations and music bands, and at the same time to create intercultural dynamics by encouraging links between local people, visitors and volunteers.

Over the years, important improvements have been made to open this site to the public. Outside, a secure tour route is offered, with interpretation of the site with the help of an audio guide; and inside, some rooms have been restored and opened to visitors, including a room dedicated to the history of the fort with an interactive presentation and animated model of Operation Dynamo.

With a technical leader, you will work on various parts of the site of the fort. The planned activities consist of clearing of the exterior parts, restoration of the exterior stairs, collection of old paving stones and branches, and clearing brush off the ditches. This work will be carried out in small groups.
Among the highlights of the project is the Beach Festival, a meeting with associations of the town during the first weekend of July. The volunteers will help prepare and participate in the Beach Festival, and will present the international volunteer projects. The group will also be able to participate in the World Shrimp Peeling Championship.

Language: English

Leisure activities: Nature lovers can go for a walk on the Dune Dewulf. This remarkable nature reserve of the Nord-Pas-De-Calais coastline extends over nearly 300 hectares. It is a mixture of wooded dunes, wet plains and dry dunes and thus has an important ecological value.

Accommodation: Volunteers will be accommodated in a tent and will have access to a kitchen and sanitary facilities. Mattresses are provided. Please bring a sleeping bag.

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

Nearest terminal: Dunkerque

Nearest airport: Lille

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Developing the Grole pond recreation area
Orleat, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes       July 7 - July 20, 2024

Volunteer project: Located in Auvergne near Thiers, Orleat spreads over an area of more than 25 square km with a number of ponds. The municipality wishes to welcome volunteers to its program for valorization of the ponds located on the trail routes.

In 2022, the municipality began to develop the Grole pond by creating a user-friendly area. This year, it plans to continue clearing brush around the recreation area. Work on clearing brush and laying out will be necessary to make the area around the pond accessible again. Vegetation waste will be removed. Your work will allow the municipality to start planning the landscaping in order to make the place as beautiful, safe and eco-friendly as possible. Then you will remove vegetation on the other side of the pond in order to allow regular maintenance in the future. You will work 4 to 5 hours a day. An employee of the municipal services will follow the progress. Local volunteers will come to meet you and lend a hand.

Language: English

Leisure activities: Hikers will be pleased with the many small hiking trails around the village. On the campsite, you will enjoy different activities and will have access to the petanque court, the swimming pool and the ping pong tables. Outside, you will find many hiking trails going through the different Orleat hamlets which will give you the opportunity to discover the region. You could also visit the Saint-Bonnet church, a listed historical monument. As always, the people of Orleat will be delighted to help you learn about the area.

Accommodation: You will be accommodated in tents at a campsite. You will have access to the sanitary facilities and showers at the camping site. A kitchen area will be arranged in a marquee. You will also get to use the barbecue at the campsite. The Grole pond is located 20 minute walk away.

Location: Orleat is located in the Puy-de-Dôme department in Auvergne in central France.

Nearest terminal: Clermont-Ferrand

Nearest airport: Clermont-Ferrand

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Olympic Games adventure
Saint-Jean-Bonnefonds, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes       July 13 - July 28, 2024

Volunteer project: Between the Monts du Lyonnais and the Massif du Pilat, Saint-Jean-de-Bonnefonds will welcome you with its breathtaking views. In the context of the Olympic Games and Saint-Jean-Bonnefonds benefiting from the Terre de Jeux 2024 label, the town wishes to welcome a new team of volunteers to participate in its commitment to the adventure of the Olympic Games. In this context, and to promote the commitment of young people, you will participate in a variety of activities.

First, you will use your artistic spirit by creating a mural on a wall in the Fay district. You will then help municipal services to paint different pedestrian crossings in the city (varied colors/patterns). Finally, you will be responsible for organizing the Youth Olympiad. Your mission will be to set up this event, with the municipality's youth center and its supervisors, for the opening of the Olympic Games. You will organize the opening and closing ceremonies, the various sporting and cultural activities. This Olympiad will also be an opportunity to present your country and your culture.
Four local young people will participate alongside you in this project. You will be able to discuss your different cultures and they will show you their town. You will be supervised by municipal agents who will share their know-how with you and will be keen to help you learn more about the municipality. You will work 4 to 5 hours per day.

Language: English

Leisure activities: Saint-Jean-Bonnefonds being ideally located, you can easily visit the towns of Saint Etienne and Lyon. Nature lovers will also be able to take advantage of the hiking trails around the town while history lovers will be able to stroll through the streets to discover its ancient monuments such as the church, the ruins of the Bourg castle or the Bonnefonds spring which gives its name to the town. During the project, you will be able to enjoy the festivities of the national holiday of July 14th which will be an occasion to meet with locals.

Accommodation: You will be accommodated in the primary school located in the center of the town. You will have access to sanitary facilities, a kitchen area, several sleeping areas as well as the school courtyard. You will walk or bike to the work site.

Location: Saint-Jean-Bonnefonds is a town of 6,600 residents located in the Loire department in the Auvergne Rhone-Alpes region. Bordering Saint-Etienne, the town is also only half an hour drive from Lyon. Saint-Jean-Bonnefonds owes its rise thanks to the mine and the passementerie industry and the exchanges with the neighboring city Saint-Etienne. Following the successive cessation of these two industries, the town had to turn to new economic horizons. It has thus industrialized and continues to develop within Saint-Etienne Metropole - the agglomeration community to which the town belongs.

Nearest terminal: Saint-Etienne

Nearest airport: Lyon

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Restoring the trail to the Apiary Wall in Moustiers
Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence       August 18 - September 7, 2024

Volunteer project: After the success of two projects to redevelop the walking path leading to the Grotte de la Madeleine, Moustiers Sainte Marie, one of the most beautiful villages in France, wishes to welcome a new team of volunteers in order to promote its rich heritage.

This year, the project will focus on the development of the "Descent of the Apiary Wall". An Apiary wall is a dry stone wall in which niches intended to accommodate beehives were built. The work will consist of: cleaning and clearing the path, scraping and cleaning the steps, restoration of the steps at the top, laying steps using stones on the lower part of the path. This project will allow you to acquire many new skills. The technical supervisor, experienced in working with international volunteers, will be delighted to share his know-how with you. You will work in an exceptional environment.

Language: English

Leisure activities: You can stroll the streets of this typical Provençal village steeped in history. You can also go up to the Chapel of Notre Dame de Beauvoir, classified as a historical monument, which overlooks and offers an exceptional view of the village and the Verdon valley. You will meet the pottery craftsmen and visit the village museum. You can also visit the Verdon Natural Regional Park and learn more about this preserved place. The residents, community volunteers and elected officials will be happy to meet you.

Accommodation: You will be accommodated in a building adjoining the church, located in the center of the village, with access to a kitchen and sanitary facilities. The work site is only a 10 minute walk away.

Location: Located in the heart of the Alpes de Hautes Provence department and the Verdon Regional Natural Park, the town of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie has a rich built and natural heritage.

Nearest terminal: Dignes-les-Bains

Nearest airport: Marseille

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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