Volunteer in France

Renovation of an ancient stone fountain
Echenevex, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes       June 30 - July 20, 2019

Volunteer project: Ideally located between the Jura Mountains and the Lake Geneva, the small town of Echenevex hosted international volunteer groups in 2013 and 2015 which left good memories, and the town will host a new group this summer. Echenevex has numerous water fountains and stone basins that are being renovated year after year. One of these fountains will be the subject of this summer's renovation project. Hosting a volunteer team will also be an opportunity for creating new connections and activities in this small peaceful town.

Led and assisted by the municipal technicians, you will carry out renovation work on and around an ancient stone fountain: terracing, repaving the ground, landscaping tasks around the fountain. You will also participate in cleaning and clearing activities on the footpath leading to the fountain. Work activities take place in the morning, 4 to 5 hours a day, 5 days per week.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Shared meals and activities with the local people, hiking, exploring the Natural Park of the Jura Mountains, visiting Geneva, visit of the CERN, swimming, etc. You will also be in charge of organizing an international dinner for the town residents.

Accommodation: The volunteer team will be hosted in a municipal building (a multi-purpose hall) in Echenevex. Mattresses will be provided; please don't forget to bring your sleeping bag.

Location: The town of Echenevex, 1600 inhabitants, is located about 20 kilometers from Geneva, nestled between Lake Geneva and the Jura Mountains, at about 500m of altitude. Local people will be glad to help you discover the town and the surroundings. The town is a mix of thirty different nationalities due to its proximity to Geneva.

Terminal: Geneva

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Enhancement of the Youth center in Aussillon
Aussillon, Occitanie       June 16 - July 6, 2019

Volunteer project: The town of Aussillon is pleased to host its first international group of volunteers this year. Volunteers are invited to help with the work on a municipal building (the Youth center) and to meet the local population. About 10 young people from the municipality will also take part in the project.

The international volunteers will participate in the enhancement of the Youth Center in Aussillon. This will involve painting in the main hall (refreshing and decorating), making furniture out of reclaimed materials for the exterior of the centre, laying out a terrace, installation of a green corner outside (a garden), storage and arrangement of the garage. On Saturday, June 29th, the Reflets and Rhythms Festival will be held, in which the volunteers will be able to participate.

Language: English

Accommodation: The volunteers will stay in tents at the Rene Carayol stadium with access to the stadium's changing rooms and showers. Please bring your sleeping bag.

Location: The commune of Aussillon has a population of 6000 and is located near the city of Mazamet, in the department of Tarn. It is a dynamic town located in the heart of a region rich in historical and natural heritage.

Terminal: Aussillon

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Improve amenities and visitor experience at an educational farm
Retournac, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes       June 23 - July 3, 2019

Volunteer project: Volunteers will be welcomed on an educational farm in Retournac amidst a unique and preserved area by the Loire River. The farm is an unusual and unique place of agricultural production (vegetables, breads, cheeses), artistic creation and education. All these activities are carried out with respect to the environment and organic farming.

You will be involved in improving the environment of the farm and making it more welcoming: building picnic tables, improving access to the cheese factory by setting up steps, building shelves. You can choose the workshops according to your preferences. You will be guided by a technical supervisor. The work takes place in the morning for up to 4 hours. Afternoons and weekends are dedicated to other activities.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: During your free time, you can discover the fauna and flora along the Loire. The region offers many possibilities for hiking along the river. Come and enjoy the freshness of the river with exceptional panoramas of the volcanoes of Velay. Finally, you will have the opportunity to discover the different activities on the farm and experience the life of shepherds, bakers and farmers!

Accommodation: You will be accommodated in the lodge of the farm with all the modern facilities. The cottage was built with ecological materials with respect to the environment. It offers an exceptional setting for a unique stay. Please bring your sleeping bag. Meals will be prepared with seasonal and local products. You will discover an authentic cuisine and will have the opportunity to learn new recipes.

Location: The farm is located in Haute-Loire, in the town of Retournac. There are different places of interest near the farm: the amazing ruins of the Castle of Artias, the Loire Gorges (one of the most beautiful rivers in France), volcanic mountains, etc.

Terminal: Le Puy en Velay

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Extra fee: 200 Euro

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Restoration and maintenance of the neo-Gothic church of St. Barthelemy
Mielan, Occitanie       June 30 - July 20, 2019

Volunteer project: The municipality of Mielan wants to host a group of international volunteers to enhance its built heritage and promote exchanges with the local population.

For this first project, the town invites you to participate in development work at the church of St. Barthelemy. The main focus will be on works outside the church, on a wall and a small garden: joints to restore and clearing work. In case of bad weather, there will be cleaning and painting tasks inside the church.

Language: English

Accommodation: The volunteers will be housed in the dojo (multipurpose room). Mattresses will be provided but you need to bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Mielan is a town located in the Gers on the national road 21, halfway between Auch to the north and Tarbes to the south, and 13 km southwest of Mirande, between Osse and Boues. Mielan has some examples of medieval architecture including half-timbered houses, but many mansions or public buildings also belong to the Second Empire style. The town has four churches and a chapel. In the center of town, the Saint-Barthelemy church is a neo-Gothic building with an imposing neo-Roman bell tower visible in the distance. Its construction began in 1869 but the bell tower was built in 1900.

Terminal: Mielan

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Enhancing the built heritage of Mirande
Mirande, Occitanie       June 30 - July 20, 2019

Volunteer project: The municipality of Mirande invites a group of international volunteers to enhance its built heritage and promote exchanges with the local population.

Volunteers in this project will contribute to the enhancement of the heritage of Mirande. You will participate in the demolition of the barn attached to the tower of Rohan, which is a protected site, and will help redoing the coating of the remaining walls.

Language: English

Accommodation: Accommodation under tents; kitchen and facilities available in a building nearby. Please bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Mirande is a town of 3500 residents located in Auch county. It is in the center of an urban area composed of nine other villages. The city was founded in the 13th century and its rich historical heritage bears witness to its long history.

Terminal: Mirande

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Rehabilitation projects in Cauterets and the Pyrenees National Park
Cauterets, Occitanie       June 30 - July 13, 2019

Volunteer project: The municipality of Cauterets welcomes a group of international volunteers to participate in the enhancement of its area. Come and discover the rich natural and historic heritage of this centuries-old spa town and winter ski resort!

The volunteers are invited to participate in various works in the municipality: demolition of an old building at the Pont d'Espagne, removal of sheet metal roofing, framing, masonry, stone recovery for reuse. The work will be supervised by a technical leader.

Language: English

Accommodation: Tent accommodation at a camping with access to locker rooms. Sleeping bag is needed.

Location: Cauterets is a town with 900 residents, located in the department of Hautes-Pyrenees, in the region of Occitania. It is both a spa and a very dynamic winter sports resort, and attracts many visitors in summer and winter. The village gives access to many hiking trails that lead to several natural tourist sites, such as Peguere, Lake Gaube, Petit Vignemale (3,032 m), the Bridge of Spain, a village on the side of the mountains crossed by a waterfall or the small mountain of La Fruitiere.

Terminal: Cauterets

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Restoration of heritage sites in Etoile
Etoile sur Rhone, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes       July 1 - July 20, 2019

Volunteer project: Between the Vercors mountains and the Provence region, the pretty town of Etoile sur Rhône has been welcoming international volunteer groups every summer for more than 40 years! Thousands of volunteers have participated through the years in the renovation of the paved alleys and historical monuments of the town, which has a rich cultural heritage. You will be delighted by the Drôme Valley. Those interested in cultural history will not be disappointed!

The volunteers will continue the restoration and enhancement work started last summer in the town in order to preserve its authentic environment. Possible tasks are: renovation of low walls, old steps and stone planters. The work will be directed by a technical supervisor.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Let yourself be seduced by the Drôme’s natural beauty and wealth of cultural heritage! Located between the Alps and Provence, this area will amaze those who are passionate about history and various excursions to the towns situated at the top of sun-drenched hills will be possible. La Drôme is an area waiting to be discovered! You will be able to visit Etoile-sur-Rhone’s surrounding area, attend the Lake festival and the National day celebrations on July 14th, meet with other volunteer groups, travel to the Vercors mountains, visit nearby cities (Crest, Montelimar, Valence) and get to know their specialties: Nougat and olive oil production.

Accommodation: You will be staying in the chapel located in Etoile-sur-Rhône’s town centre! Refurbished by previous volunteer groups, this building is now very comfortable: there are dorms, showers, a shared kitchen and a huge lounge for spending time with other volunteers (ping pong table available!). A washing machine will be provided for the volunteers. 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, 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

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Restoration of a historic military fortification in Rhone-Alpes
Limonest, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes       July 1 - July 14, 2019

Volunteer project: The town of Limonest is located in the North of Lyon urban area. Small town where living is easy, very attached to its natural and historical heritage, it has hosted international volunteers three times in the past years. This is an important project with many different work and leisure activities, and many meetings with the local people.

The work will be held on the site of the “Batterie des carrières”, a former military fort dating back to the late 19th century. Many local volunteers, passionate about their heritage, will accompany you. Volunteers will work on the following projects: consolidation of a new walking path leading to the lime kiln; refurbishment of the lime kiln; door repair; repair of a staircase; masonry work on a wall; gravel laying on the pathways; strengthening the access to a gateway. These projects may be physically demanding. Work is 4 to 5 hours a day, 5 days a week.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Visit to Lyon (Fourvières, Croix Rousse, Cathedral, Place des Terreaux, Museum of Arts, park and zoo of la Tête d’Or…), hiking in the Mont d’Or and the Beaujolais wine region, visiting vineyards, swimming, dinners and parties with locals, participation in local celebrations (fireworks, concert). You will be in charge of organizing an international dinner for the local people during your stay.

Accommodation: You will be accommodated in a municipal building. Mattresses will be provided. Please bring your own sleeping bag.

Location: The town of Limonest is located a few miles away from Lyon, in the Mont d’Or region. The Monts d’Or offer hilly landscapes and beautiful natural and historical heritage. With the many local organizations and volunteers involved in the project, you will have the opportunity to learn about the region and its history.

Terminal: Lyon

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Heritage conservation in Haute-Loire
Saint Jean de Nay, Auvergne Rhône-Alpes       July 7 - July 27, 2019

Volunteer project: Saint-Jean-de-Nay is a picturesque rural village in Haute-Loire. The municipality will welcome this summer a group of volunteers for the revitalization of the village. Saint-Jean-de-Nay has a rich built heritage, and the municipality wishes to preserve it with your help for the current and future generations. The residents look forward to meeting you!

You will participate in the renovation of the fountain which is a central element of the village. The tasks are: cleaning, repairing the stones, reinforcement of the structure and paving around the fountain. This project will require masonry work: a great opportunity to learn about this ancient craft! A technical supervisor will be on site to teach you specific restoration techniques. The team will work in the morning, for 5 hours a day.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Visit to a cheese manufacturer, sport activities, hiking, excursions, swimming.

Accommodation: You will be accommodated in tents with all the facilities nearby, 5 minutes from the town center. Please bring a sleeping bag.

Location: Saint-Jean-de-Nay is a rural village with 430 residents, located in a preserved environment and it has a great architectural and historical heritage. Archaeological remains from the Antiquity were found there. Saint-Jean-de-Nay is 6 km away from Loudes and 18 km away from Puy-en-Velay (the main city of Haute-Loire).

Terminal: Le Puy en Velay

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Restoration and promotion of the historic heritage of Viviers
Viviers, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes       July 7 - July 20, 2019

Volunteer project: Attention all architecture and heritage lovers! A great project is organised, with historical discoveries and friendly meetings. International participants will join efforts with French volunteers for the restoration and promotion of the regional heritage of Viviers, a splendid little town in Ardèche near the Rhône river. They will work on several historic sites, in particular a large Renaissance residence in the downtown and an old working-class city. In partnership with Viviers town hall, international volunteer projects took place in the past 4 years. Local people will be happy to help you discover their city and its surroundings.

The international team will work with local volunteers on the two historic sites that are the pride of Viviers. If you are interested in construction and architecture, this project is made for you!

Volunteers will continue the rehabilitation work on the South Wing of the House of the Knights, which is a magnificent mansion from the Renaissance whose superb facade is one of the monumental jewels of the town. Volunteer tasks include: stone cutting of a frame to close a door, renovation of the cellar, finalizing the coating of the vault. The group will also clear the backyard and level the ground to facilitate the evacuation of rainwater from the yard.

The second work site is Cité Blanche. The Viviers-Le Teil factory is the birthplace of the world’s leader in cement production Lafarge. The factory and its Cité Blanche (White City) represent the organization and architecture of the workers' cities in the 19th century. This former working-class city is classified as a historical monument since 1995. It houses an interpretation center on the working life in the city, the history of the factory and work in the quarries, the techniques of tile-mosaic, roofing, work of stone and wood. The volunteers will help improve the exhibition spaces and the visitors experience at Cité Blanche. They will also arrange a walkway which is currently covered by vegetation.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Special evenings and meals will be organised during the project. Along with the local volunteers, you will have the opportunity to discover the region and its history: visits of the old city and historical sites in the surroundings, markets, hiking, kayaking on the Ardèche river, nautical base. The local people are very enthusiastic to welcome the international volunteers!

Accommodation: The group will be hosted in a building in the city center. Mattresses will be provided but don’t forget to bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Viviers is a beautiful city of 4.000 inhabitants that overlooks the Rhône Valley. It has an important architectural heritage and a very nice and warm weather. A lot of meetings with the local population will be organized during your stay. Cultural discoveries and good atmosphere are guaranteed!

Terminal: Montelimar

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Brighten up a school in Cluses
Cluses, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes       July 7 - July 28, 2019

Volunteer project: Welcome to the Northern Alps region! Halfway between Mount Blanc and Léman lake, the town of Cluses and its exceptional views await you this summer for an international volunteer project. You will be welcomed by some of the town’s local young people, aged 18 to 25, who will be by your side working on the project and showing you their splendid region. Expect cultural immersion and celebrations on this exciting volunteer project.

You will make a contribution to the beautification of a school! Working together with 8 local young people, you will carry out some important work for the children by putting colour and life back into a school located in a popular neighbourhood of the city. To do this, your Franco-international team will take part in different activities: repainting the school hallways, refreshing an exterior wall with mural paintings on the theme of sharing and cultural awareness! You will be helped by two local leaders for the technical part. For the painting task, you will be able to bring in your artistic talents and your collective creativity to produce murals which express the group’s shared values. The work will be done in the morning (5 hours a day, Monday to Friday).

Language: English

Possible free time activities: You will put together an itinerary of cultural and leisure activities with your French team-mates involving sports, swimming in lakes, excursions, visit to Annecy and other towns, celebratory meals, and of course plenty of cultural exchanges! The young people of Cluses look forward to helping you explore the region and their culture, as well as getting to know you all better!

Accommodation: You will be staying in a building in the town, near the city centre and shopping facilities. On site there's a kitchen, showers and a common room; one of the rooms will be converted into a dormitory. Beds will be provided, but you must bring your own sleeping bag.

Location: At the foot of one of the most beautiful mountains in the Northern Alps, and on the edge of the Great Alpine Road, the pretty town of Cluses and its 17,000 inhabitants live in an ideal location! Close to Italy and Switzerland (40 minutes from Geneva!), Cluses gives you direct access to well-known tourist sites such as Mont Blanc or lake Léman: you will be amazed by the greenery and you will be able to learn more about the culture of high altitude towns through unique cultural visits and activities! Also, you will be able to make the most of the city’s summer events.

Terminal: Cluses

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Revitalizing a historic canal in Auvergne
Sainte Florine, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes       July 8 - July 28, 2019

Volunteer project: Sainte Florine will welcome volunteers from different countries for the third time this summer. The town's plan is to clean up and upgrade a canal on the banks of the Leuge, which was used by a glassware factory, and later to set up a trail with explanatory boards. The canal is part of the local historical heritage which the locals want to promote and preserve for future generations. The volunteer group will help in the revitalization of the community and restoration of the canal.

Your mission during the project will be to clean and reinforce the banks of the canal which spans about 200 meters. This will require removing brush and the invasive Japanese knotweed, cleaning the stones of the walls of the canal, masonry and re-jointing to repair some disintegrated parts of the walls. A technical supervisor will be on site to guide and teach you specific techniques. The work takes place in the morning, for up to 5 hours.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Sports activities, excursions, swimming, etc. You will also celebrate the 14th of July and will be able to see the Tour de France.

Accommodation: You will stay at the municipal school. Mattresses will be provided, please bring a sleeping bag. The showers are in a building 500 meters from the school.

Location: Sainte Florine is a picturesque former mining town of 3000 residents located in the unspoiled natural landscape of Auvergne. The town has a rich architectural and historical heritage. Sainte Florine is 10 km from Brioude and 18 km from Issoire.

Terminal: Issoire

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Restoration of an ancient castle in the Pyrenees
Durban-sur-Arize, Occitanie       July 8 - July 20, 2019
Durban-sur-Arize, Occitanie       August 19 - August 31, 2019

Volunteer project: The Medieval Castle of Saint-Barthelemy and its chapel stand on a hill just above the gorges of Arize, in the municipality of Durban-sur-Arize. 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 development of a permanent visitor and volunteer center. A group of international volunteers is invited to help in this project for the fifth time.

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 work), clearing of vegetation, etc. The group supervisor will tell you stories about the castle and will teach you traditional restoration techniques.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Located in the heart of Séronnais, the site offers many hiking opportunities. Local volunteers will offer you an introduction into archeology and rock climbing.

Accommodation: You will stay in tents on the grounds of the castle. Please bring your sleeping bag. Housing conditions are simple and basic (dry toilets and solar showers). The project is for those who love peace and nature. Access to the castle is only by foot (15 minutes 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. With the castle overlooking, the village has a remarkable built heritage with many preserved stone buildings. The Castle of Saint-Barthelemy is an ancient medieval fortress dating back to the 11th century.

Terminal: Foix

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Nature experience camp for teens
Vassieux en Vercors, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes       July 9 - July 20, 2019

FRENCH SPEAKING PROJECT
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. All kinds of projects have been hosted here through the years, with one goal: to enable a wider audience to live in the wilderness. The site is meant to become an educational place about energy transition. Since 2011, international volunteers have contributed to this project. In the last six years, the camp has hosted groups of young volunteers for an eco-construction project and collective outdoor living, and wishes to repeat the experience this year.

During the project, your mission will be to continue the work done by the volunteers last year. The aim is to finalize the restoration of the collective kitchen including construction of an earth kiln and restoration of an old cooker made of bricks and using renewable energy. You will also be given other tasks in order to maintain and keep the site running such as looking after the vegetable garden, writing a blog, various construction tasks, preparing a radio program, a concert, a theatre play. This is the project for nature lovers and creators of all kinds!

Special requirements: This is a French speaking project. French will be the main language of the daily life, work and activities. We expect the volunteers to have at least a basic level of French.

Language: French

Possible free time activities: With the help of the group leaders, you can organize numerous leisure activities, group games in nature, hiking, visiting local food producers. The Vercors plateau is known for having sheltered great acts of resistance during the Second World War - you can also explore this piece of local history.

Accommodation: The facility is comfy but basic, made for the outdoors enthusiasts. You will be accommodated in tents on the camp site. Mattresses will be provided, but please bring a warm sleeping bag. The camp host pays special attention to the management of resources, energy and waste on 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 over 1000m altitude.

Terminal: Die

Age range: 14 - 17 years old

Extra fee: 380 Euro

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Heritage revitalization in Puy de Dome
Saint Georges de Mons, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes       July 12 - August 2, 2019

Volunteer project: Saint-Georges-de-Mons is a town of 2500 residents, located in the north-west of the Puy de Dome department, at the beginning of the Combrailles. Located on a crystalline plateau, at an average altitude of 700 meters, the town is bordered by the gorges of Sioule to the west and the Chaîne des Puys to the east. Volunteers are invited this summer to participate in the revitalization of the community. The municipality wants to share its heritage with you, and to preserve it for the present and future generations.

In the small village of Mazel, located 5 km from Saint-Georges-de-Mons, is the site of the Castle of Bruyères which is now in ruins. A place where traditional hemp textile production took place was discovered nearby, with ponds, surrounding walls with incoming water and terracotta niches. Your task will be to clear, clean and join the walls. The work will be guided by a technical supervisor. The activities take place in the morning, for 5 hours a day.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Sports activities, excursions, swimming, etc. You will celebrate the 14th of July with the locals at a great Republican picnic (dance party and fireworks).

Accommodation: You will be accommodated in a municipal building, 5 minutes from the town center. Please bring your sleeping bag. You will be biking to the work site which is 15 minutes away.

Location: Saint-Georges-de-Mons is 30 km from Clermont Ferrand. The town has a rich architectural and historical heritage.

Terminal: Riom

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Rehabilitation of socially disadvantaged areas in Clermont Ferrand
Clermont Ferrand, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes       July 13 - July 27, 2019

FRENCH SPEAKING PROJECT
Volunteer project: The group of international volunteers will be involved in the rehabilitation and cleaning of urban furniture in a socially disadvantaged area in Clermont Ferrand. The work will mainly consist in painting, cleaning entrance halls and common areas, tag cleaning, creating murals. You will work with local youth of the neighborhood, supervised by a professional. The local participants are unemployed young people who are part of a social and professional integration program. You will be divided into small groups to allow a mix between you, the volunteers, and the local youth. The aim is to enable young people in difficulty to open up to international opportunities. In addition, it will show to local young people another vision of youth, from outside their neighbourhood, in order to change their vision of the world.
Motivation is essential! You will work from Monday to Friday, from 8am to 12pm. You will participate in different activities in the afternoon: cultural visits, sports, etc. The project will have a real impact on people who live in this district.

Special requirements: Motivation letter is required with application.

Language: French

Possible free time activities: Exchanges with sports and cultural associations, meetings with associations developing actions towards youth. In the town: walking tours, Cathedral, visit the various museums: the Museum of Art, museum Lecoq, museum Bargouin, sports activities, exploring the Puy de Dome, visit of Vulcania.

Accommodation: You will be accommodated in an apartment in Clermont-Ferrand. Please bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Clermont-Ferrand is the prefecture of the department of Puy-de-Dome and capital of the Auvergne region. It is located in the Massif Central, at 410 m altitude. 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 the river Allier. The city is both a point of contact between the Limagne plain and the Mountains of Domes. A large part of the city occupies a volcanic hill called the Central Plateau. It is, in fact, the edge of a crater, 156.000 years old. It is approximately 1,5 km in diameter and has been filled with 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 the 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.

Terminal: Clermont Ferrand

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Park maintenance and creating a public mural in the heart of Beaujolais
Chessy-les-Mines, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes       July 15 - July 28, 2019

FRENCH SPEAKING PROJECT
Volunteer project: Come and discover the captivating region of Pierres Dorées through a variety of cultural and environmental activities! This summer, the two neighbor towns of Le Bois d’Oingt and Chessy-les-Mines will welcome for the 9th time in a row an international volunteer team in this pretty countryside between Lyon and the famous Beaujolais region!

The volunteer team will take part in various types of outdoor work every morning (4-5 hours per day, 5 days a week).
The first part of the project is dedicated to the arrangement and maintenance of the municipal park of Bois d’Oingt, a beautiful “rose village” in the heart of the Beaujolais vineyards. With the help of local youngsters and volunteers, you will participate in the creation of a wooden shed for storage of tools. You will also help maintain the local biodiversity by cleaning the small river Tizy.
In Chessy, you will paint the wall of the village hall and create a beautiful graffiti, expressing your artistic soul.
This project is a very good opportunity to establish contact with French speakers and to actively participate in the life of the community! Local young people will accompany you during the project.

Special requirements: This is a French speaking project. French will be the main language for the daily life, work and activities. We expect the volunteers to have at least a basic level of French.

Language: French

Possible free time activities: You will have various opportunities to discover this scenic area. Possible leisure and cultural activities include visits of the villages and wine cellars of Beaujolais, trip to the city of Lyon, French national day festivities and fireworks, meetings with the locals, shared meals, biking and swimming in the river.

Accommodation: This is a project for camping lovers! The former Chessy-les-Mines camp site, which will be your accommodation place, is situated halfway between the two towns and offers an ideal location near the village center, perfect for guitar nights and outdoor BBQs! Tents and mattresses will be provided; please don’t forget to bring a warm sleeping bag.

Location: The Region of 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: Lyon

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Restoring an old barn into a trail shelter
Sarp, Occitanie       July 15 - August 3, 2019

Volunteer project: Located in the heart of the Hautes-Pyrénées, the town of Sarp will host this summer its second international volunteer project. It will be organized around the restoration of an old barn located along a discovery trail. Engaged in the preservation and promotion of their built and environmental heritage, Sarp seeks to introduce its region to new generations.

The discovery trail allows one to explore and enjoy the surroundings thanks to information boards revealing the secrets of nature around. Located halfway along the trail, the old barn is undergoing renovation. When restored, the barn will provide a picnic spot and a shelter for hikers in bad weather.
This year, the project will focus on restoring the stone walls of the barn. This requires work on consolidating the walls and paving the interior of the building. Local volunteers will help as well. You will have to bring up the 4 walls of the barn so that next year the next group of volunteers can install the roof of it. A real work on French heritage awaits you!

Language: English

Possible free time activities: In this town of a hundred residents, you can access many sports activities such as archery or climbing. For the cultural side and French heritage, you will be only 1km from St Bertrand de Comminges and its medieval town, and a few minutes’ drive from the castle of Bramevaque. Swimming, hiking, and exchange with locals are to be expected!

Accommodation: You will be lodged in tents at the bottom of the discovery trail. The site of the camp is in the heart of the village, next to the multipurpose hall. You will need a sleeping bag. The construction site is 15 minutes walk from the camp, and it can only be reached on foot.

Location: The valley of Barousse where Sarp is located offers visitors an entrance to the heart of the Pyrenees. You will enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the valley during your walks.

Terminal: Montréjeau-Gourdan-Polignan

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Preservation of the ruins of a medieval castle
Bramevaque, Occitanie       July 15 - August 3, 2019

Volunteer project: The municipality of Bramevaque and the district council of Barousse are committed to maintain and restore the remains of the castle of the Earls of Comminges which attracts many visitors. For 23 years now, the small village of Bramevaque has been hosting international volunteer projects every summer which makes it possible to carry out this task and to create an original event in the village.

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

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Hiking, swimming in the river, visiting 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. Don't forget your sleeping bag. The living conditions are very simple and basic (dry toilets and solar showers). 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 residents, at the foot of the Pyrenees mountains marking the border with Spain. The site offers beautiful landscapes and viewpoints. 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

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Rehabilitation of the Chatel-Montagne castle ruins
Chatel-Montagne, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes       July 15 - August 4, 2019

Volunteer project: Perched in the Bourbon mountains, Châtel-Montagne is a village of artists located 25 km from Vichy. With a magnificent church of the 13th century, Châtel-Montagne is a place steeped in history. It was a renowned barony, where some of the greatest vassals of lords of Bourbons reigned in the 11th century. The remains of the medieval castle still exist. Today Chatel-Montagne is a vibrant village with many art and craft workshops (painting, stone carving, woodturning, glass engraving, etc.).

The municipality has set up a circuit trail that allows tourists to discover the town through the resolution of enigmas. The trail passes by the ruins of a medieval castle, listed as a Historic Monument. The ruins are battered by time and nature: storms in fall, snow in winter, lush vegetation. So the castle is in great need of maintenance and rehabilitation. Volunteers will help enhance the central part of the castle, which is now overgrown with vegetation, by clearing the ruins. A technical supervisor will teach you the necessary techniques. The work takes place in the morning, for up to 5 hours.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Hiking, climbing, riding an electric bike, soccer tournament, meeting local artisans to experience the culture of Auvergne.

Accommodation: Volunteers will be accommodated in an apartment. Don't forget to bring your sleeping bag.

Location: At the heart of the Bourbonnaise Mountain, Châtel has a rich architectural heritage in a remarkable natural setting. Châtel is very lively in the summer with fireworks, craft festival, festival of the Rivers, concerts, which bring together all surrounding communities.

Terminal: Vichy

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Heritage restoration and organizing a local festival in Condat
Condat-lès-Montboissier, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes       July 17 - August 7, 2019

Volunteer project: Located in the heart of Regional Park Livradois, Condat lès Montboissier is a dynamic village. Set in a preserved natural environment, it teems with various sports, art and cultural activities. In order to further increase its tourist appeal, the town wants to host a volunteer project for the second time this year. The goal is to restore an old wash house and participate in the local festival.

The aim of this project is to preserve different architectural elements of the built heritage of Condat. Your first task will be the restoration of the wash house. You'll be supported by a technical supervisor. The work takes place in the morning, up to 5 hours a day.
You will also participate in the organization of the local festival - a chance to have an unforgettable experience in the heart of French culture!

Language: English

Possible free time activities: In this preserved natural environment, you can hike the many marked trails, swim in the river, visit exceptional sites, see amazing landscapes. You can meet local producers, artisans, those who sustain the country.

Accommodation: You will stay at the municipal school. The showers are in another building, 100 meters from the school. Mattresses will be provided, please bring a sleeping bag.

Location: Located in a mountain, 700 meters above sea level, the village offers magnificent views of the mountains of Forez. You can admire breathtaking landscapes, diverse fauna and flora. The local heritage is unique: since 2014, the municipality is committed to the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism Development with the Regional Natural Park Livradois.

Terminal: Issoire

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Jazz Festival in the medieval town of Crest
Crest, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes       July 21 - August 6, 2019

FRENCH SPEAKING PROJECT
Volunteer project: Every 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 in charge, you will participate in the life of the festival: installation of the festival area, setting up rooms, cleaning after each performance (stages, outside space), waste management and recycling. At the end of the festival, you will have to remove and store the materials. On some evenings, you will also participate in drinks and concert posters selling. Therefore, participants have to be able to communicate in French. This is a project for enthusiastic and motivated volunteers who wish to practice French and enjoy good jazz music!

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 of the festival. The volunteer work is 20 hours a week; you may have to work on Saturday and Sunday. The volunteers are expected to be dynamic, motivated, enthusiastic, ready to meet the many local volunteers and the festival audience, and of course, fond of music! You will have a free access pass and will be able to attend most of the concerts.

Special requirements: Language for work activities and communication within the volunteer team will mostly be French. You have to be able to communicate in French, at least at a basic level.

Language: French

Possible free time activities: Visit of the Tower of Crest, visit of the towns of Valence or Die (old town and cooperative cellar), night markets, free concerts within the jazz festival, swimming pool, canoe, hiking in the Vercors mountains... The volunteers will organize an international dinner for the local people during the project.

Accommodation: In a former school. Mattresses will be provided; please bring your own sleeping bag.

Location: Located in the Drôme valley, in the south of the Vercors regional park, the town of Crest has 8000 residents. Dominated by its medieval tower (52m high), the town has a remarkable heritage. Crest is very busy in the summer time, and offers many sports and cultural activities. Towns nearby: Montélimar (40 km) and Valence (30 km).

Terminal: Crest

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Extra fee: 50 Euro

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Restoration of the medieval heritage of Luzech
Luzech, Occitanie       July 21 - August 10, 2019

Volunteer project: Luzech is located in the Lot department in the heart of the Cahors wine region. It is surrounded by the River Lot which forms a peninsula. Occupied since the Gallo-Roman period, the city of Luzech was fortified in the Middle Ages, and different citadels and castles were built over the years. Today Luzech has a rich historical heritage, which is maintained by the city and its volunteers. Local associations participate in the life of the town and organize activities in the community gardens located below the Luzech tower.

The international volunteers will have various tasks in the town: continue the restoration of a gate that was started last year, cleaning and beautification of Rue des Mariniers, fixing of plaster joints on some walls, painting of the St Pierre Church and an adjacent gate, restoration of a wall near the Notre Dame Church (minor masonry repair on the external walls, restoration of stones and brushing), restoration of the wall of the cemetery of the Church of Fage, replacing of stones and cleaning. A retired craftsman will supervise the work activities again this year.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: You will be able to participate in the various events that will be held in the town, while discovering the surroundings. The natural riches of the Lot will invite you to beautiful hikes among the vineyards. You will have the opportunity to visit the sacred village of Rocamadour where old stone houses, majestic towers, churches and a castle cascade off the cliff into the Alzou Canyon and the Padirac Chasm (Cave) which is one of the most extraordinary natural wonders of France.

Accommodation: You will be lodged at the municipal campsite in tents. Please bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Luzech is a very active community, with many events happening regularly. With about 1500 inhabitants, Luzech offers a variety of leisure activities.

Terminal: Cahors

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Restoration of a chapel and building a path in Peyrilles
Peyrilles, Occitanie       July 21 - August 10, 2019

Volunteer project: The town of Peyrilles, located in Lot, will welcome this year its second international volunteer project. This municipality, hidden at the door of Quercy, gives its residents an exceptional living environment. In the heart of the green valley of the Lot, numerous Perigordian buildings surround the castle of Peyrilles, which is restored and maintained by the local people. Associations and municipal employees work regularly for the preservation of these places where many local events are organized. An English speaking community has established in the town for a few years now, attracted by the natural and cultural treasures of Peyrilles.

Supervised by a technical leader, the volunteers will carry out the following tasks: repairing the roof of the Bonnet Chapel and laying out a walking path (clearing and laying steps, laying a concrete base and logs).
During the weekend of August 3rd and 4th, the town organizes a local festival with a meal on Saturday and a dance party on Sunday, for which it will ask the help of the volunteers. The group will assist with installation of tables, meal service on Saturday, and cleaning the party site on Monday. During the third week of the project, the work schedule will be lightened to allow volunteers to have more free time to discover the region.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: You will be able to hike and explore the surroundings, including the village of Rocamadour and the Padirac Chasm. Rocamadour is a sacred village and important pilgrimage site, perched on the side of a limestone cliff and towering majestically over the Alzou canyon. The Padirac Chasm is a an underground wonderland of subterranean rivers, lakes and ornate chambers.

Accommodation: You will be housed in two municipal apartments located in the heart of the village, 3 bedrooms each, 2 volunteers per room. You will need a sleeping bag.

Location: Peyrilles (population 600) is an active community with many events happening during the time of the project. You will be invited to participate in each one of them! The bread oven is lit several times a year in order to organize festive meals for the whole community. You will have the opportunity to cook some pizzas in that oven. A local restaurant prepares la Mique levee, an emblematic dish of the Lot which you'll have the opportunity to savour.

Terminal: Cahors

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Restoration of ancient water mills in Auvergne
Besse, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes       July 22 - August 9, 2019

Volunteer project: The diversity of the natural and built heritage of Besse-Et-Saint-Anastaise (the full name of the town) gives it a special atmosphere and charm. It is located in the heart of the Auvergne volcanoes in the Massif du Sancy, the highest mountain in Auvergne, and is known for its Ski resort Super Besse. The town attracts tourists both during summer and winter. Besse is also a vibrant town with a number of events happening in the area all the year round. Local residents and associations are excited to meet you in this authentic town.

Besse is crossed by the Couze Pavin river taking its source from one of the deepest lakes in Europe, Lake Pavin. On the banks of the river, you can find old water mills. Two centuries ago men built these water mills to make use of the energy of the river. The mills which are now in ruins, need to be saved. The aim of the volunteer project is restoration and preservation of the mills. This would require cleaning the sites from invading vegetation and work on dry stone walls. The restoration work will be guided by a technical supervisor. The work will be for 5 hours a day in the morning.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Some activities will be proposed to the volunteers such as tours, excursions, hiking, swimming.

Accommodation: You will be accommodated in a small cottage in an exceptional setting. Mattresses are provided. Please, bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Besse is considered as one of the most beautiful sites of the Auvergne region. The town is a part of the Natural Regional Park of the Volcanoes of Auvergne. It is located in the Massif du Sancy born 5 millions years ago. The town benefits from a preserved environment with great landscapes of lakes and volcanoes. Besse is 1 hour away from Clermont-Ferrand.

Terminal: Issoire

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Restoration and conservation of the Hermitage of Poleymieux
Poleymieux au Mont d’Or, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes       July 22 - August 10, 2019

Volunteer project: Poleymieux-au-Mont-d’Or is a village of 1200 residents, close to Lyon, but with a very rural and peaceful atmosphere. The village will host this summer its 4th international volunteer project in order to continue the restoration and conservation work on the ancient Hermitage of Saint Antoine, and to create connections between international volunteers and local population.

The volunteers will take part in the restoration of a dry stone wall of the Hermitage. Supervised by a technical leader, you will learn how to bring up a wall using ancestral methods. You will work 4 to 5 hours a day, 5 days per week.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Exploring the Beaujolais and the Mont d'Or region, visiting Lyon (only 10 km from Poleymieux), swimming, visiting a local farm, canoeing, meeting with other volunteer groups.

Accommodation: In tents on the petanque ground (kitchen and showers near the camp). Ground mattresses will be provided, please bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Poleymieux au Mont d’Or is a small village, with one shop only, which has preserved its rural character and peaceful atmosphere.

Terminal: Lyon

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Heritage enhancement and organizing a music festival in Chalabre
Chalabre, Occitanie       July 28 - August 17, 2019

Volunteer project: Located at the edge of the Ariege and Aude, the municipality of Chalabre is known both for its historical heritage and wonderful natural surroundings. The village was born in the 12th century in Cathar country. Chalabre developed around the castle; over the years two churches were built, as well as the Chapel of Calvary overlooking the village. The municipality takes great care to preserve its built heritage, but also the Aude river which crosses it. The village is particularly lively in the summer with plenty of activities for every taste. It welcomes its second group of international volunteers this year.

In the first two weeks, volunteers will work on the restoration of the walls of a canal: clearing and recovery of stones, building a dry stone wall in some places (1 meter high).
In the last week, the volunteers will help in the organization of Serenades - an international music festival. The group, along with local volunteers, will provide logistical assistance: installation of stands, hosting of the public, and any other help that may be needed during the event. This project is a great opportunity to meet local people, help them maintain their village and enliven it through cultural events.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Chalabre organizes various cultural events throughout the summer. You will be invited to the Book festival which will be held in the first weekend of the project, and to a festival of art and music which will take place in the last week. During your stay, you can visit the castle of Chalabre and that of Montségur. You can also participate in the pétanque tournament and swim in the river that runs through the village.

Accommodation: You will be staying in a tent on the municipal campsite, with access to the football clubhouse with showers and a fully equipped kitchen. You'll need a sleeping bag. The place is located 5 to 15 minutes walk from the work site and only 5 minutes from the heart of the village, where you will find all the amenities (shops, post office, supermarket, bakery, etc.).

Location: Chalabre, Occitanie

Terminal: Pamiers

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Enhancement of the Fortress of the Dunes in the North of France
Leffrinckoucke, Hauts-de-France       July 30 - August 16, 2019

Volunteer project: After thirteen successful years of hosting international volunteers, the municipality of Leffrinckoucke invites a new group this year to take part in the restoration of the Fort des Dunes, a military fort built in the XIXth century. The fortress is located in the North of France, 500 meters from the beach and 500 meters from the town of Dunkirk. The goal is to develop and enhance the site so that it can 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.

In the past years, many improvements were made to welcome the public: guided visits are organised, a secured guided circuit tour is offered outside, several rooms were restored including a particular one dedicated to the history of the fortification with an interactive map of Operation Dynamo.

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 weekend of August 3rd-4th, and will present the international volunteer projects. The group will also participate in the World Shrimp Hulling Championship.

Language: English

Accommodation: In tents (kitchen and showers in a building nearby). Mattresses are provided. Please bring a sleeping bag.

Location: The town of Leffrinckoucke is located a few kilometers from the town 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).

Terminal: Dunkirk

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Renovating common spaces at a migrant center
Saint-Beauzire, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes       August 4 - August 24, 2019

Volunteer project: Since October 2015, Léo Lagrange Center East is involved in the reception of refugees on the site of Saint-Beauzire in Haute Loire. The mission of the Center is to welcome, guide and accompany people in their efforts to access rights. Working with a team of volunteers, they offer French language courses and various workshops: sport, discovery of the region, coffee and discussions, cooking, etc. The center also makes it possible for refugees to meet professionals for individual social monitoring, access to social rights, access to health coverage and support in integration procedures. The center for asylum-seekers administratively houses people without accommodation, which allows them to receive mail, maintain regular contacts with various organizations and have easier access to rights.

The main aim of the volunteer project is to renew and improve parts of the center that are not currently in use but have potential. The center has a fitness trail and huts for children which need to be cleaned and embellished. You will have small tasks such as clearing, sanding and painting. At the end of the project, you will create a mural on the wall of the tennis court. You will work with groups of young migrants. A technical supervisor will guide the work activities. The work takes place in the morning, for up to 5 hours a day.

Special requirements: Motivation letter is required with application.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: You can share friendly moments with the migrants by participating in activities proposed by the center (sport, swimming pool, workshops, music, movie club) or by visiting the region with local volunteers.

Accommodation: You will stay at a campsite near the center. Tents and mattresses will be provided, please bring a sleeping bag.

Location: The center for asylum-seekers is located in Saint Beauzire in Haute-Loire, just a few kilometers from Brioude. You can visit one of the most beautiful basilicas of the region or swim in the fresh waters of the river.

Terminal: Brioude

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

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Renovation of hiking trails in Billom
Billom, Auvergne       August 18 - September 1, 2019

Volunteer project: After 16 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 project this year will be about hiking trails. Volunteers are needed to clear the undergrowth and other improvements are to be planned. A supervisor will teach you specific techniques concerning woodcraft. The work takes place the morning for 5 hours maximum. Afternoon and weekends are dedicated to other activities.

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: You will be lodged in a little cottage with all facilities. The cottage is surrounded by nature but the city center is very close. There's a supermarket, bakery, butcher’s shop, restaurants, pharmacy and café in the city.

Location: Billom is a town 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 - 35 years old

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Long-term projects in France