Volunteer in France

Heritage restoration and organizing a festival in Auvergne
Chaspinhac, Auvergne       June 28 - July 16, 2016


Volunteer project: For the fifth 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.

In the first week of the project, the volunteers will actively participate in the organization of The Festival of the Wood. The program includes workshops on woodworking, shows, concerts, fireworks. This task will be carried out together with local volunteers.

The second part of the project will focus on the rehabilitation of 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) and clearing the site to welcome tourists. A technical supervisor will teach you specific restoration techniques. 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 and tasting great organic produce 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: Under tents in the Saint-Quentin campsite with magnificent views of the gorges of the Loire. Tents and mattresses will be available. Bring your own warm sleeping bag.

Location: Chaspinhac has 800 inhabitants and is located 15 km north of Le Puy-en-Velay city (no public 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 around 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 in the past. Deserted for more than 70 years now, the buildings are turning into ruins.

Terminal: Le Puy-en-Velay

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Restoring the local heritage of Rhone-Alpes
Pont d’Ain, Rhone-Alpes       July 3 - July 16, 2016


Volunteer project: Welcome to Pont d’Ain, a green holiday resort in the centre of a region blessed with a wealth of tourist attractions, only 60 km from Lyon. After the international projects of 2011 and 2013 which enabled the town of Port d’Ain to renovate a wash house and two old wells, a new volunteer project will take place in the town this summer to the great joy of local residents! With the goal of contributing to the historical value of this small town, join the 2016 international team and participate in the renovation of old irrigation valves!

This summer at Pont d’Ain, your task will be to reconstruct the old irrigation valves located in a small forest surrounding the village. The work will consist mainly of painting, cleaning and clearing away plants. A path will also be built to allow hikers to reach the spot. Supervised by volunteers from the town, you will work 5 days per week for 4 or 5 hours (in the morning). Every morning we will go to the work site by bike (approximately 10 minutes ride).

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Visiting Lyon, walking to the Château des Allymes, hikes, water sports, BBQs and/or meals with locals and local associations, village fete with fireworks, etc. You will be provided with bicycles so that you can travel around the town and its surrounding area independently!

Accommodation: Accommodation will be in the vicarage. Please, bring a sleeping bag.

Location: A haven of calm and peace, with one of France’s most beautiful streams flowing through it, Pont d’Ain is pleasantly located on the borders of three large geographic regions of the Ain department: la Bresse, la Dombes and le Bugey. Its exceptional geographic location will allow you to spend two pleasant weeks here and get to know the region! Many exchanges with the locals are planned.

Terminal: Pont d’Ain

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Building a war memorial esplanade
Beauvallon, Rhone-Alpes       July 3 - July 16, 2016


Volunteer project: Welcome to the heart of the Drôme to an intergenerational and international project in the colors of peace! After the first successful project in 2015, having left strong memories for residents and local authorities, the town of Beauvallon is happy to welcome a second group of volunteers this summer for two weeks of networking and solidarity.

You will work for two weeks, in collaboration with the town teenagers and seniors, in order to complete the construction of the front esplanade of the war memorial monument, which began last year. This project is very important for the senior residents, who are looking forward to build a place of commemoration in the heart of the village. Indeed, twenty people of all ages will be working every morning: a great atmosphere and conviviality are on the menu, in addition to, of course, an incredible experience of solidarity! From a technical point of view, your goal will be to complete the restoration of the wall that was started last year, to build a small stone wall, to make a plant border on the walls as well as lay gravel. At the end of the project, the new war memorial esplanade should be operational, and you would proudly be able to attend the inauguration ceremony ! You will be working 5 days a weeks, 4 to 5 hours per day, in the morning.

Special requirements: Participants must be able to ride a bicycle.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: In Beauvallon, you can walk around the lake, in the park, in the old town or along the Véore. You can also explore the Drôme and its beautiful towns and villages (Crest, Saillans, Die, Montelimar, Valence ...) and take part in some local summer events including the lunch on July 14. Meeting with other volunteers, family meals, canoe, football, introduction to « pétanque » and concerts are also foreseen.

Accommodation: In the community hall in the center of the town, only 200m from the worksite. Mattresses are provided, but please don't forget to bring with you a sleeping bag. You will also have bikes at your disposal.

Location: Situated in the Drôme, at approximately 10 km south of Valence, Beauvallon is a small, dynamic and pleasant community overlooking the Rhône valley. Between the peaceful lake, the orchards, the historical village and the Véore river, it’s also a great place to relax. Bikes will be provided so you can move around freely, and you can also discover the region thanks to the bus which runs regularly. The locals will be happy to welcome you and help you discover the beauties and regional flavors!

Terminal: Beauvallon

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Volunteering in an Emmaus community
Neuilly-Plaisance, Île-de-France       July 4 - July 23, 2016


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 difficult phase in life and the community supports them towards social reintegration; others see life in the community as an alternative lifestyle. There are 3 founding principles in all Emmaus Communities: welcoming everybody regardless of their origin and past; rehabilitation through work; sharing and solidarity within the community.

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 of benefit to 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 potential difficulties in communicating with the companions and gaining their trust.
It is important to keep in mind that this is a social project, and that the volunteers will have the same schedule as the companions. You should be motivated because it is hard work: you will work from Tuesday to Saturday, from 7:30 am to 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 capital, due to long working hours.

As an additional activity, you will create an exhibition on the topic of tolerance, together with the companions. Your creative talents will be needed!

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: Walks along the Seine, visiting Paris or Vincennes, organized activities with the companions.

Accommodation: To facilitate communication and integration, volunteers will take their meals with the companions at the community restaurant. 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

Bring to light the ruins of an old bread oven
Segur les Villas, Auvergne       July 4 - July 24, 2016


Volunteer project: For the first time, the municipality of Ségur les Villas is going to host an international workcamp. In the region of the Cézallier Cantalien, at the heart of the Santoire river valley, there is Ségur les Villas: a village center and ten hamlets, with old houses and charming fountains. In 2014, the municipality acquired its first flower of « Flowering Village ». This label shows the quality of the living environment and that Ségur les Villas is really attractive for tourists. The municipality wants to work to renovate its local heritage, some of which is in poor condition.

At the moment, the bread oven of the Villas hamlet disappears under a real heap of brushwood. The project aim is to make it visible for the residents and visitors. Thus, there is a lot of work to cut brushwood back, to level the ground around the bread oven, to clean and sort the stones, in order to highlight the ruins and to give its place back to the bread oven in the village. You will be guided by a technical supervisor. The work is for 5 hours in the morning.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Visits are organized in the Gazelle water mill, which has been restored with original pieces, in a village full of character. You’ll be able to meet the locals, to discover their way of living, their customs, and the treasures of this region.

Accommodation: Volunteers will sleep under tents, in the village center of Ségur les Villas: the best way to fit well in the local life! Mattress will be provided, don’t forget your sleeping bag.

Location: In the heart of the Cézallier altitude plateaux, Ségur les Villas owns a particularly remarkable historical heritage, in an unrivalled natural environment. The Valentine Chapel (XIII century) overhangs the Santoire valley, and you will admire from this citadel the must-see view on the Limon plateau, between Cantal Mounts, Mont Dore and Cézallier. You would cross hiking trails among peatlands, which are full of plants and wildlife : the Vial peatland, with its scottish atmosphere, the Jolan lake, a remarkable protected area.

Terminal: Allanche

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Restoration of historic sites in Etoile
Etoile sur Rhone, Rhone-Alpes       July 10 - August 1, 2016


Volunteer project: Discover Etoile-sur-Rhône, a village located at the gateway to Provence and surrounded by mountains, plains and hills. This community will welcome you during a project organised in the colors of international solidarity! Participate in the development of a historic park in the old town centre, located between the Massif du Vercors and the Drôme Provençale in the delightful Drôme valley. People interested in cultural history will not be disappointed!

We are offering you the opportunity to participate in a heritage restoration project with young people from all around the world! After 40 years of investment in Etoile-sur-Rhône, international volunteer projects are now part of local history. This summer, the community is entrusting volunteers with the restoration of the town park's walls: the Castle Park, historically linked to the Château de Diane de Poitiers (Renaissance part of the region), offers the best view over the Monts de l’Ardèche from the village. This adventure will give you the chance to work with stone thousands of years old and you will have the opportunity to learn traditional building techniques and enhance a harmonious place open to local people.
Your second task: on the occasion of local celebrations and in order to remind people of the forgotten charms of a former hostel located by the Rhône, you will participate in clearing plants away from this historic site. This work will make a visible difference in the area and it will enable you to appreciate the green spaces of the ’’Bords du Rhône" in the company of other people!
The work will take place in the morning, 4 to 5 hours per day from Monday to Friday. Evenings and weekends can be spent sightseeing or taking part in original and fun cultural activities.

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, giving you the chance to travel beside meadows and rivers. La Drôme is an area waiting to be discovered! You will be able to visit Etoile-sur-Rhone’s surrounding area thanks to different touristic activities: walking and of course tasting local products! During your stay you will be encouraged to take part in cultural and linguistic exchanges.

Accommodation: You will be staying in the chapel located in Etoile-sur-Rhône’s town centre! Refurbished by previous international volunteers, 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.

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

Creating a garden and renovating a dry stone wall in the heart of Beaujolais
Pays d’Oingt, Rhone-Alpes       July 10 - July 30, 2016


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 three neighbor towns of Chatillon d’Azergues, Le Bois d’Oingt and Chessy-les-Mines will welcome a new 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 will be dedicated to the construction of the new municipal park of Bois d’Oingt, a beautiful “rose village” in the heart of Beaujolais vineyards. With the help of local youngsters and volunteers, you will participate in the creation of a green spot in the village center. Under the direction of permaculture specialists, you will create a botanic garden for public use that will aim towards a better maintenance of biodiversity. This will be a good opportunity to discover a new form of agriculture in an original way!
The second mission to accomplish will be the renovation of a dry stone wall at the entrance of Châtillon d’Azergues village. You will have the opportunity to learn this technique with the help of the specialists who will be happy to lead you on the working site.
This project is a very good opportunity to establish contact with French speakers and to actively participate in the life of the community! The local youngsters will accompany you during the entire 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, meetings with the locals, shared meals, tennis and river swimming. You will be invited to spend two days at an experimental permaculture farm, for a first agricultural and cultural experience.

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 your 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: Chatillon d’Azergues

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Brighten up children's spaces
Cluses, Rhone-Alpes       July 10 - July 30, 2016


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 helping you to visit their splendid region. Expect cultural immersion and celebrations on this exciting volunteer project.

You will make a contribution to the happiness of the children in Cluses! Working together with 9 local young people, you will carry out some important work for the town’s children by putting colour and life back into a school and a recreation centre through renovating child friendly spaces! To do this, your French-international team will take part in different solidarity actions: creating play areas in the school and in the recreation centre, developing green spaces on the two sites, and refreshing the school hallways. 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 mornings (5 hours a day from Monday to Friday), which will leave you time to explore the surrounding area and region through cultural activities and excursions.

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, excursions, celebratory meals, and of course plenty of cultural exchanges! The young people of Cluses look forward to helping you discover the region and their culture, as well as getting to know you all better!

Accommodation: You will be staying in a school in the town, near to the city centre and shopping facilities. On site are a kitchen, showers and a common room; one of the classrooms will be converted into a dormitory. Floor mats will be provided, but you must bring your own sleeping bag.

Location: At the foot of one of the prettiest mountains in the Northern Alps, and on the edge of the Great Alpine Road, the pretty city of Cluses and its 17,000 inhabitants live in an ideal location! Near 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 scenery 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

Design and development of recreation and artistic spaces for the community of Rocles
Rocles, Rhone-Alpes       July 10 - July 31, 2016


Volunteer project: Collective and environmental experiment will be the basis of this third project in Rocles, a small village in southern Ardèche! After two memorable experiences last summers, the inhabitants wish to host a new international volunteer team to help continuing the work that was started last years and to celebrate intercultural connections! Organized in partnership with the municipality and some youngsters from the village, this third volunteer project in Rocles will be orientated towards connecting with local people and working together.

Environmental and artistic camp for volunteers interested in ecological experimentation and participatory approach! Initiated by a group of youngsters from the village, the project aims to redevelop the abandoned places of the community in order to create a friendly space for recreation and sport activities. Together with a team of highly motivated local people, you will take on different tasks continuing the set-up of this pedestrian, artistic and sporting area: brush cutting, gardening, making wooden furniture, and building a traditional stone wall. This project will require all your creativity and artistic sense: the volunteers will be involved in the decisions regarding the design of the area and will participate occasionally in land art activities and workshops on sustainable energy. You will work 4 to 5 hours every morning.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Hiking, horseback riding, dinner with locals, meeting with volunteers from other workcamps, swimming in the river, local traditional celebrations, canoeing… You will be asked to join local volunteers and community members in organizing an international festive evening for the village.

Accommodation: Accommodation conditions are rather basic and will encourage group dynamics and ecology practices. In the first days, you will participate in the installation of your own living space: setting up an open air kitchen, constructing a compost toilet, installing a solar shower, putting up tents for sleeping. A communal building will be available for the group in case of bad weather and for the first days. Tents and mattresses will be provided, please don’t forget to bring your own sleeping bag! No public Wi-Fi in the village.

Location: Rocles is a small village in the heart of 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

Reviving the heritage of Le Crest
Le Crest, Auvergne       July 10 - July 30, 2016


Volunteer project: The Crest, an old wine village of Puy de Dôme, still bears traces of its rich past. The municipality wants to set up this year for the first time an international volunteer project. There is a historic mound on its territory, which is now inaccessible and overgrown with bushes. The project will be an opportunity to give new life to this essential part of the historic heritage, and a new dynamism to the local life through the participation of volunteers from other countries! The people of Le Crest are waiting for you with enthusiasm to share with you a few weeks of Auvergne life !

Your mission during the project will be to make the historic mound more accessible and attractive. For this, you need to develop the path to inspire hikers to visit the site. Then you have to make a wood siding to cover the wall of the old water tower. Finally, there will be clearance and restoration work on a stone wall, in order to highlight a small drinking trough. A technical supervisor will teach you specific techniques. The work takes place in the morning, for 5 hours maximum. Afternoons and weekends are reserved for other activities.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: You'll have opportunity to meet the locals, to discover the local life, cultural habits and the treasures of the region!

Accommodation: You will be housed in the old school dormitory. Mattresses will be provided, please bring a sleeping bag.

Location: At the end of the Montagne de la Serre, which has an inexhaustible flora, the village of Le Crest is dominated by a tower, the only remains of an ancient fortress. From the tower, you will enjoy a wide panorama of the Gergovie plateau, the valley of the Allier and the Livradois, the Massif du Sancy, and the Chaîne des Puys. You will be able to do so many hikes around! In the village, in small steep and shady streets, you will gaze at the winegrowers’ houses, the church (XII century) with its transitional style between Romanesque and Gothic, and "The Castle", a beautiful house of landowners (XIX century), reminiscent of the heyday of the vine in Auvergne. Close by, the last winemaker operator continues the tradition. During the summer, village tours are free.

Terminal: Le Crest

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Rehabilitation of socially disadvantaged areas in Clermont Ferrand
Clermont Ferrand, Auvergne       July 10 - July 23, 2016

FRENCH SPEAKING PROJECT
Volunteer project: The group of international volunteers will be involved in the interior renovation and embellishment of buildings 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 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 Europe and 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 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, discovery of the Puy de Dome, visit of Vulcania.

Accommodation: You will be accommodated in an apartment in Clermont-Ferrand.

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 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.

Terminal: Clermont Ferrand

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Creating a public park in Issoire
Issoire, Auvergne       July 10 - July 30, 2016


Volunteer project: In this project, you will actively participate in the creation of a park located in the city center of Issoire. At this place, a storm water basin was built because it is essential to collect water during storms to avoid flooding downtown. In order to integrate this basin, the municipality has developed an environmentally friendly landscape design. Indeed, this project should invite locals to rest and allow the development of biodiversity.

The tasks before the volunteers are:
- To build stone walls along the basin and develop a platform above it.
- To put two information boards for the general public about the function of this basin.
- To install benches and the outlines of a walking path around the pond.
A technical supervisor will teach you specific techniques concerning this construction. The work takes place the morning for 5 hours maximum. Afternoon and weekends are dedicated to other activities.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Time is planned to explore the city, enjoying its magnificent Romanesque abbey, but also hiking in the area, activities with the Youth Center, visiting the Volcanoes, going to the swimming pool and of course celebrating the National day (14th of July): a unique French experience in Issoire! In addition, you will attend an international Folklore dance festival in town.

Accommodation: The accommodation is located in the local sport hall. Camp beds provided. Bring your sleeping bag. The accommodation is 5 minutes walk from the city center.

Location: Issoire is a city of 15,000 inhabitants located 35 km south of Clermont Ferrand, in the plain between two regional parks: the Auvergne Volcanoes Park and the Livradois Forez Park. The Allier river runs through Issoire and attracts many canoe riders in the summer.
You will be surprised by the richness of Auvergne scenery which has rightly been classified among the 10 regions in the world to visit in 2016 by Lonely Planet.

Terminal: Issoire

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Restoration of a castle in the Pyrenees
Durban-sur-Arize, Midi-Pyrenees       July 11 - 30, 2016


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 work.

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.

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. Housing conditions are very 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 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

Building an eco-hut in a Natural Park
Vassieux en Vercors, Rhone-Alpes       July 11 - 25, 2016


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.

During the project, your mission will be to finish the 4th eco-hut on which last year’s volunteers worked. You will be guided by the site’s supervisors and will accomplish varied tasks of eco-construction, such as redoing the primers, making the finishing touches on the roofs and the path from natural/recycled materials. 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, doing different little improvements and constructions, and realizing a radio podcast. Finally, you will play an important role in the organisation of a party for the volunteers! This is the prefect project for nature lovers and creators of all stripes!

Special requirements: This is a French speaking project. French will be the main language of the daily life, the work and the 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 activities for leisure and discovery, group games in nature, introduction to Aikido, hiking, visiting local food producers, creating a radio show. 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 outdoor life enthusiasts. 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 over 1000m altitude.

Terminal: Die

Age range: 14 - 17 years old

Extra fee: 380 Euro

Restoration of a fortified medieval village
Baume Cornillane, Rhone-Alpes       July 17 - July 30, 2016


Volunteer project: Located in the foothills of the Vercors, this is a project for those who love nature and the great outdoors! This summer the residents of La Baume Cornillane will be waiting for you for a two week workcamp, friendly exchanges and cultural discoveries. Located at the foot of the Vercors mountains, this small, rural and agricultural village protects its historical and environmental heritage and offers many starting points for beautiful hikes. You will have the chance to participate in a project designed to restore the ruins of this ancient medieval fortified village. The residents and local town council members are counting on your help to start the development of this exceptional site, which should go on for several years.

Are you curious about discovering traditional masonry? Are you an ancient history lover? Or quite simply, do you want to make a contribution to this project? Join the team of international volunteers for the first restoration project in Baume Cornillane and turn back time! You will work on the ruins of this fortified village dating back to the 12th century. Looking out over the plain of Valence and the surrounding mountains, this historical site offers a beautiful panoramic view of the region. Abandoned several centuries ago, the old village contains architectural and historical treasures, still hidden under the vegetation. Your task will consist of clearing plants away from the ruins of the buildings and stabilising certain sections of the wall. Under the instruction of a builder specialising in traditional techniques, you will thus learn how to restore stone walls and have the satisfaction of contributing to the development of an important heritage site. The work will take place in the morning (5 hours per day) and you will have two days off per week, which will give you the opportunity to discover the surrounding area by means of cultural and sporting activities and excursions!

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Meal with a local family, visit to Valence, hikes in the Vercors to explore caves and cliffs, swimming, visit to a farm, tasting local products, discovering villages typical of the Drôme area and, of course, intercultural exchanges with the other volunteers and residents.

Accommodation: You will enjoy a shared living space, basic but comfortable. You will sleep in tents on a site not far from the centre of this small village. You will have access to a municipal building with a kitchen, a large room for group activities and showers. Tents and mattresses will be provided; remember to bring your own sleeping bag.

Location: Located approximately 20km from the town of Valence and at the foot of the Vercors, a mountain range in the southern Prealps, La Baume Cornillane benefits from a beautiful environment, perfect for walks and relaxation. It is a small village in which the only business is a restaurant and it has no fewer than 3 goat farmers! The residents have their hearts set on showing you their region, countryside and gastronomic specialities.

Terminal: Valence

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Restoration and promotion of the historic heritage of Viviers
Viviers, Rhone-Alpes       July 17 - July 30, 2016


Volunteer project: In this project, international participants will join efforts with French volunteers for the restoration and promotion of the local heritage of Viviers, a splendid little town in Ardèche by the Rhône Valley. They will work on several historic sites, in particular a large Renaissance residence in the downtown and an old working-class neighbourhood. This is a project for the fans of architectural heritage!

The international team will work with local volunteers on two historic sites that are the pride of Viviers. You will do building and stone cutting work in order to restore the facade of the House of the Knights, a magnificent Renaissance mansion, which is undergoing renovation. Besides, you will work on the site of a former working-class neighbourhood called «La Cité Blanche». An old cellar will need to be cleared out and cleaned in order to eventually turn it into a museum space. Local volunteers will be your mentors during the entire working program and will share with you their knowledge of the places and history of the region. Work begins in the morning, 4-5 hours per day, five days a week.
During an entire week, young local volunteers will be included in your team. Cultural discoveries and good atmosphere are surely guaranteed !

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, hiking, kayaking on the Rhône. You will also have access to the public swimming pool. The local people are very enthusiastic to welcome the international volunteers!

Accommodation: The group will be accommodated in the former city stadium, along with the local volunteers. This is a great opportunity for the international participants to practice their French and discover the country from the inside! You will sleep in tents. Tents and mattresses are provided; please bring your sleeping bags.

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. The town hall and the local volunteers want to take advantage of your presence to organise a lot of meetings with the local population.

Terminal: Viviers

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Renovation of an old foundry in Yolet
Yolet, Auvergne       July 17 - August 6, 2016


Volunteer project: For the first time, the municipality of Yolet hosts an international volunteer project. In the Cantal department, in the north of Aurillac, at 650 m altitude, several hamlets built on the southern slopes above the Cere, make up the charming village of Yolet. The recent discovery of a ruined foundry led the municipality to consider the enhancement of this heritage. Yolet invites international volunteers in the summer of 2016 to help with the restoration and beautification work in the village. The municipality hopes that local young people will also get involved in the rehabilitation of the historic and cultural heritage of the region.

The objective of the project is to renovate a wall in the hamlet of Boudieu. The wall which is 8 meters long is about to collapse, so its rehabilitation through repointing is urgent. Furthermore, the group will join the restoration of the recently discovered old foundry. To restore it, you will have to disassemble, sort and clean objects and stones. The land chosen to exhibit these remains is sloping, so some earthwork will be necessary. The municipality wants to make a porch with beautiful stones found on the site of the foundry, and to highlight the tools found there (bellows, etc.) to give a new life to this forgotten foundry.
The group will be divided into several work teams. Depending on your effectiveness in these first projects, the municipality of Yolet still has many other projects such as construction of wooden information boards, outdoor barbecue near the hall, etc. You will be supervised by a technical leader who will also teach you specific techniques. The work is 5 hours in the morning.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Hikes in the valley and on the plateau constantly offer stunning views of the area. In nearby Aurillac (7 km as the crow flies), you can also enjoy all the services of this great city (cinema, museums, theater, sports ...)!

Accommodation: Volunteers will be accommodated in the village hall: in the wide hall there will be a sleeping and a dining area. Mattresses will be provided, please bring your sleeping bags. Living in the heart of the village, in a strategic place for social and cultural life (football field, playground nearby), will be a great way for you to build lasting relationships with locals.

Location: From its location, Yolet has all the richness of the Cantal mountains landscapes. Its historical and cultural heritage is also quite remarkable: the Church of St. Peter and Paul (XIV and XV century) listed as a heritage site of France, a cross on which the sun and moon were carved, the bread oven of Couderc, the castles of Boudieu, of Doux and Yolet ...

Terminal: Yolet

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Heritage conservation project in Cerilly
Cerilly, Auvergne       July 17 - August 6, 2016


Volunteer project: The diversity of the natural and built heritage of Cérilly gives to the town a special attraction. Located in the heart of the Tronçais Forest, people love to come here during summer to spend a good time. The town will receive a group of international volunteers for the first time with great enthusiasm.

The local people give a great importance to the preservation of the built heritage. This project therefore embodies the desire of residents and local officials to preserve it. For three weeks you will be helping the town and its people! The work will consists of the preservation of a fountain and an old wash house: cleaning, rebuilding certain parts and embellishing the surroundings. A technical leader will provide guidance and supervision. The team will work for 5 hours in the morning.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: You will have the opportunity to live in the heart of the Tronçais forest. The forest offers different activities: hiking, swimming, visits of historic sites.

Accommodation: In the municipal campground at the edge of a pond. Mattresses and tents provided. Bring your sleeping bag. Equipped kitchen is available and dining room under a large tent. The campground is located near the town center where you will have access to various shops and services.

Location: Cérilly is a commune in the Allier department in central France. It is close to the largest and oldest untouched oak forest in western Europe: the Tronçais Forest.

Terminal: Cerilly

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Restoring an ancient wash house in the heart of the Tronçais forest
Vitray, Auvergne       July 17 - August 6, 2016


Volunteer project: Vitray provides its residents and visitors with a unique setting amidst a preserved and pleasant environment. Located in the heart of the Forest of Tronçais, it attracts many people during the summer. Locals and officials are eager to host their first international volunteer project this year.

For three weeks, you will actively participate in saving a wash house located in the heart of a preserved forest! This wash house was once used by the residents of a village located a few hundred meters away. The river flowing at this place was the only reliable water source to build the wash house. The work consists of rebuilding the roof and the layout of its surroundings. Here is a detailed list of tasks: changing certain structural elements of the roof, replacement of tiles, renovating certain parts of masonry, restoration of the pass for easy access. You will be guided by a technical supervisor who will also teach you specific restoration techniques. The team will work 5 hours a day, in the morning.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: The Forest of Tronçais offers different activities: hiking, swimming, visits of historic sites. Some activities with locals will be offered during your stay.

Accommodation: In a municipal campground near the church and the town hall. Mattresses and tents provided. Bring your sleeping bag. The place is a bit isolated: the nearest shops are 5 km from the village of Vitray (in the town of Meaulne). Transportation will be arranged.

Location: The town of Vitray is an authentic municipality of central France. You will live in the heart of the majestic Tronçais forest.

Terminal: Vitray

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Restoration of the built heritage of Auvergne
Fernoël, Auvergne       July 17 - August 7, 2016


Volunteer project: The village of Fernoël is hosting for the first time a volunteer group this summer. The project is part of a dynamic program of the municipality and regional agencies to enhance the attractiveness and openness of the village to the world. This is a project for valorization of the water-related heritage.

The work site is of special interest: it tells about the history of Fernoël and the old way of life of its residents. Also a regional hiking trail goes through this site. The work done during this project will benefit the local population. You will take part in the restoration of a stone wash house (cleaning, storage of stones, masonry) and you will restore a dry stone wall nearby using traditional dry stone techniques. The stone used is a typical local volcanic stone from Auvergne volcano region. The technical supervisor will show you different restoration techniques. The team will work 5 hours a day, in the morning.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: The village offers visitors a unique view of the Monts Dore, those of Limousin and “Le Plomb du Cantal”. The city of Giat which is 3 km away offers numerous activities and festivals are organized during summer.

Accommodation: You will be accommodated in the municipal camping in the center of the village. Mattress and tents are provided, bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Fernoël, in the Puy-de-Dôme department in Auvergne in central France.

Terminal: Fernoël

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Renovating traditional walls and trails
Chanonat, Auvergne       July 17 - August 6, 2016


Volunteer project: On the banks of the Auzon, Chanonat is located midway between the rural world and the urban area of Clermont. The municipality has a remarkably rich natural and built heritage, and wants to organize an international workcamp. Indeed, many trails and walls in Chanonat need to be restored, buildings and vaults must be renovated, a small source with a strangely scarlet colour disappears beneath the undergrowth. The people are eager to welcome you all to give a new life to this heritage!

The priority is to cut undergrowth along the trails, to clean the stone walls that run along the trails, to put the stones into place, to widen the passage and to make small steps as needed. You will have to arrange the surroundings of the Red Source and improve the access in order to highlight it. Finally, depending on your efficiency to carry out these first projects, there will be stone walls to rebuild with lime binder, the surroundings of a little building must be cleaned, and vaults loosing stones have to be renovated. A technical supervisor will teach you specific techniques. The work activities are 5 hours a day, in the morning.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Many local associations create a real dynamic in Chanonat, facilitating access to the rich historic, cultural and natural heritage of the municipality. You will meet local people, experience local life and customs, and discover the treasures of the region. You will quickly appreciate the charm of Chanonat!

Accommodation: Volunteers will be accommodated in a dormitory. Mattresses will be available, please don't forget to bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Chanonat is located in the Puy-de-Dôme department of Auvergne, central France. Footpaths crisscross the area, leading to the Chapel of the Tree and its mysterious legend of the statue, or the Castle of the Bâtisse, which is a Historic Monument, and whose French gardens, ponds, rock caves and waterfalls are famous.

Terminal: Chanonat

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Enhancement of the Fortress of the Dunes in the North of France
Leffrinckoucke, Nord-Pas de Calais       July 18 - August 8, 2016


Volunteer project: After ten 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 fortress is located in the North of France, 500 meters from the beach and 500 meters from the town of Dunkerque. 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.

In the past years, many improvements were made to receive 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 last weekend, and will present the international volunteer workcamps.

Language: English

Accommodation: In tents, at the municipal soccer field (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 neighbouring 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

Jazz Festival in the medieval town of Crest
Crest, Rhone-Alpes       July 24 - August 10, 2016


FRENCH SPEAKING PROJECT
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 in charge, you will participate in the installation of dressing rooms, decoration of the festival area, cleaning after each performance (stages, outside space), waste management and recycling. On some evenings, you will also be welcoming the public in the parking areas. Therefore, participants have to be able to communicate in French.

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. The time for leisure or group life will depend on the need for help for the festival. The volunteers are expected to 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.

Special requirements: In order to facilitate the contacts with the local population, this project is meant for French speakers/learners only! Language for working activities and exchanges 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 meal for the local people during the project.

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

Location: Located in the Drôme valley, in the south of the Vercors regional park, the small town of Crest has 8000 inhabitants. Dominated by its medieval tower (52 m high), the town owns an inheritance of quality. 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

Volunteering in an Emmaus community
Etoile, Rhone-Alpes       July 24 - August 13, 2016


FRENCH SPEAKING PROJECT
Volunteer project: Are you interested in social work, or simply curious about discovering an alternative way of life and work? Join the Emmaus project in Etoile-sur-Rhône, located in the middle of Drôme, between Provence and Vercors! This is a demanding yet fascinating project, which will not leave you indifferent.

Emmaus is a community that welcomes marginalised people (called "companions") and provides them with a place to live and work in the spirit of solidarity. There are 3 founding principles in all Emmaus Communities: welcoming everybody regardless of their origin and past; rehabilitation through work; sharing and solidarity within the community.

The community located in Etoile welcomes every summer teams of international volunteers, who are integrated in a group of community members for 3 weeks of exchanges and common work.

Volunteers will take part in the community’s work which involves collecting, selecting and refurbishing the objects given to the community: furniture, books, decorating objects, clothes, accessories, etc. Your role will be also to place the objects in the big selling shed, which is a true Ali Baba’s cave, and to help with selling and connecting with the public when the shop is open.
Volunteers will work from Tuesday to Saturday, 7 to 8 hours a day. Sundays and Mondays are free - you can take advantage of these days by having a nice time with the compagnons and discovering the region.

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. Motivation letter should be sent with application.
This is a French speaking project. Volunteers are expected to have at least a basic French level. Language used in the daily life and work will be French.

Language: French

Possible free time activities: Discovering Crest (visit of the tower) and various sites of the Drôme valley such as Die (old town and winery), 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, bike rides, hikes, swimming, canoe, visit of a local farm and local food tasting.

Accommodation: The volunteer group will be hosted in a building in the community, with and independent access. Beds and mattresses will be provided but you have to bring your sleeping bag.

For three weeks, you will share the daily life of the community, which involves about 20 people: men, women, teens, elders and children, from France or elsewhere! The balance of the community is based on its members and the respect of the rules, including the ban of drinking or bringing alcohol in the community. You will also be expected to respect those rules. The meals are taken together with the residents who cook successively. You will be welcomed in the kitchen to help them, and maybe cook a meal from your home country.

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 tree zones, hills and woods).

Terminal: Valence

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Preservation of the Saint-Ilpize Castle
Saint-Ilpize, Auvergne       July 31 - August 20, 2016


Volunteer project: This project is about preservation and promotion of Chateau Fort Saint-Ilpize. International volunteers will have the opportunity to participate in the enhancement of this beautiful site and enjoy the local culture.

The castle was roughed by nature: storm, winter snow, lush vegetation, and is now in great need of maintenance and rehabilitation. The group will work on the castle walls: clearing, jointing the stones, reconstruction of parts of the wall. A technical supervisor will be on site to teach you specific techniques concerning this restoration. The work is 5 hours a day in the morning.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: You can swim in the Allier which runs right next to the campsite. Hikes are possible around Saint-Ilpize. On August 15, you will participate in the feast of the UFO (Unidentified Floating Object): you’ll build a raft to participate in this fun and creative party!

Accommodation: The volunteers will stay at the campsite near the castle by the Allier River. Mattresses and tents are provided. Please, bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Saint-Ilpize is a village of nearly 200 inhabitants located along the Allier River. The setting is exceptional: the nature is lush and historic sites are numerous!

Terminal: Saint Georges d'Aurac

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Traditional stone building in Pontaix
Pontaix, Rhone-Alpes       July 31 - August 20, 2016


Volunteer project: Welcome to Pontaix, at the heart of the Drôme Valley, for a inclusive, festive and cultural adventure! With its turquoise blue river winding between stone houses, its ancestral vineyards producing the famous Clairette de Die, and its old medieval tower, this tiny little village exudes the charm of Provence at the foot of the gentle mountains of Vercors. Volunteers will have the chance to discover the stone building in the purest local tradition and the pride of contributing to the renovation of the alleys of the village to the great delight of locals and tourists. Between pétanque, banquets and especially the village festival, the inhabitants of Pontaix will welcome you in a friendly atmosphere and help you discover all the flavor and the beauty of their region!

Stone lovers? Curious to discover traditional masonry? Or simply desire to add your contribution? Join the team of international volunteers for a third renovation workcamp in Pontaix and participate in masonry work right in the heart of the village. After two very successful projects in 2014 and 2015, the municipal staff of the village calls again on the motivation and the collective spirit of the volunteers.
The first challenge of the 2016 team will be to rebuild a stone staircase to facilitate access to the town hall. The second challenge is to realize a tiled floor made with stones and pebbles to stabilize the start of the path leading to the old medieval tower. Stone cutting, making lime plaster, finishing, but also excavation, handling and placing stones in line... you will have the opportunity to become real craftsmen builders within a few weeks under the watchful eye of local volunteers!

The work will be done in the morning (5 hours a day) and you will have two days off per week, giving you the opportunity to discover the surroundings through cultural and sports activities and tourist visits!

Around August 13th, you will be asked to join the residents for the preparation and running of the Vogue of Pontaix, a very popular summer festival that gathers hundreds of people on the weekend for festive meals, games and concerts. By assisting in the installation, food preparation, service and cleaning, you will have the chance to experience this major event of the village life from the inside and to share strong moments with the locals!

Language: English

Possible free time activities: In the afternoons and weekends, you will be up to discover the region: swimming in the waterfalls and turquoise water holes of the Drôme, hike to explore the Vercors, winery tour and Clairette tasting (the famous local sparkling wine!), canoeing or tree climbing, visit of the picturesque towns of Die and Crest. A diverse program of activities will be offered to meet the local people: shared meals, walks and outings, and of course preparing the Vogue!

Accommodation: You will be hosted in a building, a bit away from the center of Pontaix, just steps from the Drôme river and its beach, surrounded by fields. A kitchen and a living room, equipped with a terrace and a barbecue will be at your disposal. Mattresses will be provided; please don’t forget your sleeping bag.

Location: Pontaix: a small village with a big heart, in an exceptional environment! Located in the Southern Alps, in the heart of the Valley of the Drôme, the village of Pontaix is just like its surroundings: sweet life, beautiful scenery, outdoor activities and festive spirit! Pontaix barely has 200 inhabitants, among whom an innkeeper, a brewer of beer, several wine growers and a biscuit manufacturer.

Terminal: Valence

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Renovating an ancient fortification in Salins
Salins-les-Bains, Franche-Comté       July 31 - August 20, 2016


Volunteer project: Come to Salins-les-Bains, a small typical town in the French Jura, for an incredible experience! Salins is a welcoming town which has an impressive natural, gastronomic, and architectural heritage, such as the famous Great Saltworks listed in the UNESCO World Heritage sites. You will have the chance to take part in the enhancement of local heritage by taking part in this project!

The town owns a land plot in the centre that the representatives of the Community Center wish to transform into a community garden. In order to secure the access to the future garden, the municipality needs to renovate the fortification wall and stairs under there with the help of an international volunteer team.

You will help renovate an ancient fortification using traditional masonry techniques: removing old coating, jointing, and rebuilding some destroyed parts of the wall. You will be trained and supervised by a stone cutter specialist and a historical monuments specialist who will happily share with you their knowledge and expertise. You will work 5 hours a day, in the morning, 5 days a week.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Visit of the town, of the Salt museum, hiking in the surrounding mountains, swimming, shared meals and parties with locals, visit of a farm or a vineyard etc. You will be in charge of organizing an international meal for the inhabitants during your stay.

Accommodation: Accommodation will be in the Golden Tower (Tour Dorée), another architectural beauty of Salins. Tents will be placed in front of the Tower for sleeping, and you will have access to the Golden Tower’s apartment. Tents and ground mattresses will be provided, but please don’t forget to bring your sleeping bags.

Location: Located in the charming valley of La Furieuse, in the heart of the Jura region, Salins-les-Bains is a typical little town of Franche-Comté that has over 3000 inhabitants. Overlooked by two ancient forts and the Mount Poupet, the town has a rich cultural and natural heritage, as well as beautiful buildings which show the glorious past of this “saline city”; among them the UNESCO World Heritage “Saline building”. Salins-les-Bains developed with extraction and commercialization of salt and hosts nowadays many spa-goers.

Terminal: Salins-les-Bains

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Preserving the environment of the Tartaret Volcano
Murol, Auvergne       July 31 - August 20, 2016


Volunteer project: The richness of the natural and built heritage of Murol gives the town a special appeal. Located in the heart of the Auvergne volcanoes, it is close to the Chaudefour Valley and is dominated by a 12th century fortress. The town also has other advantages which attract tourists both summer and winter. Murol is also distinguished by its community dynamics; many associations and events enliven the region throughout the year. It is with great enthusiasm that residents and local associations will welcome international volunteers for the 5th year!

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 by 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, swimming, canoeing, 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: Issoire

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Restoration of a dry stone wall in Vebret
Vebret, Auvergne       July 31 - August 20, 2016


Volunteer project: Vebret is located northwest of the department of Cantal, on the Plateau of Artense, its altitude is 480 meters. Composed of a town and forty hamlets, the municipality wants to beautify the town center this year: the goal is to make it pleasant and attractive, with a natural and renewed look. So, Vebret decided to repeat the experience of the 2011 project and invite volunteers to work on the renovation of nice built heritage near the town center.

The aim of the project is to rehabilitate a dry stone wall partially destroyed and overgrown. It involves clearing the brush, collecting, sorting and cleaning the stones often covered with moss; then rebuilding the wall in the traditional way, along the road. A technical supervisor will be on site to teach you specific techniques. The work takes place for 5 hours in the morning.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: All around Vebret, you can walk on cleared hiking trails along the three trout rivers, you will admire a picturesque waterfall (The Leap of the Saule), and contemplate the Romanesque church of Saint-Maurice, Historical Monument of the 12th century. In the region, you can visit old castles, charming villages and the tourist train station Antignac-Vebret "Gentian-Express". Every year in August, there is the feast of the town organized by the Festival Committee: local associations and residents will be happy to share with you the festivities!

Accommodation: Volunteers will be accommodated at the campsite of the town, located on the edge of the creek The Violin. Remember to bring your sleeping bags.

Location: Bordered by the Dordogne, at the foot of the basalt plateau of Chastel-Marlhac, Vebret is located in a particularly remarkable natural setting, with splendid views of the Organs of Bort-les-Orgues and the chain of Sancy. Located halfway between Clermont-Ferrand and Aurillac, at the crossroads of major tourist roads (Castle Valley, Salers, Puy Mary ...), the town is the starting point of the Green Track of Sumène-Artense. The Green Track is built on the old railway line linking Paris to Aurillac, lined with varied landscapes, and you can go cycling, rollerblading, walking ...

Terminal: Bort-les-Orgues

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Promoting forest conservation in the Natural Park of Vercors
Vassieux en Vercors, Rhone-Alpes       August 1 - August 15, 2016


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.

During the project, your mission will be to reorganize a forest area. Your goal will be to highlight this land in order to eventually allow the planning of cultural visits for the public, the main theme being the mountain forest environment. 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, doing different little improvements and constructions. Finally, you will take part in the organisation of an artistic event on the theme of forest. This is the prefect project for nature lovers and creators of all stripes!

Special requirements: This is a French speaking project. French will be the main language of the daily life, the work and the 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 activities for leisure and discovery, group games in nature, introduction to Aikido, hiking, visiting local food producers, creating a radio show. 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 outdoor life enthusiasts. 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 over 1000m altitude.

Terminal: Die

Age range: 14 - 17 years old

Extra fee: 380 Euro

Preservation of the ruins of a castle from the XIIc.
Bramevaque, Midi-Pyrenees       August 1 - August 19, 2016


Volunteer project: The municipality of Bramevaque and the district council of Barousse are mobilized to maintain and to restore the remains of the castle of the Earls of Comminges which attracts many visitors. For 21 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 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. The living conditions are very simple and basic. 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

Volunteering in an Emmaus community
Neuilly-Plaisance, Île-de-France       August 1 - August 20, 2016


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 difficult phase in life and the community supports them towards social reintegration; others see life in the community as an alternative lifestyle. There are 3 founding principles in all Emmaus Communities: welcoming everybody regardless of their origin and past; rehabilitation through work; sharing and solidarity within the community.

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 of benefit to 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 potential difficulties in communicating with the companions and gaining their trust.
It is important to keep in mind that this is a social project, and that the volunteers will have the same schedule as the companions. You should be motivated because it is hard work: you will work from Tuesday to Saturday, from 7:30 am to 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 capital, due to long working hours.

As an additional activity, you will create an exhibition on the topic of tolerance, together with the companions. Your creative talents will be needed!

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: Walks along the Seine, visiting Paris or Vincennes, organized activities with the companions.

Accommodation: To facilitate communication and integration, volunteers will take their meals with the companions at the community restaurant. 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

Improving the environment and organizing a local festival in Midi-Pyrenees
Antichan de Frontignes, Midi-Pyrenees       August 2 - August 23, 2016


Volunteer project: International volunteer projects carried out previously in the village of Antichan de Frontignes have been a success, and the mayor wants to host a new group this year to implement concrete actions towards improving the living environment and to integrate international volunteers into the local life, especially during the village festival.

The volunteers will participate in various activities in the village including pruning, weeding, cleaning trails, etc.
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, swimming in the lake near the village... 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

Beautifying the central park of Saint-Amant
Saint-Amant, Auvergne       August 7 - August 28, 2016


Volunteer project: Located 900 meters above sea level in the heart of Regional Park Livradois, Saint-Amant-Roche-Savine is often considered as a dynamic village. In a privileged environment, with a preserved natural environment, people unite around various activities such as sports, art and culture. In order to further increase its tourist appeal, the town wants to organize an international volunteer project. The goal is to enhance a park in the heart of the village.

The park consists of old trees and historic walls. The tasks include clearing and restoration of stone walls. In addition, you will build a BBQ in the park together with the locals : it is an opportunity to build relationships and then celebrate the achievement! A technical supervisor will be on site to teach you specific techniques. The group will work for 5 hours in the morning. Afternoon and weekends are reserved for free time activities.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: In this protected natural environment, you can hike, swim in the river, visit exceptional sites such as Saint Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, whose interior is completely painted, or jasseries of Forez. There will be a big party the last weekend of your stay: a chance to live unforgettable moments and experience French culture!

Accommodation: In tents, at the socceer field right by Saint-Amant’s downtown. Tents and mattresses will be provided, please bring a sleeping bag.

Location: Located in Average mountain, the town offers magnificent views of the mountains of Forez. You can admire the landscapes, fauna and flora while hiking the trails. 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: Saint-Amant

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Restoration of the Castle of Artias
Retournac, Auvergne       August 7 - August 27, 2016


Volunteer project: The town of Retournac is partner of this project and will be pleased to welcome international volunteers. Retournac is a small town with a rich natural heritage (Loire river runs along the city) and exceptional architecture.

The volunteers will be involved in the restoration of two heritage sites. The first mission will focus on the development of the site of the castle of Artias: restoration of stone walls. The second mission will be carried out in Jussac: you will participate in the restoration of a bread oven. Both sites are located in the municipality of Retournac.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: The area offers many opportunities for walking and recreation: swimming in the river, cultural tours, festivals, ...

Accommodation: You will be accommodated under tents in the campsite. Mattresses and tents provided. Bring your sleeping bag. The campground is located along the Loire river: it’s a picturesque spot.

Location: Retournac is in the Haute-Loire department in south-central France.

Terminal: Retournac

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Heritage restoration project in Auvergne
Herment, Auvergne       August 7 - August 27, 2016


Volunteer project: The village of Herment is hosting for the third time an international volunteer project in the summer of 2016. The project is part of a dynamic program of the municipality and regional agencies to enhance the attractiveness and openness of the village to the world. The aim of the project is very ambitious: the restoration of a historic dry stone retaining wall!

The dry stone wall that you will be working on is essential for maintaining a historical site called "The Walk of the Walls". You will restore this dry stone wall using traditional dry stone techniques. The stone used is a typical local volcanic stone from the Auvergne volcano region. A technical supervisor will teach you specific restoration techniques. The work takes place for 5 hours in the morning. Afternoons and weekends are dedicated to other activities.

Language: English

Accommodation: You will be accommodated in the municipal camping in the center of the village. Mattress are provided, bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Located at 830 m of altitude, the village of Herment has a remarkably rich heritage. The village offers visitors a unique view of the Monts Dore, of Limousin and “Le Plomb du Cantal” from the "Promenade des Walls". In addition, this rural mountainous area benefits from the tourist attraction of winter resorts and hydrotherapy in Massif du Sancy.

Terminal: Laqueuille

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Couvre Feu music festival
Corsept, Pays-de-Loire       August 8 - August 25, 2016


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 15th edition of the festival will have a new shape called « Caravane de Couvre Feu »! From August 12th to 21st, 2016, it will be an itinerant festival of 10 days in 6 different locations, with more than 40 shows. The organization of such an event requires a lot of time and people available, and from the start, international volunteers have been involved in the organization of the festival to help run the event and accommodate nearly 30,000 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 fences, arranging parking lots, dressing rooms, refreshment stands and catering, dismantling and equipment storage. During the festival, you will be responsible for welcoming the public and site maintenance.
Note: Tasks are a little repetitive but essential. Festival organizers are counting on your motivation to help before, during and after the festival. The work schedule 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!

This year, the festival will take place in 6 towns on the south bank of the Loire estuary, in Paimboeuf, Corsept, Saint-Père en Retz, le Saint-Viaud, St Brévin and Frossay. The volunteers will work mainly in St Brévin and Frossay but could reinforce the festival teams in the other locations.

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 and organizers, at the camping site in St Brévin from August 8th to 10th, and then in Frossay from August 10th. 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

Developing the area around the magnificent Muratel waterfall
Paulhac, Auvergne       August 14 - September 3, 2016


Volunteer project: As part of the development of its natural heritage, the municipality of Paulhac hosts for the first time an international volunteer project. At the foot of the Plomb du Cantal, Paulhac will surprise you with its diverse heritage (churches, castles, ovens, traditional “burons”, oratories ...), its varied landscapes, local products, arts and crafts. The inhabitants are distributed in 29 villages and hamlets. The municipality is traditionally agricultural, and thanks to new activities (services, tourism), there is a fresh dynamism.

Your mission will be to develop the area around the magnificent Muratel waterfall. So you’ll make clearing and earthworks, you will set up picnic tables, fences and stairs made of logs, you will build a bridge to cross the waterfall. All this, to allow residents and tourists to enjoy this beautiful waterfall: they will be able to access it, to walk around, to admire it! A technical supervisor will guide you through the specific techniques. The group will work 5 hours in the morning.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: You can enjoy the proximity to Saint-Flour (20 km) to go to the pool, cinema or museum. Concerts enliven the town during the summer. Late August, there is the Feast of Paulhac : the inhabitants will be happy to prepare and enjoy with you the joyous celebrations that gather them all with enthusiasm!

Accommodation: You will be accommodated under tents on the municipality soccer field. The tents will be provided. Remember to bring your sleeping bag.

Location: In the foothills of the largest volcanic massif of Europe, Paulhac has a rich historical and cultural heritage: hiking the trails, you will discover the ancient Latin church (XII century), the buron of the Puy du Coucou and its traditional pigsty, the Bélinay Castle (XIV century) and its chapel, the horse farm, the typical barn. In those various locations, exhibitions have been set up, to present the production of milk and cheese, the local fauna and flora, the life of people and animals according to the season, the autonomy of a remote mountain village. Similarly, the newly restored traditional space in Lapeyre, reflects the agricultural practices and know-how.

Terminal: Saint-Flour Chaudes Aigues

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

History and archeology in Provence
Beaumes de Venise, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur       August 14 - August 27, 2016


Volunteer project: If you are passionate about history and archeology, this project is designed for you! Here you will have an opportunity to share an archeo-experimentation project with local volunteers and young people from all around the world. In the Castellas area, high up in the castle where the antique Oppidum is located, different tasks will be given to you.

Our first task will be to participate in the construction of a medieval wooden cabin. This cabin will later serve as a welcoming centre for visitors and as a storage place. If you are an apprentice in construction, this is for you too! Come and practice different techniques of traditional construction with stone. You will have the privilege to learn this ancestral technique thanks to the specialists who will work with us and who are willing to pass on their knowledge whilst we reconstruct the stone walls of the antique Oppidum with them. Finally, your task will also consist of pruning and cleaning the area to enable visitors to access the area more easily and have a better view of the basic historical elements. This work is part of a new project: the construction of a real touristic and scientific spot of discovery and experimentation. The idea is to organise visits which will allow visitors to see and understand 25 centuries of history through the artefacts found in the area and to value these artefacts. The work will take place in the morning, 5 hours a day, and you will have 2 free days per week, which will give you the opportunity to explore the community through cultural activities, sports and touristic tours!

Language: English

Possible free time activities: At the banks of the river Rhône and close to Mont Ventoux, the county of Venaissin offers a lot of activities to be discovered: visiting the picturesque castles and towns, tours through the vineyards, visiting Avignon, excursion to Mont Ventoux and of course, visiting wine cellars and tasting regional produce. Aside from all the local festivities that reinforce the region’s cultural lifestyle, local volunteers will also undertake the role of helping you discover all the things that the region has to offer and they will be curious to learn about your culture. One of the goals for your stay will be to take part in cultural and linguistic exchanges.

Accommodation: There is nothing better than staying on a camp to change your routine! It’s the best way to be able to wake up to the sounds of the cicadas. The campsite is in the heart of the town of Beaumes de Venise, perfect for spending time with the local population. Everyone will sleep in tents with mattresses provided. Please bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Welcome to Provence! Located between the Dentelles of Montmirail and the legendary Mont Ventoux of Provence which ages with the region, the town of Beaumes de Venise is full of vineyards and olives which have been warmed by the sun here for thousands of years. You will be able to get a fully historical French experience, thanks to the fact that this town was the seat of the Pope for several centuries before becoming part of France in the 18th century.

Terminal: Carpentras

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Restoration of the historic Salt Road in Vanoise National Park
Termignon, Rhone-Alpes       August 14 - September 3, 2016


Volunteer project: A project designed for mountain lovers and volunteers interested in dry stone building!

Welcome to the small Alpine village of Termignon, in the very heart of the beautiful Vanoise National Park! Between vertiginous mountains heights, large flowered meadows and fresh waterfalls, you will have the pleasure of contributing to the development of the village as well as getting initiated to the ancestral dry stone building technique. After a first volunteer workcamp last summer, the local people expect a new team of highly motivated volunteers to carry on the renovation work on the famous “Salt Road”.

The “Salt Road” is a 27km route in the heart of the Vanoise National Park which connects the municipalities of Pralognan and Termignon. For five centuries, this lane was used as a passage for transporting salt on mules, from Tarentaise to Maurienne and to the Italian Piedmont.

It’s on one part of this emblematic road, a few kilometers from the heart of the village of Termignon where you will intervene. Led by passionate professionals who desire to transmit their knowledge, you will participate in the repair of dry stone walls along the way and in the construction of a calade (a pavement of cobblestones). Work is 5 hours per day, 5 days per week.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Climbing, tennis, nature exhibits, water sports, swimming pool, summer events, meeting with local people ...

Accommodation: Accommodation at the village’s campsite, sleeping in tents. Mattresses will be provided; please bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Termignon covers over a third of the Vanoise National Park! Located at 1,300 meters above sea level, the village offers beautiful scenery, and many opportunities for hiking and viewing wildlife and flora. A free shuttle from the village also allows to go to the heart of the Park, from the main walking routes to explore the lakes and mountain shelters! If you love the mountains and fresh air, welcome to Termignon!

Terminal: Modane

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Restoration of an ancient castle in the Pyrenees
Durban-sur-Arize, Midi-Pyrenees       August 16 - September 3, 2016


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 work.

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.

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. Housing conditions are very 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 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

Music and land art festival in Auvergne
Teissières les Boulies, Auvergne       August 16 - September 3, 2016


Volunteer project: For the 2nd edition of the Diamant Vert festival, the municipality of Teissières les Boulies wants to organize an international volunteer project, in the framework of development projects and enhancement of its natural and historic heritage. Indeed, an agro-environmental center is being set up in the town, with a resource center in agro-ecology and eco-construction.

“Le Diamant Vert” festival was born from the desire to highlight the forgotten landscapes of Cantal, offering a weekend of music and art in the heart of the Auvergne volcanoes. Alongside concerts full of sensitivity and originality, Land Art artists will dress the place with inspired installations, and you can take part in the creation through several creative workshops. “Le Diamant Vert” is a festival that wants to prove that rurality can also be modern, cultural and attractive, a festival that promotes knowledge sharing between generations in a common creative dynamic.

You will participate in the festival organization, and in the enhancement of the natural environment in Teissières les Boulies.
Supervised by members of the festival organizing team, you will help raising tents, putting gates, organizing parking, dressing rooms, refreshment stands and catering. During the 3 days of the festival, you will help to welcome festival goers and to maintain the site. After the weekend, there will be dismantling work, equipment storage, site cleaning and restoring.
In parallel, the enhancement of the natural environment consists of the rehabilitation of a trail: cutting shrubs, highlighting a recently discovered mine. Finally, you will help with the setup of the new Agro-Environmental Centre involving cutting brushwood, earthwork, setting up experimental tools related to sustainable development.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: In the region, you can admire landscapes by canoe, you will discover local farms, and hike the many trails through mountains and rivers!

Accommodation: Volunteers will be accommodated in a communal building in Teissières les Boulies. Remember to bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Teissières les Boulies has an exceptional heritage: the bread oven, the cross of Cayre, the farrier shoeing stock, the fountain rack system, the fresco of the village from yesterday to today, the orchard, the “secadou” (building where chestnuts are dried), dry stone walls, the workshop (the former center bottling carbonated water). Indeed, in 1821 a source of sparkling water was discovered in the area, whose success became legendary. A Natura 2000 site of 200 hectares is located nearby that works to protect bats who hibernate in mining relics.
Teissières les Boulies is 750 meters above sea level, facing the mountains of Cantal and Aubrac, near the lake of Maurs, where the festival takes place.

Terminal: Teissières les Boulies

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Incredible Edible Billom
Billom, Auvergne       August 21 - September 3, 2016


Volunteer project: After 15 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

Long-term projects in France