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Volunteer opportunities in FRANCE

Restoring a stream and creating an interpretive trail in an authentic alpine village
Villard Reculas, Rhone-Alpes          June 21 - July 4, 2015

Volunteer project: Villard-Reculas is a small village in the very heart of the Oisans mountains. The mountain's fresh air, the ski resort and the many nature sports opportunities attract tourists in winter and summer, but the local people try to maintain an authentic village atmosphere and sustainable development. Since 2011, three international workcamps have been hosted in Villard-Reculas, working mainly on preserving and embellishing the heritage of the village. Enthusiastic about the exchanges with past volunteers, the locals wish to repeat the experience this summer with an ecological project.

Guided and supported by local volunteers, you will perform restoration work on the Canal de Sarrazin, a small stream that weaves through the village. Work will mostly consist in pruning and clearing around the stream and the footpath, digging small ponds to lead the water flow and enable vegetal and animal species to repopulate the area. You will also build and install gates all along the path that borders the stream. The aim is to restore the freshwater ecosystem in this area, and in the same time to build an interpretive trail to allow local residents and tourists to discover the stream, the wildlife around it and the historical use of water in this place (former water-mill). You will work 4 to 5 hours a day, in the morning, 5 days a week.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Hiking, cycling, shared meals with locals, etc. The volunteers will also organize an international meal for the local people.

Accommodation: Under tents, on a municipal ground in the village. You will have access to a small apartment with kitchen, showers and a storage space for you personal belongings. Tents and mattresses will be provided, please don’t forget to bring a warm sleeping bag.

Location: Villard-Reculas is a small touristic village in Eau d’Olle valley in Isere department, situated in the Grandes Rousses - Alpes d’Huez ski area. At 1500 m above sea level, the village overlooks Bourg d’Oisans and the Romanche. This authentic village offers exceptional scenery of the high peaks of Oisans.

Terminal: Grenoble

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Rehabilitation of a rural heritage site in Auvergne
Chaspinhac, Auvergne          June 28 - July 18, 2015

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

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

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Tours, hiking, excursions, meetings with local farmers 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 middle of nature. 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

                                                                                                         

 

Improving the environment in Beaujolais wine growing region
Pommiers, Rhone-Alpes          June 28 - July 18, 2015

Volunteer project: It is with the intention to preserve its heritage that Pommiers hosted its first international volunteer project in 2000. Since then, volunteer teams have restored many dry stone walls and heritage sites. Thanks to the enthusiasm of the volunteers and the many contacts with the population, the municipality wishes to continue the project.

This year, the city of Pommiers wants to break new ground! Committed to local sustainable development, the municipality will focus its policy on education and environmental issues. The new projects the volunteers will be involved in include: clearing vineyards, weeding the streets and sidewalks, cleaning botanical gardens, etc.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Visit of Lyon and Villefranche-sur-Saône. Discovering the vineyards, medieval villages, the valley of Azergue, the “Monts du Beaujolais” or the “Dombes”. Swimming in the lake at Villefranche. Sport: badminton, hiking, tennis...

Accommodation: In the changing rooms of the soccer field (showers, kitchen, beds available).

Location: Located at the south of the “Monts du Beaujolais”, 40 km from Lyon, Pommiers is part of the most important places for Beaujolais wine growing. The municipality is committed to preserve its historical and natural heritage.

Terminal: Villefranche sur Saône

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Restoration of traditional ovens in Auvergne
Chalvignac, Auvergne          July 5 - July 25, 2015

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

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

Language: English

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

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

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

Terminal: Mauriac

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Trail maintenance project in Cantal
Jaleyrac, Auvergne          July 5 - July 18, 2015

Volunteer project: This international volunteer project takes place in the charming village of Jaleyrac in the Cantal department in south-central France.

Volunteers will work on a historic hiking trail that connects two villages. The team will take part in the maintenance of the trail which requires different tasks such as clearing and building steps.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Trips, hiking and sports with the local youth. You will have the opportunity to get to know local people and their lifestyle in this project.

Accommodation: Under tents near the school. Mattresses provided. Please, bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Jaleyrac is a picturesque village with 500 residents, located in the south-west of the Auvergne region. It offers beautiful natural surroundings and impressive views over the Volcanoes of Auvergne and the Limousin mountains. The village has a lot of old heritage buildings, including a church of the 12th century. Jaleyrac is 38 km from Aurillac, the department capital.

Terminal: Mauriac

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Village entrance landscaping project
Civrieux d’Azergues, Rhone-Alpes          July 5 - July 25, 2015

Volunteer project: The town of Civrieux d’Azergues is welcoming with much enthusiasm its first international volunteer project this summer. Town officials, residents and local associations would really like to give you a warm welcome in their charming village of 1500 inhabitants situated at the junction of the Beaujolais and the Monts d’Or.

Guided by a landscape organizer, your mission will be to create a new landscape at the entrance of the village. The work will consist in embellishing the area: planting shrubs, building a gabion wall, arranging a yard with gravel and stones, etc. You will work 4 to 5 hours a day, in the morning, 5 days per week.
You will also assist in the organizing and running of the twinning festival in the village.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: The local people and associations truly want to help you discover their region and have already planned several possible trips and activities for you: visit to Lyon, visit to the Museum of Golden Stones, July 14th festivities, visiting villages of the Beaujolais, visiting wineries, meeting with an organic winegrower, visit to the Musée des Confluences in Lyon, introduction to bread making in a bakery, shared meals.

Accommodation: At the heart of the village, you will live for three weeks in a large town house with a garden, in which tents will be set up. Please bring your sleeping bag.

Location: Ideally located 20 km north-west of Lyon, Civrieux-d’Azergues and its surroundings offer numerous opportunities for hiking and exploring the old villages and vineyards of Beaujolais.

Terminal: Lyon

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Restoration of historic military fortifications in Rhone-Alpes
Dardilly, Limonest & Saint-Didier, Rhone-Alpes    July 5 - July 25, 2015

Volunteer project: The towns of Dardilly, Limonest and Saint-Didier-au-Mont-d’Or are located in the North of Lyon urban area. Small towns where living is easy, very attached to their natural and historical heritage, the three hosted together international volunteers in 2013, which left very good memories. The towns get together again this year and propose a new project on the renovation of historic heritage sites. This is an important project with many different work tasks, leisure activities and many meetings with locals, so the people in charge expect some very motivated participants.

The volunteer group will be divided into 2 teams, and will be able to work on two different sites every day. Guided by local volunteers, the teams will switch, so that each volunteer can participate in every type of work.
In the town of Saint-Didier au Mont La Roche, you will do some masonry work to renovate a wall, according to the ancient “dry stone” technique. You will also help to clear up the paths around.
In Limonest, you will work on the “Batterie des carrières” (an old military fortification), improving the access, removing stones, interior and exterior renovations. You may also rebuild a wall and do some construction work on the access paths.
In Dardilly, your workplace will be a military fort from the late 19th century called Fort du Paillet, where you will participate in some cleaning of the interior, painting and maintenance of the woodwork.
Be aware, working on these projects may be physically demanding and hard! Work is around 5 hours a day, 5 days a week.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Visit to Lyon (Fourvières, Croix Rousse, Cathedral, Place des Terreaux, Museum of Arts, park and zoo of la Tête d’Or…), trekking and walks in the Mont d’Or and the Beaujolais wine region, visiting vineyards, swimming, dinners and parties with locals, participation in local celebrations.

Accommodation: You will be accommodated in the town of Dardilly, inside the Fort. Tents will be installed in the yard of the fort. Mattresses will be provided, please bring your own sleeping bag.

Location: The three partner towns are located a few miles away from Lyon, in the Mont d’Or region. The Monts d’Or offer a hilly landscape with a beautiful natural and historical heritage. With the many local organizations and volunteers involved in the project, you will have the opportunity to discover that region and learn a lot about the history of your workplaces. Some youngsters from Dardilly will be involved with you in the renovation work on the fort and share with you some meals and leisure activities.

Terminal: Lyon

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Volunteering in an Emmaus community
Neuilly-Plaisance, Île-de-France          July 6 - July 25, 2015
Neuilly-Plaisance, Île-de-France          July 27 - August 22, 2015

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 of helping the companions in their everyday tasks: collection of items donated to the community (furniture, clothing, appliances, books); sorting, repairing or recycling these items; selling to the public in the community stores, maintenance of the different little stores, and any other 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 in the first project (July 6-July 25, 2015), you will create an exhibition on the topic of tolerance, together with the companions, creating posters and drawings. Your creative talents will be needed!
In the second project (July 27-August 22, 2015), you will organize a festival for children, creating various fun activities and games.

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

                                                                                                         

 

Organic gardening and social inclusion program in Gerzat
Gerzat, Auvergne          July 7 - July 25, 2015

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

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

Language: English and French

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

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

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

Terminal: Clermont-Ferrand

Age range: 20 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Building an eco-hut in the Natural Park of Vercors
Vassieux en Vercors, Rhone-Alpes          July 10 - July 24, 2015
Vassieux en Vercors, Rhone-Alpes          August 1 - August 15, 2015

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

Volunteers will help build an eco-hut on the site of the camp. Guided by camp facilitators, the group will perform various tasks: construction of the floor, framing, manufacturing and installation of clay-coated straw, etc. You will also be asked to take part in other activities related to the operation and maintenance of the site, such as gardening, writing a blog, crafts and various construction works (e.g. building a solar oven), preparation of an open day for visitors, or help in the organization and running of a small summer festival.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: With the help of the group leaders, you can organize numerous activities for leisure and discovery, group games in nature, introduction to Aikido, hiking, visiting local 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: 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

                                                                                                         

 

Renovation of the built heritage of Beaujolais
Morancé, Rhone-Alpes          July 11 - July 25, 2015

Volunteer project: At the heart of the famous Beaujolais wine region, Morancé is a typical stone village. The houses, farmhouses and monuments were built in luminous ocher stone which gave its name to the area known as “Pierres dorées” (Golden Stones). The town will welcome for the first time this summer an international volunteer workcamp and the residents are very enthusiastic about it. This project has two objectives: to help with the restoration of the local heritage and to enable meetings and intercultural exchange between local people and volunteers from all over the world.

Led by a professional mason, you will participate in the renovation of an ancient stone wash-house, which roof, walls and ground are partly destroyed. In order to rebuild the main wall and the ground, you will perform various masonry tasks. In addition, the team will also help renovate a small stone wall near the wash-house. You will work 4 to 5 hours a day (mostly mornings), 5 days a week.

Special requirements: Participants have to be able to ride a bike.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Visiting the village and the vineyards, a trip to Lyon, international dinner with locals, participation in local events, etc.

Accommodation: The volunteer group will be hosted in a municipal building: a dormitory with mattresses will be improvised in the main room. Please bring your own sleeping bag.

Location: Morancé is a village of 2000 inhabitants located about 20 km from Lyon, in the heart of the Beaujolais wine region. There are only a few shops in the village but the local atmosphere is very lively and the inhabitants are looking forward to hosting your international team! Bicycles will be provided so that you can feel free to move all around the town and the surrounding area.

Terminal: Civrieux

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Renovation of hiking trails by the Seine River
Juziers, Île-de-France          July 12 - August 1, 2015

Volunteer project: Located in the Vexin Regional Nature Park, Juziers and its 3900 residents are proud to host their sixth international volunteer project with the objective to protect their local heritage and to put the community on the road to opening and discovery. The municipality is really enthusiastic about the idea of welcoming a group of volunteers and will assign them the rehabilitation of hiking trails and the opening of a new footpath into the city.

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

Language: English

Possible free time activities: Visit to the Palace of Versailles, hikes in the Vexin park, July 14th celebrations, international evening, barbecues ...

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

Location: Located on the right bank of the Seine, at 38 km from Paris, Juziers is a city-door to the Regional Natural Park of Vexin. This park spreads over 66 000 hectares and brings together 99 communities whose goal is to preserve the natural environment, to rehabilitate and restore the built heritage and to develop agriculture with respect to the environment.

Terminal: Paris

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Heritage restoration project in Auvergne
Herment, Auvergne          July 12 - August 1, 2015

Volunteer project: The village of Herment is hosting for the second time an international volunteer project in the summer of 2015. The project is part of a dynamic program of the municipality and intermunicipal territorial agencies to enhance the attractiveness and openness of the village to the world. Therefore, the aim of the project is to restore a dry stone wall.

The volunteers will work on the restoration of a dry stone wall in Herment. You will work 5 hours per day (in the morning), 5 days per week.

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, those 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

                                                                                                         

 

Creating a graffiti mural and landscaping in scenic villages in the heart of Beaujolais
      Pays d’Oingt, Rhone-Alpes          July 12 - August 1, 2015

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

The team of international volunteers will work in cooperation with a group of local young people in the two villages:
- In Chessy-les-Mines, you will create a graffiti mural in the underpass under the railway in the village.
- In Bois d’Oingt, you will work in the park of the town hall. This means mainly landscaping work on the property, cleaning, clearing a vault, painting.
You will work 4 to 5 hours every morning, with 2 days off per week.

Language: English

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

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

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

Terminal: Chessy

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Restoration of dry stone walls in the Beaujolais countryside
Charnay-en-Beaujolais, Rhone-Alpes          July 12 - August 1, 2015

Volunteer project: The small village of Charnay-en-Beaujolais, one of the most beautiful villages of the Pays des Pierres Dorées, is hosting this summer its first international volunteer project in order to combine the preservation of its heritage with a new dynamics of cultural exchanges. Residents are looking forward to welcoming the volunteers and sharing their love for the region. Welcome to the heart of the Beaujolais!

Joined by some local volunteers, you will take part in the restoration of a long fence made of dry stones upon the hights of the village. The region is well-known for its stone walls, therefore it is very important for the town to preserve and restore them. You will work 5 days a week, from 4 to 5 hours per day, in the morning.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: You can visit the villages of the Beaujolais, the city of Lyon, several cellars, you can taste some Beaujolais wine, meet local people, join village festivals and the July 14th celebrations.

Accommodation: You’ll be accommodated in the municipal school. Please don't forget your sleeping bag.

Location: Charnay (1100 inhabitants) enjoys a privileged position, just 30 km from Lyon and at the very heart of the famous Beaujolais region! The area offers many opportunities for walks and tours which will enable you to discover the old villages and vineyards of the Beaujolais.

Terminal: Lozanne

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Vocal Jazz Festival in the medieval town of Crest
Crest, Rhone-Alpes          July 26 - August 12, 2015

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 of the Festival, you will participate in the installation of stages, platforms and dressing rooms, decoration of the festival area, cleaning after each performance (stages, outside space), waste management and recycling. On some mornings, you will also participate in the implementation of a survey among the local population. Participants have therefore 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. There will be little time for leisure or group life. 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

                                                                                                         

 

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

   

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

                                                                                                                                  

 

Reopening an old Roman road and organizing a local festival in Midi-Pyrenees
Antichan de Frontignes, Midi-Pyrenees     July 28 - August 18, 2015

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

Language: English

Possible free time activities: The site is rather isolated but offers many opportunities for hiking, exploring the beautiful local heritage sites, sports, 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

                                                                                                         

 

Footpath restoration in Rhone-Alpes
Pontaix, Rhone-Alpes          August 2 - August 22, 2015

Volunteer project: The village of Pontaix, located in the touristic area of La Vallée de la Drôme, has preserved its tranquility. The village has some beautiful ancient houses and the ruins of a feudal castle. The local community needs the help of an international team to continue the rehabilitation work started last summer on the site of the old castle, and will host its second international workcamp this year!

You will participate in the restoration of a footpath that connects the village center of Pontaix to the ancient castle: clearing bushes, removing branches and stones, possibly also creating and installing protection gates and rebuilding a dry stone wall. You will be supervised by some local volunteers. You will work 4 to 5 hours in the morning, 2 days off per week.
You will also assist in the preparation and running of a summer festival in the village on the weekend of August 15.

Language: English

Possible free time activities: During this project, you will have the opportunity to visit Die, and maybe Valence, and why not the famous vineyards of Clairette de Die (bubble wine, really appreciated in the region). You will also have the opportunity to swim in the river Drôme and to hike in the beautiful landscapes of Diois area. Other possible activities include swimming in the river, canoeing, visiting the hill-top villages, visiting caves, meetings with locals, hiking…

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

Location: The village of Pontaix is located in the South East of France, in the Southern Alps, just at the feet of the Vercors mountains and by the river Drôme. Pontaix and its valley are dominated by the Glandasse mountain (2041 m high).

Terminal: Valence

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Restoration of heritage sites in a medieval village in Midi-Pyrenees
      Puy l’Eveque, Midi-Pyrenees          August 2 - August 22, 2015

Volunteer project: The charming town of Puy L’Eveque receives for the 12th consecutive year an international volunteer workcamp to assist in its work on renovating the local heritage and creating areas for rest and relaxation. The local council and residents, accustomed to hosting international groups are hoping for numerous exchanges with the volunteers and are willing to share friendly moments with you.

Supervised by a professional, you will continue the masonry work, started by previous international volunteer groups, for the construction of a stone wall. You will also take part in various beautification projects located in the historic village of Puy l'Eveque. This project is ideal for those who love old stones and manual work.
You will also participate in the village feast on August 8th and 9th.

Language: English

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

Accommodation: In dormitories in municipal apartments. Please, bring your sleeping bag.

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

Terminal: Cahors

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

                                                                                                         

 

Couvre Feu music festival
Corsept, Pays-de-Loire          August 12 - August 28, 2015

Volunteer project: Couvre Feu is a music festival with rock, reggae, ska, metal, and pop rock concerts, which takes place every year in Corsept in the Loire-Atlantique department in western France. The 13th edition of the festival will take place on August 21, 22 and 23, 2015. The organization of such an event requires a lot of time and people available, and for more than 10 years international volunteers have been involved in the organization of the festival to help run the event and accommodate more than 25,500 visitors. 

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

Language: English

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

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

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

Terminal: Nantes

Age range: 18 - 30 years old

Extra fee: 50 Euro

                                                                                                         

 

Incredible Edible Billom
Billom, Auvergne          August 23 - September 5, 2015

Volunteer project: After 14 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

                                                                                                         

 

 

 

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Cadip volunteer project review:

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

Stephen M.,
Cadip volunteer 2007