Organic Farming volunteer programs

Organic gardening in Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam       8 projects of 1 wk from May to February

Volunteer project: This organic farm was established in 2013 in Tan Binh District, in the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City. The aim of the program is to provide a friendly environment where volunteers can have cultural exchange with local people while learning the techniques for operating a professional organic farm. After 4 years of research, investment, and standardizing the process of growing vegetables organically, the organic garden in Tan Binh has reached a stable output of over 10 kinds of leaf vegetables and some kinds of fruits. The core members of this project have been working strenuously to achieve their dream of growing healthy produce.

The volunteers will be guided and supervised by the manager of the farm. The general tasks would be: seeding new vegetables on the farm, spraying, weeding, creating new vegetable beds, etc. Moreover, the volunteers will have the chance to communicate with Vietnamese kids and show them around the garden when they come for educational tours. Volunteers are also encouraged to try and establish new ideas for improving the product quality on the farm.
Working hours are from 8:00am to 11:00am and from 1:30pm to 4:00pm, Monday to Friday.

Special requirements: Volunteers must be motivated, reliable, initiative and assiduous in their work on the farm. Most importantly, volunteers need to be friendly and patient, making good relationships with the local workers.

Leisure activities: Vietnamese Day, International Day, self-organized city tour and excursions, etc.

Language: English

Accommodation: In a dormitory in Saigon, in shared rooms with bunk beds. Free Wi-Fi is available at the volunteer house.

Location: Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City, in the southern part of Vietnam.

Terminal: Tan Son Nhat Airport (SGN), 20 minutes drive from the volunteer house

Age range: 18 and over

Extra fee: 180 USD for 1 week; 250 USD for 2 weeks;
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival.

All available dates for this project:
May 25 - June 1, 2020
June 22 - June 29, 2020
July 27 - August 3, 2020
August 24 - August 31, 2020
September 21 - September 28, 2020
November 8 - November 15, 2020
December 28, 2020 - January 4, 2021
February 1 - February 8, 2021

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Permaculture farming program
Çatalca, Turkey       4 projects of 2 wks from June to August

Volunteer project: There is a Children's center in Catalca, where kids from poor families receive shelter, care and support from pre-school level until they graduate from university. A farm was established in order to provide healthy food for the children living in the Center. The farm is run according to the principles of permaculture.

Volunteers will be involved in manual farm work which may vary from day to day. Some examples are: taking care of farm animals; cleaning coops and barns; preparing homemade food for chickens; making different types of composts like cold/hot compost or bokashi, as one of the major steps of permaculture is to create our own self-sufficient soil; establishing raised garden beds and filling them; making our own lactobacillus serums; general cleaning of the farm area; finding or in some cases making new tools. The work will be physically demanding at times. If the weather is bad, indoor work will be offered.

Special requirements: A motivation letter is required.

Language: English

Accommodation: There is a volunteer house for 8 people, with a kitchen. Please bring your sleeping bag.

Location: The farm is located in Catalca, in a green area, 2.5 hours from Istanbul city center. Here you can have nature walks, paragliding, and cycling.

Nearest terminal: Çatalca

Nearest airport: Istanbul

Age range: 18 and over

All available dates for this project:
June 8 - June 22, 2020
June 29 - July 13, 2020
July 20 - August 3, 2020
August 10 - August 24, 2020

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Organic farming and environmental conservation program
Kakamega, Kenya       July 11 - July 29, 2020

Volunteer project: The volunteers will work together with a local self-help group in Mumias, Kakamega County. The group strives to provide a place for better health education of the local community to improve community health through nutrition and environmental protection. They do this through the production of organic foods to reduce malnutrition among disadvantaged children. Through the production of organic food, group members can improve their cultivation techniques, which in turn promotes income generating activities for the community as a whole, thereby increasing food security and discouraging deforestation. Group members are also committed to protecting the environment by planting trees and using organic fertilizers in agriculture.

Volunteer activities:
• Organic farming that includes gardening, weeding, planting in tree nurseries, clearing bushes and digging;
• Making of bricks to be used for the construction of a storage room for farm products;
• Making organic fertilizers and biochar (porous charcoal used in agriculture) to help the soil retain its nutrients and water;
• Participating in exchange programs in schools, teaching students how to make compost.

Farming in Kenya

Leisure activities: Volunteers can visit Lake Victoria at Kisumu City and the Kakamega Rainforest.

Language: English

Arrival and orientation: All volunteers will be picked up from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi. Accommodation will be arranged before and after the project in a host family in the Buruburu area of Nairobi.

There will be a one-day orientation for all participants the day before the project starts.

Accommodation: Accommodation will be at the project site and it is important that you have your own sleeping bag and mat.

Location: Mumias, Kakamega County

Terminal: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi

Age range: 18 and over

Extra fee: 265 Euros
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival.

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Organic farming for sustainable livelihoods in Zanzibar
Mpapa, Zanzibar, Tanzania       August 10 - August 30, 2020

Volunteer project: Agriculture is the main sector of Tanzania's economy providing livelihoods for about 70 percent of the population. However, many local farmers struggle to make a profit and produce an adequate supply of food for their communities. As a volunteer on this project, your focus will be on providing support to small-scale local farmers, resulting in improved livelihoods for farming communities and more resilient and sustainable agriculture practices.
The team will work with a local farmers cooperative in Zanzibar formed to sustain livelihood of its members through agriculture, dairy farming and environment conservation. With 100+ members they are working together in horticulture production, dairy cow, processing of dairy products and tree planting.

The volunteer tasks will include:
• Agriculture: Preparing fields, planting and harvesting of fruits and vegetables, planting grasses to feed animals.
• Dairy farm: Cow milking, cleaning the animal sheds, feeding animals, and helping in processing yoghurt juices.
• Environment: Tree planting and environmental education and awareness.
• Educational activities (Study part): Sustainable livelihood for small scale farmers.

Special requirements: Potential volunteer in this project shall be the one who is interested in agriculture and sustainable livelihood issues, interested in outdoor and field activities; a person who is flexible, open minded, and open to learn and contribute.

Leisure activities: Exploring Zanzibar's historical, natural and cultural sites. These include museums, local markets, stone town, etc. Enjoying wildlife and marine life. Jozani forest National Park, swimming, tour to small islands, variety of water sports, spice tour among many other options.

Language: English

Accommodation: Local residential house in the village. Mattresses will be provided in shared rooms. Vegetarian meals will be available for the entire duration of the project.

Orientation: On arrival, all volunteers will attend an orientation session. The aim of this session is to help the volunteers build a team and also to share with them some practical information about the country, the host community and their volunteer project.

Location: Mpapa is a community of approximately 1,500 inhabitants in the rural area of Unguja Island, Zanzibar. The community is located about 25km from Stone and is accessible by both public and private transport. Convenient shopping places, market, health centers, telecommunication services are available. Mpapa community is strategic recreation point since it is very close to some of the most beautiful beaches of Zanzibar among other attractive destinations.

Terminal: Zanzibar International Airport

Age range: 18 and over

Extra fee: 250 Euro
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival.

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Promote organic agriculture in rural Nepal
Kathmandu, Nepal       4 projects of 2 wks from November to February

Volunteer project: The project will take place in a small village in Kathmandu district, 7 km from Thamel, the center of Kathmandu. Most local people live off agriculture. The issue is with the chemicals that are used in agriculture and their harmful effect on public health. The goal is to provide the local population with an alternative way of sustaining themselves while involving the whole family in organic agriculture and providing healthier food options.

The volunteers will be involved in agriculture, working in a nursery to grow new and improved varieties of vegetables and crops. We will teach the local population how to plant and grow healthy produce. We will also provide a variety of different seeds which will be distributed to local families so that they can be used effectively to provide sustenance.
In the evening, we will be discussing different topics, such as freedom of expression, women empowerment, peace, etc. with the local people.

Language: English

Free time activities: There are many places you can visit in the free time: a national park for hiking, many temples, a government school.

Accommodation: Simple accommodation with a local family is provided. Volunteers will have three traditional meals a day, mostly the Nepalese national dish Dhal Bhat. A camping pad and a sleeping bag are required. Showers with cold water are available.

Arrival and orientation: All volunteers are requested to participate in an orientation meeting in Kathmandu on the day before the project starts. Details about the local host, the project and the travel arrangements will be provided. All volunteers will travel together from Kathmandu to the project site by bus.

Location: The village is located 13 km from the airport and 7 km from Thamel, the tourist center of Kathmandu. Also known as the City of Temples, Kathmandu is home to many UNESCO Cultural Heritage Sites. The city offers all amenities (restaurants with Wi-Fi, pharmacies, grocery stores, etc.).

Age range: 18 and over

Extra fee: 225 Euro
Airport pick-up and transportation from Kathmandu to the project site by bus is included.
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival.

All available dates for this project:
November 16 - November 29, 2020
December 10 - December 24, 2020
January 16 - January 29, 2021
February 16 - February 28, 2021

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Sustainable agriculture program
Kundapur, Karnataka, India       1 - 4 weeks

Volunteer project: Kundapura is at the centre of Karnataka’s coastal belt and has many beautiful beaches. ‘Kunda’ means pillar, referring to the traditional method of constructing houses and ‘pura’ means town. Its traditional cuisine is well known all over India, coconut being an important ingredient of most of its culinary offerings. Kundapura has a laidback atmosphere and has many quaint customs and traditions, which you would find interesting and entertaining.

The Sustainable agriculture program takes place in Kundapur, in the lush green, rural area of coastal Karnataka, which is home to breathtaking fauna and flora. The project base is surrounded by coconut and mango trees, creating an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. The program was initiated with a vision to evolve a model of sustainable agriculture and livelihood by involving and integrating different farming systems for efficient use of conservation and management of natural resources. The program is implemented across a 6.5 acres of farm land.

Depending on the season, volunteers will be engaged in any of the following activities:
• Maintenance of the natural landscape - soil and water conservation, live hedge fencing, fruit and forestry plantation
• Activities in the natural surroundings, planning a local food festival, forest-crop cultivation, composting, kitchen garden, medicinal plants cultivation, nursery management
• Sharing volunteers' interests and experience with farmers, so they can plan how to implement those skills and experience into the daily farm life
• Documentation of local traditional practices
• The beaches in and around Kundapur are home to the Olive Riddley and Green sea turtles. We have been working towards the conservation of sea turtles for more than a decade. Help us to clean up the beaches and create awareness in schools and the local community on the importance of sea turtles. If you are in the right place at the right time, you may even get to see them hatch or help to rehabilitate a wounded turtle.

Leisure activities: An 82-foot statue of Anjaneya, commonly known as Hanuman, the monkey god is worth a visit, as is the Kotilingeshwara temple, an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to the god Shiva. Kodi beach, one of the most spectacular in Karnataka is where you can catching amazing sunrises and sunsets. Climb up the winding, spiral staircase to the lantern house to enjoy the panoramic view of the ocean and the town beyond from the lighthouse. Gangoli is situated at the confluence of 5 rivers and the harbour is a busy place where you can interact with the fisherman community. Maravanthe is unique in that the Suparnika river flows on one side of the road, with the beach on the other, the only one of its kind in India.

Kollur Mookambika and Murundeshwara temple where you can view the 2nd largest statue of Shiva, are popular pilgrim spots. Boating on the backwaters of Kundapur, visits to a cashew nut, rubber or tile factory are some interesting ways to spend your free time. You can also visit Indian families to exchange views on your cultures and participate in the cultural programs of the local community. Yakshagana, a form of folk-theatre has been practiced here for the last 400 years. It is a unique blend of musical tradition, eye-catching costumes and authentic styles of dance, improvised gestures and extempore acting which is typical of this region. Do try not to miss this cultural treat.

Language: English

Accommodation: In the local training center, in shared rooms.

Location: Kundapur is a coastal town in Udupi district, Karnataka state in South India. Kundapur is located at the Arabian sea coast, 440 km north west of Bangalore, 91 km north of Mangalore and 35 km from Udupi. The nearest international airports are Bangalore and Mangalore. Kundapur can also be reached from Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore, Mangalore and Kerala by train/bus.

Age range: 18 and over

Extra fee: 6,600 Indian Rupees (about $92 US) for 1 week; 13,200 Indian Rupees (about $184 US) for 2 weeks; 15,400 Indian Rupees (about $215 US) for 3 weeks; 18,700 Indian Rupees (about $260 US) for 4 weeks;
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival.

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Developing ecotourism and organic farming in a rural community
Quepos, Costa Rica       1 - 3 weeks

Volunteer project: The project takes place in a rural community, around 1,5 hours inland from Quepos. It is a self-managed farming, animal husbandry and rural tourism cooperative that has a strong commitment to protecting the environment and runs conservation and environmental education activities. The cooperative owns almost 1000 hectares of land that are being used for different activities such as: African Palm tree cultivation, reforestation, conservation of primary forest and ecotourism. The community’s mission is to promote the social and economic development of its families, through the use of profitable enterprises and protection of the environment that surrounds them.
The village is surrounded by a tropical forest on the northeast side and by the Savegre River on the northwest side. El Rey beach is only one hour southwest from the community.

The volunteers will help in different activities related to maintaining, developing and improving the ecotourism program that the cooperative runs: gardening, building cages and fences, digging ditches, raking, making wooden signs for the trails, maintaining and cleaning forest trails and water ducts. They will also help with the other projects of the community, such as organic farming, animal husbandry as well as at the lodge and restaurant area for visitors.
Volunteer’s schedule depends on the project needs and on the weather conditions but it’s normally Monday to Friday from 8:00am until mid-afternoon, with a long break at noon.

Special requirements:
- Basic level of Spanish
- To be vaccinated against Tetanus, Measles, Mumps and other eruptive diseases. Although it is not absolutely required, we suggest that you get a full set of Rabies vaccination before coming to the project. Please, bring your vaccination chart.

Arrival and orientation: All participants in the program have an orientation meeting in San José before travelling to the project. The orientation helps you get an insight into local culture and prepares you for a positive experience in Costa Rica.
Please arrive in San José 3 days before the start of the project. On the third day, you will travel to the project site.

Language: English

Duration of the project: 1-3 weeks. Please select the dates that work best for you and submit them with your application.

Accommodation: The volunteers stay in a host family in the community.

Location: Quepos, Puntarenas Province

Terminal: San José

Age range: 18 and over

Extra fee: 290 USD for 1 week; 430 USD for 2 weeks; 570 USD for 3 weeks;
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival.

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Sustainable Agriculture and Organic Farming program
India       1 - 12 months

Volunteer project: The challenge of food security, especially in the face of rising food prices, places a serious responsibility before the country. Despite immense advances in the agriculture sector, many people still sleep hungry or live under the threat of food shortage. The degradation of natural resources is also a major concern as it severely impacts the livelihoods of poor and backward communities in rural areas. In this backdrop, sustainable agriculture is one of the most effective ways to respond to the challenges of the rural community. In essence, Sustainable Agriculture refers to a set of practices adopted for cultivation that are least harmful to the environment while also ensuring a good crop. It involves crop production methods that support sustainable natural resource management to increase crop productivity, maintain biodiversity, and also are economically viable and socially acceptable. Organic farming is generally sustainable; however, organic produce can also be cultivated on large scale industrial farms that are not sustainable. Soil and water management, organic farming, integrated pest management, and integrated nutrient management are common practices promoted under sustainable agriculture. Sustainable agricultural development, as well as employing organic farming methods, seeks food and nutritional security, improved livelihoods for the people, safe ecosystems, and sustainable economies of agriculture.

As a volunteer in this field of work you will
- Work with the farming community and the associated organisations that assist in sustainable agriculture and/or organic farming.
- Conduct community awareness on the importance of sustainable agriculture.
- Facilitate training and capacity building on crop productivity, how to maintain biodiversity, water management, organic farming, integrated pest management, and integrated nutrient management, surveys, documentations etc.

Language: English

Duration of the project: The project is run all year round. Minimum duration is 1 month. The project starts on the first Monday of every month.

Documents to be submitted: Motivation letter that accurately describes yourself, your skills and interests, past work experience, strengths and weaknesses, etc. is required. This information assists us to match you to the project as accurately as possible.

Accommodation: During the orientation week, the volunteers will stay together in a volunteer centre in Kundapur or Bangalore in shared bedrooms, and will take all three vegetarian meals together.
Accommodation for the volunteers during the project can either be at the project site, in a local host family or in a hostel – depending on the project, location and availability.

Arrival and orientation: Volunteers arrive in Kundapur or Bangalore by the first Monday of each month. Bangalore has an international airport and Kundapur is well connected to Bangalore by train and bus.

The program will start with a week-long orientation. The schedule is flexible but the Orientation week usually contains the following topics:
- Program introduction: topics include aims of the program, way of working, finances, rules and expected behaviour.
- India: culture, religion, habits, customs, history, geography, social issues, etc.
- Language skills: India has 18 official languages, and many more dialects and sub-dialects. We will start with teaching the local language, Kannada. Do not forget that English is widely spoken throughout the country. However, we encourage you to try to learn and speak the local language, since this will open more doors for you.
- Projects: overview of the international volunteer projects in India and an explanation and presentation of your particular placement. There will also be project visits, where you will have the opportunity to meet current volunteers in the project who can share their experiences.
- Information: lots of new things will be introduced to you including some sessions on yoga, cooking and Hindu philosophy.
- Local sightseeing: meeting people will make you feel right at home. You will have the opportunity to visit market places, Indian homes and natural sites in groups or individually during the free time.
- Do’s and Don’ts: there are some simple rules, which can help you have a smooth integration with each other and with the local people. This will also help overcome the culture shock!
- Intercultural session: presentation of the represented countries and cultures to the other volunteers and the local youth.
- Group games and discussions to make the theoretical sessions as dynamic and participatory as possible.

Age range: 18 and over

Participation fee: $690 CAD (about $530 US)

Extra fee: 17,000 Indian Rupees per month (about $240 US)
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival.

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Organic farming program
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam       2 - 3 weeks

Volunteer project: This organic farming program takes place on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City. The farm works to promote eco lifestyle, as well as to provide real organic fruits and vegetables to the community. The farm is about 5000m2 and they use technology based on software to ensure the quality and capacity of the products.
There are 6 No’s on this farm: No pesticides and herbicides; No planting on soil and water contaminated with agricultural chemicals; No growth regulators; No chemical fertilizers; No genetically modified seeds; No preservatives.

Volunteers will help with the routine tasks on the farm:
- Checking plants regularly to find ecosystem patterns of the land
- Field sanitation and plants health
- Planning the seasonal crops
- Using different plants for intercropping and crop rotation as needed
- Creating favourable environment for the development of beneficial insects
- Trap cropping and setting pheromone traps
- Measures for expelling insects
- Shielding vegetables in rows or in a greenhouse
- Using resistant varieties
- Applying insecticides of biological origin

The organic farm also plays an educational role. Children can come to visit and learn about organic farming, eco-lifestyle and environmental issues.

Language: English

Duration of the project: 2 - 3 weeks. Please select the dates that work best for you and submit them with your application.

Arrival and orientation: The project starts on Tuesday, except on holidays. Volunteers arrive in Ho Chi Minh City on Monday or Tuesday of every week.
A one- to three-day orientation and training is provided at the beginning of the project. It covers topics such as aims and structure of the program, introduction to Vietnam and tourist destinations recommendation, practical information and arrangements, basic Vietnamese and local travel guide and visits to host placement(s).

Accommodation: Volunteers will stay in a dormitory in shared rooms. The house has TV, PC, free Wi-Fi, fridge, washing machine, air conditioner, cooking facilities and common room.
There is a cook who prepares a wide variety of delicious and authentic Vietnamese dishes with locally sourced fresh produce daily during the week. On weekends, meals will be served at a restaurant nearby.

Location: Ho Chi Minh City

Terminal: Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City

Age range: 18 and over

Extra fee: 280 Euro for the first 2 weeks plus 80 Euro per extra week
The extra fee for this project has to be transferred one month before the start. The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds.

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