ESC volunteering teams in France with Solidarites Jeunesses
These projects are supported by the program European Solidarity Corps for young people between 18 and 30 years. It is open to all the EU and partner neighboring countries that fit the ESC criteria. The participation to the ESC volunteering teams is subjects to several principles and conditions, presented on the ESC webpage: https://europa.eu/youth/solidarity/mission_en
- Volunteers do not have to pay no participation fee to attend the projects
- Volunteers need to enrol in the PASS, the European Solidarity Corps Portal ; SJ will organize their matching in the portal with the volunteering project;
- Volunteers will receive pocket money, calculated on basis of 6€/day, once they arrive on the projects
- Volunteers will receive a financial support for their travel, according to a maximum amount established in accordance with their travel distance and upon the presentation of original tickets;
- Volunteers will have to complete a participation report, submitted online through the portal
- Promoting and experiencing collective living and healthy lifestyles
- Promoting alternative and solidarity-based modes of consumption
- Raising awareness about the importance of physical activity
- Learning about ecological and low-fat cooking
- Analysing and remodelling one’s practices and lifestyle
- Reconnecting with people and nature after 2 years of Covid-19 pandemic
- Contributing to meaningful community work
More information about Solidarites Jeunesses: https://www.solidaritesjeunesses.org/apropos#item-six
1) SJ/ESC14 A FORGOTTEN HERITAGE
27/06-16/07 RENO 12 vols 18-30
Project : What’s the common point between a castle, winter and a giant hole in the floor ? The answer is in Le Créneau ! During this project, you will help us renovate the fixed ice house on the castle grounds. The ice collected from the water in winter was stored there to ensure the preservation of foodstuffs throughout the year. Help us enhance this small heritage, to give it acknowledgment and to highlight the skills acquired over the years! Your actions will be in accordance with the objectives 5 and 8 of sustainable development (UN) in favor of gender equality and decent work and economic growth.
Work : The work will consist of developing and enhancing the surroundings of the ice house before proceeding with its restoration.
- Enhance the masonry by clearing the vegetation (construction of a bamboo fence and relocation of part of the bamboo grove)
- Renovate and enhance the access stairs and entrance wall
- Level and renovate the low circular wall to lay a temporary floor
- Installing wooden pillars (and their foundations) to support the future roof
- Renovate the joints of the interior masonry
The work will take place in the morning, from 8:30AM to 1PM, with a break of 30 minutes around 11AM.
Accommodation and food : Participants will be hosted on Le Créneau’s camping, in collective tents (5-6 per tents) with wooden floor and beds. WiFi is not available on site. Food will be provided and prepared by the participants in groups, in the collective kitchen of Le Créneau, with the support of the cooking staff.
Location : Montcombroux les Mines (45 kms away from Moulins)
Leisure activities : Weekends are planned collectively with the group leaders. If you want to discover the cities around, Vichy and Moulins are 45 kms away. If you’d rather have a nice walk in nature, the surroundings are perfect for hiking, landscape seeing, discovering local markets, swimming, and enjoying sports activities and games.
Closest train station : Moulins-sur-Allier (03000), 4 rue Philippe Thomas
Closest airports : Lyon or Paris
Arrival : Let’s meet at Moulins-sur-Allier train station, at 5pm !
2) SJ/ESC26 BACK TO THE PLAYGROUND
09/07-30/07 CONS 14 vols 18-30
Project: A collective and intercultural adventure in Alsace! Do you want to be part of it? On the agenda : a workcamp useful to the rural community, technical apprenticeships, exchanges from local to global, co-prepared meals, the discovery of the Alsacian Vosges… And all that you will build together ! The inhabitants of Fouday are hosting an international workcamp for the first time and are eager to live this rich experience of sharing ! This workcamp lasts three weeks because that’s what you need to carry out your experience fully : the time to get to know each other, to dream and to achieve our utopia together ! You will take part in the first workcamp to redevelop a convivial area around the Maison du Temps Libre, where concerts and events take place. Eventually, it will be a pleasant and useful meeting space for inhabitants of all ages. Your actions will be in accordance with the objectives 4, 5, 11, 12, 16 and 17 of sustainable development (UN) in favor of quality education, gender equality, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, peace, justice and effective institutions and partnerships for achieving the goals.
Work : Supported in the technical training by a motivated team of local volunteers, you will learn to rebuild a retaining wall, create barriers, tables, wooden benches… It will be mainly carpentry and masonry work. At the same time, taking advantage of the intercultural dynamics, you will organise and co-animate awareness-raising activities on international solidarity and the fight against discrimination, aimed at young people. No particular qualification is expected, only the desire to do something together! How many hours of work per day ?
Accommodation : You will be accommodated in the village school, specially fitted out for you and located 400 meters from the workplace. You will sleep in 2 different rooms. Kitchen, toilets, washbasins, showers on site. Please bring a sleeping bag, sheets and pillow. Food is provided and included in the budget of the workcamp. You will take it in turns to prepare meals and local and/or organic purchases will be favored.
Location : Rich in history (67130), Fouday is a village of 350 inhabitants, situated in the Bruche Valley, at the foot of the Champ du Feu Massif (430m altitude). At the confluence of the Chirgoutte, it is an environment of forests and pastures. We are 50 km west of Strasbourg.
Leisure activities : walking, horse riding, festivals, markets, museums, etc… It is up to us to organise together the discovery activities that suit us : the possibilities are numerous! We will also be actively involved in the festivities of the 14th of July, the French (inter)bank holidays ; )
Closest train station : Fouday train station
Closest airport : Paris
Arrival : Let’s meet between 4pm and 7pm, at the station in Fouday (67130)
3) SJ/ESC27 ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL
10/07-31/07 RENO/CONS 15 vols 18-30
Project: Since 2002, the Citrus association has been organising international workcamps in the Tarn-et-Garonne region. Each year, dozens of volunteers from all over the world take part in a technical work camp of public interest, in the heart of a village. This year, it is in the village of Genebrières, in the department of the Tarn-et-Garonne, that you will participate in bringing interculturality, sharing and meeting to life. Your actions will be in accordance with the objectives 3 and 4 of sustainable development (UN) in favor of good health and well-being and of quality education.
Work: You will participate in the renovation and upgrading of the surrounding walls of the town hall, in the heart of the village. You will discover the typical architecture of Occitania, with its red bricks that turn orange when the sun sets. Supervised by two village employees, you will learn how to join and lay bricks, using traditional materials (lime, sand). You will work approximately 6 hours per day 5 days a week (around 30hours per week).
Accommodation and food: You will sleep in a dormitory in a community hall, really close to the work site. Mattresses will be provided, you only need to bring your sleeping bag and a pillow. A shower and toilets are on site, and a kitchen and a living room will be available nearby. There will be no washing machine available. Every day, a team of volunteers will cook meals for the whole group, according to menus that you will have chosen collectively. Special attention will be paid to seasonal and local food. Some arrangements for special diets can be made with the group leaders.
Location : Genebrières, 15km away from Montauban.
Leisure activities : In the heart of the Tarn-et-Garonne, you can take advantage of the possibilities of the region: swimming in the Aveyron, visiting medieval villages (Bruniquel, Penne, etc.), hiking, etc. Discover the city of Montauban, whose bricks glow in the evening light. Accompanied by two educational animators, you will meet the inhabitants and share this experience with them! In the evenings and at weekends, let your imagination run wild and organise a barbecue, a karaoke night, a folk dance, etc. Finally, you will organise a big international meal, open to all, in order to share specialities from your culture with the inhabitants and visitors.
Closest train station : Montauban Ville-Bourbon (82000)
Closest airport : Toulouse-Blagnac (31000)
Arrival: At 6PM, campleaders will pick you up at Montauban Ville-Bourbon train station.
4) SJ/ESC31 TRACING THE STEPS OF THE DUKE OF LESDIGUIERES
11/07-01/08 RENO 11 vols 18-30
Project: Do you want to participate in the protection of a historic site in the heart of idyllic mountain landscapes? Join us and come discover the castle of Lesdiguières and its natural setting at an altitude of 1140 meters! The Duke of Lesdiguières, the last Constable of France, is a military figure known for his participation in the Wars of Religion and for his involvement in the construction and development of roads, bridges and dikes against flooding in the region. He had this castle built between 1571 and 1580, which was abandoned after his death. It was looted during the French Revolution. The castle is listed in the supplementary inventory of Historic Monuments in 1978. In 2000, the “Château de Lesdiguières” association was created with the aim of safeguarding the historical, architectural and cultural memory of the building. Since 2010, the various works that we have been organizing on this site are aimed at securing and reinforcing the existing walls, but also at enhancing its value.
Work: Do you want to learn ancient masonry techniques and to register your action in accordance with the objective 12 of sustainable development (UN) in favor of sustainable consumption and production? How to use ancient and ecological materials? Since 2018, we have been working on the reinforcement of the masonry of an escarpment wall (defense wall). With time and bad weather, this wall has suffered some damage and its stones are coming loose. With the help of the technical supervisor, we will work with old techniques and materials (such as lime). At certain times, we will work at height, using scaffolding. We will work around 30 hours per week.
Accommodation and food: In tents at the “La Pra” campsite in Saint Firmin, located at the entrance to the Valgaudemar valley. On the campsite, we will spend a quiet stay in a mountainous and exceptional green setting. We will have access to facilities such as toilets, barbecue, petanque ground, WIFI. We will set up a large kitchen tent in order to prepare our meals (vegetarian, vegan and other specific diets possible). The preparation of the meals is done in turn, so that we can taste several specialties! Here, we pay attention to what we eat, to reduce our impact on the planet, we try to eat a maximum of local products and we eat meat twice a week. Collective life is organized together: organization of menus, shopping, activities, etc. The lunch will be cold as it will be taken to the construction site. Bring a mattress, a good sleeping bag (the nights can be cool) and a pillow (to be adapted to your needs).
Location: The workcamp is located in the village of Glaizil and the campsite in the village of St Firmin (about 20 min by car). In the village of Saint Firmin there are some small shops and we are about 15 km from Saint Bonnet en Champsaur and 30 km from Gap. Once or twice a week, we organize our vehicles with some shopping outings!
Leisure activities: In the heart of the Ecrins National Park, between the Valgaudemar, Champsaur and Dévoluy valleys. Your eyes will never cease to be amazed by this exceptional environment! We can discover the pleasures of hiking in the mountains, its rivers and lakes, farmers’ and producers’ markets, and festive evenings organized in the surrounding villages (depending on the programme). As a group, we will decide which activities and discovery outings we wish to organize (subject to distance).
Closest train station: Gap (05000). We will meet you at the station between 4pm and 6pm.
Closest airports: Marseille or Lyon.
5) SJ/ESC32 BUILDING AN INTERNATIONAL AND ECOLOGICAL VILLAGE 1
11/07-24/07 CONS/ENVI 16 vols 18-30
Project: Vir’Volt stands for InteRnational VolunTeer Village (in French). Since 10 years, the organisation is located right in the middle of nature, near a regional park. Hosting youth from all around the world, learning how to understand and appreciate differences. To plan and act together to protect the environment. To create a positive impact on the surrounding environment and people living there or simply passing by. Here lie our goals for this future village, which each year, is built thanks to youths who come and contribute, with solidarity as their driving force. Vir’Volt also aims to become fully eco friendly and sustainable which is reflected in our campsite ; yurts and teepees as rooms, permaculture farming and gardening, water saving projects, reducing and reusing waste. This small village will become great without sacrificing or damaging the surrounding environment whilst always searching better and more eco friendly ways of living. Your action will be in accordance with the objectives 12 and 13 of sustainable development (UN) in favor of a responsible consumption and production and of climate action.
Work: During this workcamp, you will be in various work projects on-site as well as in the local town alongside local and international volunteers.
- 2 New yurts have been installed on-site to be able to host more people! You will help in the installation of the yurts. (Simple woodworking)
- In La Ferté-Alais, the former swimming pool is becoming a dedicated youth space. You will help in the refurbishment of the interior walls. (Painting and simple masonry)
- Near our village (La Ferté-Alais), an ecological museum is being built. Ancient and traditional farming tools are in need of preserving to be exposed and teach future generations how land used to be cultivated using only human energy. (Renovation)
- Inside the workcamp, we are creating small areas with many purposes. Reading, talking, relaxing, planting flowers… With your involvement, you can leave a meaningful and traceable mark by building furniture using recycled wood pallets. (Simple woodworking, construction)
You will work in the mornings, afternoons will be reserved for leisure activities.
Accommodation and food: You will sleep in collective tents (yurts, tepees) on the campsite of the association. Please bring a sleeping bag with you. The campsite has separate bathrooms and showers, as well as a kitchen place. Food will be provided and cooked by the volunteers in turns.
Location: La Ferté Alais is approximately 50km south of Paris, in the Essonne region.
Leisure activities: You will have the chance to enjoy the association’s campsite and to discover the cultural and natural heritage of the region which is part of a natural park. You will also help organise some activities in order to meet and socialize with local young people. Other leisure activities will be organised collectively depending on the wishes of the group and the available budget.
Closest train station: La Ferté Alais RER station.
Closest airports: Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle, Paris Orly and Paris Beauvais.
Time and directions to the meeting point: La Ferté-Alais train station, between 2pm and 4pm
Observations: This project should not be seen as a sightseeing trip to Paris. If you wish to visit Paris, you should do so before arriving or after the dates of the workcamp.
6) SJ/ESC56 ON THE WAY TO MEETINGS
06/08-27/08 RENO/SOCI 10 vols 18-30
Project: Lying on the edge of a forest, the site of la Madone attracts many hikers drawing their curiosity. Based on community developmental work, this project intends to facilitate an exchange between the local community and international volunteers. In response to the UN goal of “Sustainable cities and communities”, the work camp will be focused on creating common intercultural space and exchange with the local community, exploring new ways of thinking, and acting, sharing experiences, alternative living, and taking part in collective life. There will be many occasions to promote solidarity. All international workcamp memories are unique, so come to Dampvalley-lès-Colombe and make your own !
Work: A dozen stone constructions surround a tall statue, of about 10m. To bring new life to the place you will renovate walls and structures, around 6 hours a day. You will learn techniques of traditional masonry (wall-building) with mortar. You will evolve as a team with the help of a technical supervisor, sharing all tasks associated with collective life such as cooking, cleaning, after work activities etc.
Accommodation and food: You will live in a municipal center set aside for your group and the football pitch will also be at your disposition. The place is equipped with a kitchen and field beds will be provided for you. Bring your own bedding, blankets or sleeping bags. Showers can be taken in the homes of the locals. Alternatively you can prepare meals outdoors and use long drop toilets. Accompanied by the camp leaders, you will make the menu and prepare the meals, in turn. Vegetarian options are available. You will oftentimes share meals with the villagers giving you the opportunity to discover the local gastronomy and what makes it unique.
Location: The commune of Dampvalley-lès-Colombe, is situated 10 km from Vesoul (70000) in the department of Haute-Saône. The workcamp is located approx. 15 minutes on foot from the accommodation.
Leisure activities: May it be during the afternoons or weekends; your group will initiate and organise the activities. The ideal programme will account for the wishes of everybody and the financial side of things. In Dampvalley-lès-Colombe you can enjoy the many local amenities such as the nautical centre and the football pitch. You can also rely on the support of the villagers for organisation, as they will be delighted to engage with you and to give advice on how to best discover the local environment and enjoy your stay.
Closest train station: The closest train station is in Vesoul (70000).
Closest airports: Paris and Basel in Switzerland.
Time and directions to the meeting point: A meeting point will be established to facilitate your arrival. This is planned towards the end of the day between 4 pm and 6 pm. Campleaders will drive you from the train station to the village.
7) SJ/ESC57 ST REMIX
06/08-27/08 RENO 12 vols 18-30
Project: This work camp allows its participants to expand their knowledge and abilities, in intercultural exchanges and construction. In response to the UN goal of “Sustainable cities and communities”, the work camp will be focused on creating common intercultural space and exchange with the local community, exploring new ways of thinking, and acting, sharing experiences, living alternatively and taking part in collective life. There will be many occasions to promote solidarity. All international workcamp memories are unique, so come to Saint-Rémy-en-Comté and make your own!
Work: After your arrival, you will continue renovations started by the association a couple years ago. You will learn to cut stones and traditional masonry (wall building) and renew the ruins of a medieval castle. The work (around 6 hours a day) will be organised in teams and you will also be in charge of all chores such as cooking, cleaning etc.
Accommodation and food: You will live in a building set aside for your group. The place is equipped with a kitchen and field beds will be provided for you. Bring your own bedding, blankets or sleeping bags. Showers can be taken in the homes of the locals. Accompanied by the camp leaders, you will make the menu and prepare the meals, in turn. Feel free to initiate collective meals with the other residents. Vegetarian options are available. You will oftentimes share meals with the villagers giving you the opportunity to discover the local gastronomy and what makes it unique.
Location: The commune of Saint-Rémy-en Comté is situated 30 km from Vesoul in the department of Haute-Saône. The workplace and the accommodation lie very close to each other, and the distance can easily be covered on foot.
Leisure activities: May it be during the afternoons or weekends; your group will initiate and organise the activities. The ideal programme will account for the wishes of everybody and the financial side of things. It might include exploring the nature around the village, sports, games and touristic sites that could awaken your curiosity. With its medieval ambiance Saint-Rémy-en-Comté and its surroundings provide many opportunities to experience the region’s unique flair together. You can also rely on the support of the villagers for organisation, as they will be delighted to engage with you and to give advice on how to best discover the local environment and enjoy your stay.
Closest train station: Vesoul (70000).
Closest airports: Paris and Basel in Switzerland.
Time and directions to the meeting point: A meeting point will be established to facilitate your arrival. This is planned towards the end of the day between 4 pm and 6 pm. Campleaders will take you from the station to the village.
8) SJ/ESC72 THE WITCHES’ CLAWS 1
30/08-20/09 (to be confirmed) ENVI 12 vols 18-30
Project: This international camp is organized in partnership with the Syndicate mixed Rivage and the town of Barcarès, on the edge of the Salses Leucate pond, in a protected wetland, renowned for its varied biodiversity. The partnership between the Syndicat mixte Rivage and the REV has existed for several years. The syndicate collaborates regularly with the REV, on the organization of international worksites or other occasional events. The two structures are used to working together, and find each other both in terms of their values and their ambitions. This year’s project will aim, in addition to removing invasive species (witches’ claw, yucca, prickly pears, agaves, etc.), to participate in implementing measures for the protection and enhancement of existing biodiversity on the site (e.g. trail layout). Since the work is linked to weather conditions, the tasks are generally defined at the start of the project. Your action will be in accordance with the objectives 14 and 15 of sustainable development (UN) in favor of the protection of fauna and flora (aquatic and terrestrial).
Work: This site will allow you to carry out several activities: opening up environments (cutting down trees), delimiting the protected area of the area frequented by kite surfers for example (laying wooden barriers), uprooting invasive species in order to allow endemic species (flora or fauna) to be able to reproduce. The aim of the project is to preserve the surroundings of the pond, whether by managing attendance or managing plants. 25h/week
Accommodation and food: You will be accommodated in a gîte made available by the town hall. This place includes dormitories, toilets and a kitchen. Meals will be provided and prepared in turn by participants.
Location: Between the Mediterranean Sea and the pond of Salses Leucate, near Perpignan and the Pyrenees.
Leisure activities: As the site will be held in a protected area, the majority of leisure activities will consist of discovering the surrounding nature (fauna and flora), but also discovering the culinary heritage. Transport will also be made available to organize discovery outings and leisure activities.
Closest Train Station: Leucate la Franqui station between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Closest Airport: Montpellier
9) SJ/ESC82 THE REAL STORY BEHIND ARZELIERS CASTLE
17/09-02/10 RENO 12 vols 18-30
Project: At the gates of the provençale Baronnies, the site of Arzeliers lies perched on a small mountain where one can marvel at a beautiful view of the Durance valley. This former village that today is in ruins is the birthplace of the Laragne commune. There, we can still find the remnants of a chapel as well as the ruins of several homes. For some years now, the commune of Laragne has mobilized the ruins of the Arzeliers castle, a relic of the rich past of these communities, back to life by upgrading and maintaining it. For this purpose, international workcamps of young volunteers have been organized since 2013.
Work: Do you want to learn ancient masonry techniques and to register your action in accordance with the objective 12 of sustainable development (UN) in favor of sustainable consumption and production? How to use ancient and ecological materials? This year, we will continue to work on protecting former homes in close proximity to the castle. With the aim of preserving this heritage and its remains, we will use the same materials used at the time, namely, plaster. We will collect the gypsum on site, and cook it (thanks to an oven built on location), in order to reuse it in the masonry. All of this will be accomplished with the help of a technical supervisor who will be there to share their knowledge! Warning, this will tone up your arms! You’ll work for 30h a week, you will get there by vehicle. We will use a scaffold at times for work at heights. Evenings and weekends are free for activities that you will choose and organize together.
Accommodation and food: We’ll be living under tents on the « Montéglin » camping in Laragne, a small town steeped in history and typically provençal. On the campgrounds, we have access to amenities like sanitary facilities, a barbecue, a pool, a bocce ball court, a bar, a restaurant, and WIFI. We will install a large kitchen tent in order to prepare our meals. We’ll take turns cooking, that way we’ll be able to taste a number of different specialties ! Here, we pay attention to what we eat, and to reduce our impact on the planet, we try to eat a maximum of local products and we limit eating meat to twice a week. Community life will be organized together: organization of menus (vegetarian, vegan and other specific diets possible), grocery shopping, activities, etc. The lunch will be cold as it will be taken to the construction site. Bring a mattress, a good sleeping bag (the nights can be cool) and a pillow (to be adapted to your needs).
Location: The small town of Laragne is a welcoming town with all kinds of shops (10km from Sisteron and 40km from Gap).
Leisure activities: We will be in an exceptional location to discover the joys of hiking among the mountains, its rivers, its lakes, the farmers markets, and festive events organized in the surrounding villages (depending on programming). As a group, we’ll decide the activities and outings that we want to set up (subject to distance).
Closest train station: Laragne Montéglin (05300). You can arrive by train from Grenoble or Marseille directly at the Laragne Montéglin station. Carpooling is also possible because Laragne is on the road between Grenoble and Marseille. The meeting times at the Laragne train station will be communicated to you on the infosheet (no times available at this time).
Closest airports: Lyon or Marseille.