Volunteers of 2021 in Etyek
Since 1902 the Birds and Trees Day is celebrated in Hungary on the 10th of may. More than 100 years ago the scientist, politician and journalist Ottó Herman initiated the Birds and Trees Day to raise awareness to the people about the environment and important impact that nature has.
As a way of waste reduction awareness, and specifically after the pruning and trimming of the trees and shrubs early in the springtime, a mulching tour around Etyek was organized with the collaboration and help of locals.
As a society, we make a lot of waste. There is plenty you can do to reduce the amount of waste you send to the landfill. Like composting. Composting is the natural process of recycling organic matter, such as leaves and food scraps, into a valuable fertilizer that can enrich soil and plants. Anything that grows decomposes eventually; composting simply speeds up the process by providing an ideal environment for bacteria, fungi, and other decomposing organisms (such as worms, sowbugs, and nematodes) to do their work. The resulting decomposed matter, which often ends up looking like fertile garden soil, is called compost. Fondly referred to by farmers as “black gold,” compost is rich in nutrients and can be used for gardening, horticulture, and agriculture.
I am Elias, I am 19 years old and from Germany.
After my graduation in the summer of 2020 I wanted to make a volunteering year in Germany, but I realised that I needed a change of my surrounding. So I decide to go outside the country. When I found Szatyor I was really fond by the project and its goals. The idea of being in another country, that I know very little about, making my own experiences, while learning about the environment and also doing something for it was very attracting to me.
Also the activities, like for example the bicycle workshop or the work with children sounded very appealing. Back in Germany I worked with kids and trained a group of kids doing athletics.
Also in Germany I went to a Waldorf School where I learned things about gardening which I want to use and expand.
All in all I can say I am really happy to be here, looking forward to explore the Hungarian culture and language, as well as Etyek with its people. I think that with this program we can achieve great things :)
My name is Sherif Malek, I was born in Sinai, Egypt (the most beautiful place in the world), moved to Cairo (one of the busiest cities) when I was young.
Out of curiosity to know other cultures and people, I decided to continue my studies abroad, so I moved to Hungary in the end of the year 2015 to continue my studies as a computer Engineer.
I was so lucky to choose Hungary and meet very cool people and get introduced to many different aspects of life which I haven't experience before like Hungarian folk parties.
I joined the project to take a break from the fast life and city hustle, take life more simple and work with my hands. I hope to learn from the people around me and maybe make a positive impact even if small.
Hey! I'm Roya. I'm from a small country bordering the Caspian Sea - Azerbaijan. I'm a minimalist person who trying to simplify my life as much as I can. I have several hobbies, such as watching movies, writing, photography, editing videos, etc. I admire the natural lifestyle because it gives me endless energy, creativity, flexibility, and motivates me to be a better person.
When I first saw the project "Green Seeds" I realize this is what I was looking for and just stopped looking for others.
Etyek is a cute and peaceful village. I love riding a bike here and enjoy the harmony of lives around me.
Village and natural lifestyle make me appreciate the luxuries of our modern world. It is the right place for learning and putting in my life an ecologically conscious life. Every day I'm learning new things about gardening and how to live sustainably. Here I have a chance to integrate it into my life and the lives around me. I love the idea of bringing people closer to nature and to natural food-producing.
People are forgetting the knowledge and the joy of growing and producing food for their own use. And I would like to bring these back. For me, happiness is a simple lifestyle. And I want to remind the majority of people as much as is possible.
I am Səma, I am 21 years old and from Azerbaijan. As I am finishing university this year, I thought that it can be useful to focus on international projects as ESC. I searched for the meaningful idea behind, ability to be among people from different cultures and inspirational activities which I can use in my future as a contribution to my identity capital. So the reason I choose to be a part of this project is sustainability topics, ecologically conscious lifestyle that really is needed to be experienced.
When I came here, at first it was too much for me to be surrounded by completely new people and a new environment, but it was easy to adapt because they all have the same purpose close to yours and really believe in what they are doing. People here really care about saving the environment and their enthusiasm is inspiring. Etyek itself is a beautiful village, which is not far from Budapest, silent, and kind of modern for a village. I like riding a bike and exploring beautiful parts of it.
I recommend this kind of experience to those who really want to be a part of something meaningful, who wants some change in their life, who is interested in the environment and reducing ecological footprint and of course, meet new people from different cultures and became more sociable.
I am Luca, I am a 27 years old Italian guy. I joined Szatyor as a volunteer because I wanted to learn more about sustainability and moved by the curiosity of lowering my standards of living since in a small village like Etyek there aren't all the commodities that I can find in a city.
One of the activities that caught my interest and that I am enjoying is English class with children, I like dealing with kids and I already did it in the past.
Since now I have met many interesting people that helped me feeling comfortable in a situation that is completely outside of my comfort zone, from the other volunteers that live with me to the persons that collaborate with the organization.
An interesting aspect related to Etyek is that is immerged in nature without being distant from bigger cities such as Biatorbagy and Budapest. I believe it is the perfect for anyone, in the free time you can choose either to go biking in the woods or to grab a beer in one of the characteristic pubs of the capital.
Would I recommend this experience to anyone else? For sure, especially if they are involved in sustainability topics.
Hey! I'm Csenge, 22 years old. I'm from Eger and a Hungarian volunteer. I live with my bunny, and his name is Zsomi. I came here in April because I want to find myself and peace. I want to be here because I have so many plans, and this place gives me space for it.
My hobbies are make-up, dancing especially hip-hop. I need to learn here so much about gardening because I have not any experience of it. My other goal is to be more open to other people.
I am about a month here, and I love watering plants, participate in Szatyor programs, kids camp, Rapsody. And I love to help the other volunteers to learn Hungarian, and of course, I enjoy learning the Azerbaijan language. This place is very kind to me.
My name is Anna, I’m 30 years old and from Hungary (I actually live 5 minutes from this place). I chose Szatyor because I felt that they were offering something different to me. That’s why I always wanted to try new things, leaving my comfort zone puts me in a vulnerable position but maybe it has a positive impact on my personal growth. I like watching movies and series, I think we can learn many things from them, but I also love reading books, it takes me away or riding a bike is one of the best ways to explore new places in the village. I highly recommend volunteering to anyone, because it will inspire you how to be a better person, learn new skills or you can become a part of a great community.
Volunteers of 2020 in Etyek! -
Project number:2019 -3-HU01-ESC11-077542
Our team in Etyek for 2020 consisted 7 volunteers from Croatia, Italy, Romania, Russia, UK and Ukraine. However the COVID-19 pandemic made our life more challenging than usual and we had significantly less opportunities to organize larger events.
However, given these limitations, we still optimised the situation we found ourselves in. Most significantly, we were able to devote a lot more time and effort into realising our permaculture garden project, which was very successful this year in terms of the variety of vegetables we were able to grow and the various installations we created such as a new greenhouse for off-season growing and a chicken coop for our newly arrived feathered friends.
The circumstances also led us to appreciate a slower pace of life in Etyek and developing fewer but deeper relationships with people within the community.
Have a look what projects we were included or started in our following blog!
Here in Etyek we offer English courses for primary school children. The approach we try to adopt is to have a light learning, we don't aim to overcome school or act like it. Kids already attend school in the morning, in the afternoon, taking part to our lessons, they can join a playful learning through drawing, moving and interacting with the garden and the animals in it.
Worm or vermicompost sounds weird for most of us, however there are many different variations of how we can host and take care for this mini excavators. They are very delicate and sensitive for any changes in their environment. They need little food - kitchen scraps, like carrots or tomato peels - air, humidity and darkness, if they get all these, they are happy, eating our organic kitchen waste and turn them to super valuable liquid or soil full of everything good for our plant both indoor and outdoor. If they are well maintained (content tamagotchi) they reproduce and you will have more of them. If they are for some reasons not happy, they try to escape from their bin.
When I have heart first the word permaculture, I thought that it is a newly created gardening approach attracting urban young people who have no clue about what gardening is, but they are happy to believe in something deep green, romantic happening in rural areas.
This summer, we initiated an experiment in small scale economy that was inspired by the Time Banking system.
Home made cosmetics are not only free from any unnecessary preservatives, harmful chemicals, but also can be prepared based on our needs and with our favorite fragrances.
During the summer we collaborated with the Budapest based organization Cargonomia in creating a workshop where people could come along and learn practical bike repair skills.
My name is Tony and I come from Northern Ireland. I applied for this project when looking for volunteer opportunities which aligned with my values and interest in contributing to an ecologically sustainable future.
There was a bit of a culture shock when I first arrived in March, but that quickly dissipated as everyone here made me feel welcome and valued as a team member.
During my time as a volunteer here so far, I have had the chance to participate in a variety of projects and educational workshops, as well as meeting lots of interesting people who have opened my mind to new ideas and alternative ways of living.
What I like the most about the organization of this program is the flexibility and freedom to pursue your own projects if you have any you would wish to implement. For example, I started a weekly film group where we invite people from the local village community and hold critical discussions on ecological documentaries that we screened. Budapest is only 30 minutes away on the bus which I love as it allows me to go and explore and enjoy the city.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and have discovered many new things. I would recommend this program to any potential future volunteers if eco-sustainability and practical ways to achieve this appeals to you, and have an adventure in Hungary.
Hi, my name is Marina!
I am a 30 year old Croatian girl with a lot of passion for playing with children and doing body-oriented psychotherapy. I love having some quiet time with myself reading books, meditating and going for a walk in nature. If you want to know something new about emotions and our early development as babies, I am your person. Coming here to Etyek was a great experience for me. It allowed me to follow my own rhythm and live at a slower pace of life for a while. Rising early, feeling the cool grass on my feet, having my hands in the soil, watching our garden grow and taking care of our ducks and chickens, as well as building various things have all opened new ways of learning and living for me. I love the community spirit here. Our neighbours are friendly and we often exchange food and homemade gifts, it is the best! So I would say to anyone who is interested to come to Etyek if they would like to slow down for a while, practice some self care by living and eating well, meet nice people and be closer to nature.
My name is Aks. I am an artist & a filmmaker born in a small southern village of Russia. I’ve always been a rolling stone, moving from one busy place to another. As much as I adore cities, I felt like I needed a breather. The questions of sustainability and human impact on the mother nature have been worrying me for a long time, and then the application for the volunteering position from Etyek fell into my lap & I took it as a sign. “Green Seeds” is the kinda project, where you receive as much as you put into it. It gave me space for inner contemplation and provided me with the most valuable skills of growing my own vegetables and herbs and taking care of domestic birds. It allowed me to experience very different ways of living to the one I, as many modern men, was used to in the comfort of our urban environments. I believe, if we collectively started focusing our energy and attention on what truly matters, we can achieve great things together & protect what remains of the beautiful Earth.
I’m Jánó Loránd 18 years old. I have 4 brothers who I really like and of course my parents. I like to watch movies and do my own things. There are things I pay attention to, such as being able to live properly, etc. I like making friends and waking up late in the morning.
For a couple of weeks now, we’ve been able to observe a smiling girl (though she’s less visible in a mask, but we’ll show her now) who recently joined our team as a volunteer for European Solidarity. Greet Erika, who is from Miercurea Ciuc, Transylvania, with great pleasure. During her school and college years, she was active in several student and NGO organizations, so he was happy to join our community as a new volunteer. Growing up in the mountains and going on a lot of hiking with her family as a child, nature has always been close to her heart. She became acquainted with the so-called sustainable economy and the green way of life during his time in Budapest, so she hopes that she can learn and gain new experiences during her work with us.
My name is Federico, I was born in Cremona, a small town in northern Italy, 26 years ago from Sicilian parents. Even if agriculture is a fundamental part of life in Cremona, I actually lived and felt the soil only during the hot Sicilian summers in the tiny country house of my grandparents. Cultivating with my grandfather and having the excuse to be dirty was the best game. Thanks to my job I could feel again some of those flavours and perfumes of my childhood. I am an educator and I worked in the schools and in the fields with youngsters, who have mental disorders: we grew vegetables and sold them to the people and some restaurants. I also worked with disabled people: we managed small caterings during sport events and we helped serving in some bars. The contact with nature and being among people is very important for psycho-physical well-being, including mine. Besides all this, there was always the music. Cremona is the home to violin makers and the music flows through the streets. Since I was young I have been studying music, and teaching piano is another job of mine. I got to know Szatyorbolt 3 years ago thanks to my partner. I entered this shop and I could smell the perfume of the products. I was really interested to know more about them because I liked their ethics. I worked a lot in these years, and I loved my job a lot, but I needed to change air. The old country house of my grandparents has been sold, my Sicilian roots have been cut, so I decided to create new ones here in Budapest with my girlfriend. I wanted to start with the things that I love and I think that the volunteering at Szatyorbolt could be a great solution.