Volunteers of 2022 in Etyek

We are now 6 volunteers from 6 different countries in the Szatyor volunteering project in Etyek. It is the 4th time that volunteers are hosted in this project. We are here to learn and experiment on sustainable lifestyles. Our actions aim to share awareness on environmental issues in the village. Here you can learn more about us and our experiences! 

Sour Cherry Juice

This Monday Szilard and Veronika (from the Nádas Bormühely vineyard in Etyek) welcomed us to their cellar along with other members of the community to make sour cherry juice. They got a lot of sour cherries from a local producer that we pressed, using the same press that they normally use for pressing grapes to make wine. While the press was doing its magic, we got the task to clean the boxes that the cherries had been transported in so that they wouldn’t be all sticky. 

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Come together!

This Monday, all Szatyor people came together in our house, in Etyek. Many people involved in Szatyor Association, especially those from Budapest who work at the Szatyorbolt shops visited our garden and together we made had some team building fun. 

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Let the harvest begin

The herbs in our garden have been going wild lately with the heat and thunderstorms going on. So we decided it was time to give these guys a little trim and dry herbs so they would last us over the winter. We picked all sorts of herbs, mostly rosemary, sage, estrogen but also different types of mint and hung them to dry in our outdoor kitchen and greenhouse. It was nice, everything smelled so good and it all gives a cool look to the place! We also started harvesting greens in our garden like salads, lettuces, mangolds and green onions. We are excited for the veggies to start showing up in the next few weeks!

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Midsummer Celebration

Today is June 21st, in France on that day, we celebrate music and free concerts take place in towns all across the country. June 21st is also the summer solstice, longest day of the year, also called midsummer and particularly celebrated in Sweden. 

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Kids program

Starting in the middle of May and till the beginning of June we had a series of hands-on gardening sessions with kids from local school. Since this time is perfect for thermophilic crops, we decided to sow some zucchini and beans so when the seedlings are ready kids could take them home and transplant into their own beds.

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7 Drops Garden

Over the past few months we've been working with our neighbor Marci. He has a place called 7 drops where he hosts events and he and the owner of the place, Judith asked us if we could help them set up some raised beds there. So we made some raised beds that we filled with branches, leaves and compost soil. 

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What's up in the garden

Its the middle of April and our community garden perked up, covered with soft silky green grass, embellished with white and pink fruit trees, liven up with bustling and cheerful hens - our beautiful newcomers that we are caring about from now on.

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Soap making workshop

Recently we were hosting soap-making workshop with Tünde Udvarnoki. It was nice fresh rainy afternoon and we decided to make it outside, in our summer kitchen for both aesthetic and safety reasons - soap making might be quite unstable process and its better to do it open air. Tünde brought some equipment, like blenders, scales and bowls alongside with all needed ingredients - oils, butters, essential oils and lye - the main component that turns oil into a soap.

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Hello! I am Haitam, and I'm from Morocco. In 2020, I chose Hungary as the next destination to pursue my higher studies. The pandemic made university life for me more stressful and challenging. Therefore, I was always thinking about taking some time off to try something new and different. Luckily, after graduation, I quickly found that answer within Szatyor's borders.

When I was young, I recall that my father would take us as a family to visit my grandparents every summer in their village farmhouse. I still vividly remember how relaxing and enjoyable that experience was, surrounded by nature and simplicity. When I saw the Etyek project, I realized that it could be an opportunity for me to relive that experience again.
What grabbed my attention about Szatyor is how people here are welcoming and friendly, from the coordinators to the volunteering, everyone is willing to help and team up to create something meaningful. As someone who is unfamiliar with gardening and environmental things, this made me more comfortable and optimistic about my stay here. So far, I am enjoying my time in Szatyor and looking forward to more cheerful vibes in the future.

Haitam Hamdan

Orxan Babayev

Hello, I am Orxan from Azerbaijan. I have always lived in the big city during my life, hereby I have never experienced the country lifestyle. During the last few years, stressful and rushing city life made me overwhelmed and anxious, so I began to be interested in living within nature and finding peaceful and humble life, so I decided to join this project. It is an absolutely new experience for me because living in the village and learning about eco-friendly life are completely new pages in my life. Moreover, getting away from my comfort zone, traveling and living abroad, meeting with new people from different cultures, and learning about the European lifestyle and traditions are quite exciting for me. Hence, I believe that this volunteering adventure will help me to go beyond my limits and improve myself in different ways. Love and Peace!

Hi my name is Milan and I came from Hungary. I want a little bit break from my university studies and join to a whole new experience. Previously I was working for a multinational company, but as a curious young mand I wanted to build new experiences a friendships. I am very happy to be the part of Szatyor because since 2020 I am enjoy to experiencing enviromental friendly lifestyle. In my free time I love to write my own book and poems. Also i enjoy sports like Cardio exercises, running and swimming. It is a pleasure beacuse eating is one of my weaknesses and I enjoy every kind of sweets:)

Varga Milán Márk

Alesia Serdiuk

Hi! I’m Alesia, 30, from Ukraine. I studied English language and world literature, but worked as a artisan in different factories and workshops.

I was always supported by my family and i thus learned that you can achieve much more in a more effective way if you share knowledge with others and build communities wherever you go. There's war in my country so I see now very clearly how volunteering literally saves lives.

For last 5 years i got immersed into environmental issues related activities such as gardening, composting, textile recycling and waste sorting. I used to share my experience with others, trying to inspire people and organise activities in my hometown, but at some point i felt stuck because of a lack of certain managerial skills and thus motivation to keep going. At some point I moved to Kyiv to built my life from scratch and spent two pandemic years in a crazy survival mode till the moment the war started. And even then i still could grow plants on a balcony of a rented room or make a compost in a container or sort out waste in a bombshelter.

Finally i learned about Szatyor and decided to participate in it because it fits my temper and skills so well. I already spent a week, full of absolute happiness, with my new friends, learning about their cultures, doing household things, planning future activities, waiting for the planting season. My experience is 100% satisfying right now and i hope in the end of this programm i would learn maximum about how to built sustainable community and contribute in a better future for everyone.

Hi! I am Mathilde from France. I have taken a break in my studies to get involved in more meaningful projects and in the past few years I have gotten more and more interested in environmental issues. I have always been very curious especially when it comes to discovering different cultures and languages so I have travelled around Europe and lived in Iceland for some years. I think that travelling and living abroad has helped me take a step back and realize that the simple lifestyle I had growing up in the french countryside was pretty sustainable. So I am going back to the roots and trying to learn new things as well in order to reduce my impact on the environment. You will most often see me knitting, drawing, baking or doing any other kind of creative activity. I also love the outdoors and am always ready to go on a hike or a camping trip!  

I am very excited to start this new adventure and to learn about the local community and Hungarian culture!

Mathilde Maindrault

Enrico Fabbri

Hi everyone! My name is Enrico, I'm from Italy and I'm 20 years old. I love cooking (like a classic Italian person) , playing basketball (I played in Italy) and traveling.

I chose this project because I wanted to discover new things and because I love to  work with nature. Make a smile and be happy!

My name is Gàbor, I am 20 years old.  I live in Switzerland, in the Italian part. I’m a gardener and I love the nature. I don’t like people who are always stressed. Chill life is my mood.

I like this project, it is cool to see new places, new country and work with Hungarian people.

I am part of the ICYE Switzerland program.

Gabor Mazzucchelli

 Volunteers of 2021 in Etyek

Projektkód: 2020-3-HU01-ESC11-093812

Birds and Trees Day

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.

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Community branch crushing

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.

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Outdoor compost building

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.

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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 :)

Elias Klinger

Sherif Malek

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.


Roya Tapdigova

Səma Abdalova

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. 

Luca Nodari

Csenge Molnar

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.

Anna Himer

Past Volunteers

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!

Kids courses

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. 

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Eco-tamagotchis - our worm compost

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.

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Permaculture - like - garden

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. 

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Cosmetic workshop

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. 

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Bike repair workshop

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.

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Tony Douglas

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.

Marina Horvat

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.

Aks Huckleberry

Jánó Lóránd

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.