Let's touch the ground! Group volunteering



  • Sharing circles
  • Games
  • Way of council
  • Forest bathing
  • relaxation


Eco building practice:

  • Plastering
  • Adobe brick making
  • Preparing the materials 
  • Mixing adobe by mixer
  • Mixing adobe by foot, without electricity
  • Evening the soil around the house
  • Building pizza oven with Antoine
  • Building birdhouses with János


Work at the meadow:

  • Picking peas
  • Taking care of seedling trees 
    • Building microclimate nests, mulching
    • Building tree protection against wild animals
    • Finding trees


Work at different bio gardens (Community house, and community members)

  • Harvesting herbs (spices for cooking, and drying)
  • Harvesting wild herbs (Elderflower for example)
  • Harvesting vegetables 
  • Harvesting fruits
  • Weeding
  • Mowing
  • Moving water in the chain 
  • Watering plants
  • Building raised bed
  • Cane weaving
  • Harvesting willow for weaving


Kitchen shift - daily help with the supervision of the chef

  • Preparation of the food
  • Serving the food
  • Installing the washing station
  • Cleaning cooking pots
  • Cleaning tables


Art (optional)

  • Belly dance with Kriszta
  • Nature art experiments with Fanni 
  • Painting with lime and ink with Fanni
  • Making the map of the village
  • Making decorations for the closing day


Freetime activities: 

  • Learn about permaculture
  • Participate in the nature connection event organised by Martina
  • Observing night candle flower opening 



Resolving challanges:


Make everyone speak and express needs and feelings in the morning check in- in big circle, they did not want to speak, but in small groups, they were freer to speak.


Language burdon: participants had different levels of English, and some of them had difficulties in communicating, but we could provide translation support in within the group


Age gap: we had difficulty as facilitators by having more experience in leading group processes for older target groups, but we could adapt to their needs (basically more moving, less talking)


Being overwhelmed by human interactions:  we provided alone time and space above the program for some volunteers who needed that.



Subjective experience:


We had a wonderful time together with our dear volunteers in Nyim in June, for three weeks. The event’s name was “Touch the Ground!” and we did it in many different ways. We built from the local undersoil and learned how to do it just by using our feet, we got very muddy in many times. We worked in the gardens, and on the eco-meadow, on hot sunny days, and colder, a bit too rainy days, and experienced the value of water by collecting it and saving it. We also did different types of artwork from weaving a raised bed to painting a map.


We started the event with a group bonding process, to build a base for the common 3 weeks, before the intense work. We also wanted to provide an opportunity to arrive at the place on a different level, so we also took a day to introduce the place and lead some nature connection exercises. We started every day with check-ins, and games, as we wanted to provide a space for sharing, and being together, not just by working together, or resting together. We worked in groups, and we decided commonly who did which work, guided by some frames like we needed 3 people each day who help in the kitchen, and we also had some tasks which was not optional. 


We had a diverse group of young people from Spain, Italy, Poland, Hungary, and France, so we had the opportunity to get to know each other's cultures, and countries. We lead the event with Daniel, Krisztina, and Zsófi, and we were supported by our community members Kriszta, sour friend, Edit, and our long term volunteer, Antoine who were cooks during the event in shifts.

Some of our members also offered extra activities like János build birdhouses with some volunteers, Pali lead a permaculture lecture for them, Kriszta, who also cooked, teached belly dance, and Cecilia harvested herbs with them. 

At the end of the 3 week we celebrated all the results of the common work, Daniel made a fairy event in his garden, and led the volunteers through the young forest in the dark, while the forest was decorated with candles. At the end of the journey he showed the opening of the night candle flower, which we wanted to show them. The last day was about harvesting memories, and express gratitude to each other, the volunteers wrote messages to each other, and also shared some thoughts with eash other. After thet we had the last lunch together, and we went up to the strawbale house to light a fire. The belly dancer group was prepared with a small show to the others. At the end we sang, and eat around the fire. 

My favourite part were the common meals, when we had a  ritual of holding each other's hand before eating, thank the chef, and ask him/her to introduce the food to the others. This is a tradition in the community also, because this way we can dedicate more attention to the effort of the ones who prepared the meal, and also to nature who provided the ingredients. This ritual became common, so at the end of the event it was organised by the volunteers, which was very heartwarming for me.

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