Co říkáte na čas strávený v zahraničí jako dobrovolník? - What do you say about spending time abroad as a volunteer ?


Co říkáte na čas strávený v zahraničí jako dobrovolník? - What do you say about spending time abroad as a volunteer ?You are between 18 and 30 years old and you are interested by going abroad and about environmental education and nature preservation ? AREA viva is a sending organization for the Erasmus + program (more informations here : and has two projects for you :

You are between 18 and 30 years old and you are interested by going abroad and about environmental education and nature preservation ?

AREA viva is a sending organization for the Erasmus + program (more informations here : has two projects for you :


Volunteering Opportunity in Germany - Center for Ecological Conservation at Castle Heynitz

From May to October 2015, in the Center for Ecological Conservation, located in the village of Heynitz in middle Saxony. You can read here the presentation of the project made by this organization 



The Center for Ecological Conservation at Castle Heynitz is a station of the regional group Meißen of the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) of Germany. Our conservation educators offer a broad range of activities to school classes in environmental education, nature preservation, and farm experience. We are engaged in landscape conservation and habitat preservation with the goal of protecting the rare and endangered animals and plants native to the southern part of Meißen district.

The Center for Ecological Conservation is located on the castle complex in Heynitz, where ecological agriculture has been practised since before the Second World War. Along with the historically valuable buildings, it’s the beds of flowers and herbs, the meadows for bees, and the educational nature trail which attract visitors to Heynitz today. Not far from the Castle are found the organic farm Mahlitzsch, the organic honey farm Heynitz, and the organic fruit-processing house Gohla. These are all involved in our program of environmental education.

The Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) is one of the largest organisations for nature conservation in Germany. In the state of Saxony there are currently 12 ecological conservation centers and over 70 groups engaged in nature conservation projects and environmental education. The primary activities of our regional group Meißen are carried out exclusively by volunteer members and include monthly lectures, conservation field trips, and works in landscape conservation.


Project environment

Castle Heynitz is located in middle Saxony between the small towns Nossen (8 km) and Meißen (10 km). The small village Heynitz, directly adjacent to the castle, is surrounded by landscape of loess hills. The valleys nearby are characterized by the nature reserve Triebischtäler (FFH), the hills are characterized by technology-oriented industrial agriculture. Between these areas a few of organic farms are founded, which are influencing our social surroundings essentially. The engagements in landscape conservation and habitat preservation will be carried out by volunteer members all ages of our regional group Meißen. In addition to the Center for Ecological Conservation seminar rooms, music rooms, and apartments are located on the castle complex Heynitz. Even the European volunteers will be accommodated in the historically valuable building. The next airport is located in Dresden (30 km), reachable by car or by bus and train.



  1. Environmental education

    The volunteers will be involved in our program of environmental education for elementary schools. The arrangements will be prepared and carried out together with competent conservation educators of the center. In addition to that the volunteers are invited to create by himself new educational projects and organic farm experience. Especially on holiday the children are happy about new programs and special days.


  1. Garden work

    On the castle complex Heynitz the volunteers are invited to care the beds of flowers, herbs, and vegetables organically grown. The beds and meadows for bees and other insects are involved in our program of environmental education. Further there is enough place in castle courtyard for new ideas like a dye plants garden or a medical herbs garden. There are many possibilities and choices depending on personal interests and specific skills of the volunteer.


  1. Works in landscape conservation

    The work will be done in a group of volunteers, instructed by experts from our regional group Meissen. The manual activities are different depending on the season. To care the meadows for bees and the fruit-bearing trees along the lanes and streets, eliminate bushy trees on meadows with rare or endangered butterflies and cleanup courses of streams are typical tasks in our region.


Volunteer profiles

Basically, the volunteers should have interest in nature conservation projects and environmental education. We don´t expect any specialist knowledge, although our volunteers should like to do physical work outside in the nature. A basic level of German will be helpful for working together and working with school children.




EVS project at The Gaia Foundation in Malta – Active citizenship and preservation of environmental heritage



Mission of the Gaia Foundation is to facilitate the process of climate change and the loss of biodiversity, partly determined by unsustainable agriculture and introduction of alien plants in the Maltese environment; to reduce the phenomenon of erosion in the managed coastal areas (Ghajn Tuffieha Bay in Malta and Ramla I-Hamra Bay, in the Maltese island of Gozo) increased by the impact of visitor flows, particularly considerable during the summer period. Moreover the Gaia Foundation wants to act out and spread a culture of sustainability, respect of the environment, well-being and healthy lifestyle.

The Gaia Foundation is currently running a project of organic and sustainable farming in Ghajn Tuffieha(Malta), production and selling of organic olive oil as a typical product of the Mediterranean tradition and it is starting a project related to sustainable agriculture in Vizzini(Sicily) through implementation of permaculture and ecovillage principles.

The foundation puts to use a model of sustainable tourism. Furthermore, it keeps open Ghajn Tuffieha watchtower- built in 1637 by Grand Master Lascaris of the Order of Knights of St. John- to the visitors, giving them information regarding its history and cultural value together with details about the ecological surrounding area, the mission and activities run by Gaia Foundation. The organization also organizes guided visits into the visitor centre and the peace grove in Ghajn Tuffieha opened to school and tourist groups, in order to make people aware of environmental problems.

Besides, during the spring and summer period in particular, Gaia will organize several awareness activities set in accordance with the different stakeholders that it intends to reach (local farmers, environmental NGOs, institutions and general public).

Through its EVS (European Volunteer Service - part of Erasmus + project) project the foundation intends to involve participants into the implementation of its own daily activities.


Main activities


All the main activities of the EVS project will be managed by the Gaia Foundation, and will take place mostly in Ghajn Tuffieha area (Malta), Ramla I-Hamra (Gozo), as well as in a third location outside of Malta set in Vizzini (Sicily), in accordance with the Gaia's and the EU 's spirit of no borders.


The EVS volunteers will help Gaia’s permanent staff with the implementation of the following activities:


1) The EVS volunteers will help Gaia's staff with the propagation and maintenance work of endemic and indigenous Maltese plants grown in our tree nursery, placed at the Visitor Centre located in Ghajn Tuffieha. This work will deal mostly with potting, seeding, watering, maintaining pots and pruning. Also they will be involved in the process of replanting native flora the protected and managed areas by Gaia: in Ghajn Tuffieha (Malta), Ramla I-Hamra (Gozo) and Vizzini (Ct, Italy). This activity takes place every year between November and March. Italian participants will take part just to the activities run in Malta and Gozo and not to the ones implemented in Sicily.


2) EVS participants will assist the permanent staff in the removal of alien species, in particular Acacia, Agave, Opuntia and Arundo Donax, from the protected areas. The removal process will follow the guidelines of the Natura 2000 programme and will be run all year round.


3) EVS participants will help with the maintenance works of the tree nursery at Ghajn Tuffieha and Visitor Centres located in Ghajn Tuffeha(Malta), Ramla(Gozo) and Vizzini(Ct, Italy). This work will consist in painting, fixing fences and other small ancillary work. They will also help with the maintenance of managed areas, maintaining trees and plants, weeding, removing rubbish, arranging and establishing the paths.


4) In order to increase the security of the visitors, the EVS volunteers will help the staff in placing safety equipment in protected beaches. Later, during the summer season and the busiest hours of the day, volunteers will be divided in groups of two persons and will patrol the protected areas with special attention to the beaches. They will monitor the general state of the areas and the Blue Flag requirements, will keep the beach clean and will check that visitors follow the regulation of environmental protection of the sites. They will also set up information boards on fire hazard zones, swimming zones and nature trails, to explain to the visitors the regulation of the areas.


5) The EVS participants will help Gaia’s staff to maintain the vegetable gardens, organic olive and fruit trees groves set in Ghajn Tuffieha and Vizzini areas, watering, pruning and taking care of plants through an organic and sustainable method of farming and the use of the principles of permaculture. Between October and November they will be also involved in the process of olive picking, production of the oil and, afterwards, in bottling. Participants from Italy will not be involved in the Vizzini part of the project.


6) Between March and December EVS volunteers will open the Ghajn Tuffieha watchtower to visitors on average two hours per day, in the hours of greater visitor's influx, giving them information about watchtowers history, the surrounding area and Gaia projects.


7) During the year, especially in spring and autumn, the Gaia Foundation hosts school and tourist groups at the Visitor Centre in Ghajn Tuffieha. Gaia's employees explain to the visitors details about the Gaia project. Usually also shows them the visitor centre, the Peace Grove Gardens and offers a healthy vegetarian lunch. The EVS will assist the staff members with the organisation of the visits and in the preparation of the meals for the guests.


8) During the summer the organisation organises several awareness-raising activities and public events at the Ghajn Tuffieha Visitor Centre and in the managed beaches. These activities aim to spread awareness about Gaia's mission and environmental protection issues among different social groups. The EVS volunteers will support the Gaia staff in the organisation, promotion and implementation of the events. They will also have the chance to propose some activities that will be conducted directly by them.


During the implementation of the activities EVS participants will be divided in groups balanced regarding the country of provenance, age and level of competence in order to incentive the communication in English, the capability to work in a team, in a cooperative way and in a multi-cultural context.




So if you are interested by these project, contact us :

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