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Alliance Video Project

This video is dedicated to the short term international voluntary projects, known as “workcamps” the Alliance of European Voluntary Service Organizations organizes since 1982 with the vision to promote peace, intercultural understanding and active participation!

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It was MADtastic!

Workcamp #4, Midhurst, West Sussex, UK.

DSC00022After a short break and a reunion in Athens the Break the Couch team went back on track. Vasilis and Spyros flied to London to take the train for Midhurst, a perfectly formed town, one of the jewels of the lovely county of West Sussex.

We were very happy to join the team of the volunteers on their last days of this workcamp of Concordia UK. The small number of 8 volunteers helped to form a very strong bond among them, they became a family! Members of this family where also the locals, spending everyday time with the team.

The project was the support of the MADhurst festival to bring together a diverse program. The MADhurst Festival (Music, Art & Drama) is a true community event that brings together all the creative, artistic and musical talent of this wonderful town. The program consisted of concerts, workshops, dance performances, art exhibitions, a parade and many more in various locations of the town. The volunteers made their own float – an amazing dragon – and participated in the parade.

The Parish Church Room (also the Old Town Hall) was hosting all the volunteers and it is located in the market square. All the work was close to the center. The dragon was built with the help of a local artist in a nearby garden kindly offered by the locals. The parade took place in High Street and ended at the amazing Cowdray Ruins, at Cowdray Park where the main festival took place.

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More than 2500 people enjoyed the free and open to everyone atmosphere of the festival. The idea of combining international volunteers with the local community to promote art and culture is fabulous. It is the fourth consecutive year and thanks to the amazing combination of locals and the volunteers this festival has been well established!

Break The Couch team had a fantastic experience. After 3 days we left with very kind feelings for everyone and everything we met and saw in Midhurst and we are preparing ourselves for the next trip in Brussels.

Stay tuned for the next workcamping experiences.

Photo album of this workcamp: soon

A seed planted in Ukraine bloomed in Serbia

Workcamp #2, Mali Stapar, Sivac, Serbia.

Mali StaparIt took us 12 hours, 7 energy drinks, driving in 4 countries until we reach the tiny village of Mali Stapar, located 5km from Sivac one small town in the north part of Serbia 90km away from Hungarian borders.

The trip was very interesting and fascinating and it kept us awake all the time. However arriving in the workcamp revealed some way more interesting facts that made us forget our tiredness and join the group of the volunteers instantly. It was really clear, that even though the workcamp had started 5 days before our arrival, there was already a very nice bounded gang of participants enjoying every moment.

The project by itself has a very specific and clear vision. It happened because a local girl, named Sofija, participate in an Alliance workcamp in Ukraine last year and decided to bring a project like this in her home town. She came back she spoke with her parents, got in contact with the Serbian organization “Young Researchers of Serbia” and here we are now that Sofija is the workcamp leader and her mother the instructor of the project arranging every detail regarding work and leisure time.

The old school of Mali Stapar was hosting all the volunteers and it is located in the heart of the village. The main project was taking place inside the school because the plan is to make the school an educational environmental center.  The jobs were to renovate the building, demolish some very old buildings, prepare the garden, build a fence, repair some old bicycles so visitors can use them and explore the village.

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The group of the participants was consisted of 5 local youngsters and 11 international volunteers. The whole village knew what was happening in the old school of Mali Stapar, the accommodation of the workcamp and they were visiting very often the group. Every time a local was visiting it was a time that something was tasty was entering along. One more time the local community embraced the volunteers by arranging apart of bringing food, they were organizing all short of activities for the leisure time of the volunteers. Visiting vineyardsDanube cruiseSightseeing in the nearby villages and towns, visiting Spa, a swimming poolhistorical buildings and art galleries.  Also they arranged many activities with the local community such as: Playing football with the local football club, dancing traditional Serbian dances. One of the highlights was the cooking competition of a fish stew that was organized by the locals exactly in the forest on the side of the workcamp site just to bring more locals from the nearby villages to meet the volunteers.

Break The Couch team had really good time there and got convinced to spend one more day there. We couldn’t say no this kind request. After 3 days we left with the best of the impressions from Mali Stapar with direction to Greece and 1000 more km on the road to reach our last workcamp for this roadtrip.

Stay tuned for the next workcamping experiences.

Photo album of this workcamp: http://on.fb.me/1ePuTf1