- 1 Year
PLEASE NOTE THIS PROJECT IS CURRENTLY ONLY AVAILBLE FOR IRISH APPLICANTS UNDER THE ERASMUS+ SCHEME.
Nestled in marshland near the Mediterranean Sea, this project carries out an international vision to care for all creation. The base in Provence, provides accommodation for volunteers and students involved in the projects local conservation and wider education programs.
The community house is surrounded by four acres of woodland, meadows, and gardens designed and managed for experimental, demonstration, and training purposes. Project staff regularly hosts educational programs for local people interested in developing ecologically sustainable gardening techniques which capitalize on local lanscapes. They also invest in a natural garden site 30 minutes from the base, cultivating native plants and encouraging wildlife and rare butterflies. Scientific work: The project's educational focus extends past their gardens. For the past five years they have been working with local farmers to develop ecologically and economically sustainable agricultural plans.
This project began in the late 1990’s, providing a wealth of knowledge & experience, & offering vast opportunities for you to get involved in unique conservation & environmental projects.
The work is focussed around two core undertakings:
- Promoting national environmental awareness.
- Sustaining permanent field study centres.
The project centres share a community emphasis, with a focus on science and research, practical conservation and environmental education.
The nature conservation programme aims to study local ecosystems and biodiversity, highlighting the influence of human activities on the environment, and actively contributing to a harmonious and win-win relationship between Man and Nature, and the research activities focus on the scientific knowledge necessary for proper conservation initiatives.
The programme focuses on three areas:
- Rehabilitation of wetlands
- Agriculture and biodiversity
- Ecological management
In total the conservation area covers around 3000 hectares, where they work in close collaboration with the local community including land owners, farmers, associations, authorities and administrative bodies. The participative approach seeks to encourage everyone to learn more about, understand and help protect the environment in the local area.
Environmental awareness is encouraged in the following ways:
- Nature surveys and other preliminary studies
- Monitoring of habitats as well as of human activities
- Research on notable species and habitats
- The circulation of the results of these projects, in particular with local associates
- Organising field work, scientific initiatives and restoring and creating natural habitats
- Facilitating stakeholder knowledge sharing, and the construction of a joint project
This truly is an experience like no other, and will open your horizons to new & exciting possibilities. You will be equipped, trained and encouraged in your work, living within a community with a united purpose and passion. There is a Christian foundation to the work of this project, and whilst you are not required to hold a Christian faith, you will need to be tolerant towards the views of those around you.
What is Included?
- 24 / 7 Support
- Information Pack
- Accommodation: As a long term volunteer you will have your own room in the beautiful farm house. You will be living on site in this beautiful old French building, enjoying the peace and tranquility of nature around you. The property also has a swimming pool which is a great blessing in the summer heat.
- Food: All meals are provided, part of community life in this project is helping on the general rota for cooking, so not only will you get to enjoy home cooked French cuisine but you will also have the chance to learn some new recipies too.
- Stipend: Under Erasmus+ funding you receive a monthly spending allowance for your own costs.
- Training: All volunteers setting out on an adventure with us receive pre-departure training to help you prepare for the experience ahead. This training covers all the areas you need to think about before you pack your bags. It gives you time to focus and prioritise, and provides you with the knowledge and information you need in order to have a safe, fulfilling and enjoyable adventure. On arrival at your project you will also receive orientation training which will help you to better understand the local culture and support you as you find your way around this new country. On your return we will also support you as you readapt to life back home. We encourage you to keep in contact with us and consider opportunities foryou to stay connected to the work you have been part of with Agapé. In addition to all of this training you will also receive a comprehensive welcome pack full of useful information on your project, the country and the culture, as well as detailed safety and communication lists.
- Support: Agapé Adventures respects that each person is unique, and thus has different needs, and we endeavour to meet those genuine needs as effectively as we can. All volunteers are supported by Agapé every step of the way. You will be allocated a line manager to assist you in the day to day aspects of your adventure and staff at Agapé’s main base who will be available 24/7 for any out of hours emergencies. All staff involved in supporting you, work together to provide coordinated, personal and professional support throughout your adventure.
- Flights: We will purchase your return flights for you as well as your insurance cover.
- Airport Collection & Drop Off: When you land into the airport we will make sure that someone is there to meet you and bring you to your project base. We will also provide assistance in returning you to the airport at the end of your time to help you take back all those gifts you've picked up along the way!
What Isn't Included
- Adventure Package
What will I do?:
There are is a diverse realm of experience which this project is keen to attract, and the experiences which they can then offer you are fantastic! Much depends on the time of year and the skills which you are able to offer, but the opportunities include:
- Roller observation. In the months June and July, there is work for 2 people. The counting takes place from 20th June to 20th July, but people are also needed to visit nest boxes and find breeding pairs for camera survey the whole months of June and July.
- People with good botanical knowledge for help with surveys and habitat mapping. 2 weeks to a year or more. Spring and Summer are the most active periods.
- People with bird ringing experience (2-3 people possible). September and October. Projects include Barn Swallow study of one of the largest annual gatherings in Europe, and ringing of other migrating species.
- People to help with land usage and habitat mapping. 3-6 months. Ecological and Agricultural knowledge, as well as GIS use (on ArcGIS software).
- ArcGIS software advanced user. One month or more. For help with organizing the GIS data and extracting information.
- People with wetland habitats knowledge, botanical knowledge and if possible ornithology. To run a diagnostics study on reed bed areas.
- People to assist with an entomological study. During April-September. 2 weeks or more.
- People to help with a herpetology study. During April-September. 2 weeks or more.
- People with multimedia skills for filming and producing videos of our work and projects. During April-September. 2 months or more. Ideally if you can bring their own camera and software equipment it would be a great help.
- People with environmental education experience and French language skills. For help designing grade school activities and youth education. 2 months or more at any time.
- People with knowledge on energy saving and recycling issues. For help designing a best ecological practices guide for members and Church groups. 2 months or more at any time.
The specific areas where you can get involved include:
Construction, mechanics, and carpentry
Creation of hedges and fences
Planting native plants
Constructing and cleaning nesting boxes for the European Roller
- GIS research
- Statistics for gathered data
- Bird, insect, and plant inventories
- Bird ringing (certification/training dependent)
- Ecology, biology, conservation, wildlife restoration
- Marshland and waterways
Administrative and language work:
- Writing, translating & editing.
The Local Area
The closest city to the project base is Marseille - a rich, pulsating port city bubbling over with history, cutting-edge creative spaces and hip multicultural urbanites. Since Greek settlers came ashore around 600 BC, waves of immigrants have made Marseille (now France's second largest city) their home.
Marseille's maritime heritage thrives at the vibrant Vieux Port (Old Port), where fresh-off-the-boat catches are sold each morning. Along the coast, seaside roads and cycling tracks veer around sun-scorched coves and sandy beaches.
A feast of world cuisines, shops, music and cultural celebrations ensure the pace never slows in this busy city, where the mistral wind blows.
Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/france/provence/marseille#ixzz2Zu5DWIED