Community Tool-set

STAGONES Social Cooperative and the Hara-Goe project are hosting the Community Tool-set, a workshop for “Exploring tools to create Sustainable, Resilient and Democratic communities in the 21st century, Europe”. It will take place at our test-site on the foothills of mount Pyxarias, close to the village of Vlachia, Evia island, from the 19th of August to the 4th of September 2021.

By forming a temporary community we will dive into the topics of Community Building (how we relate to each other), Permaculture (how we design our environment & produce our food), Natural Building (how we create our shelter and upgrade existing structures) & Renewable Energy (how to harvest power locally in a sustainable way).

Community Building: Recognizing that human relations are the keystone to the success of any community, and understanding the value of transparent communication, we learn about the tools of Non Violent Communication, Sociocracy and others, and apply them throughout the course of this workshop in order to maximize inclusion, participation and overall engagement, and to nourish a new solidary culture that overcomes boundaries.

Permaculture: Permaculture uses the inherent qualities of plants and animals combined with the natural characteristics of landscapes and structures to produce a life-supporting system for city and country, using the smallest practical area. The aim of permaculture design is to create systems that are ecologically sound and economically viable, which provide for their own needs, do not exploit or pollute, and are therefore sustainable in the long term.

Natural Building: By using local natural materials, techniques and bioclimatic design we can create shelters and other spaces with high efficiency in terms of energy, functionality and aesthetics. During the workshop we’ll get to know the various materials and techniques used around the world and get a hands-on experience building with Stone, Cob and Wood.

Renewable Energy: Understanding the abundance of energy in our surroundings, and exploration of capturing and transforming natural energy into functional sustainable forms, providing solutions to modern problems and empowering communities. We’ll learn about sophisticated applications as well as some low-tech accessible solutions.

GOALS

  • Create a european network of game changers who will utilize the knowledge gained in the workshop and the connections made, to empower their local or disadvantaged communities, through constructive communication and practical solutions to common problems.
  • Contribution to the development, evolution and spread of constructive human interaction within a community.
  • Promote a holistic interactive approach to the management of resources and waste, which engages people in a way that overcomes social and economical barriers.
  • Increase awareness about alternative education systems and proliferate their value in the 21st century.

FACILITATORS

Tina Lymperis

Spyros Kourkoulos

Dominic Taylor

Manos Kappas

Aleksandros Kostis

YOUR HOSTS

Andreas Papachristou and Stella Vourneli

(updated soon)

DAILY RHYTHM

Taking into account climate conditions (it will be quite hot, so it makes sense to shift physical activity into the morning hours), the workshop’s goals (which include a high learning outcome) but also the well being of the participants, our daily timetable will be as follows:

07:00 – 08:15 Open Space for morning activities (Tai- Chi, Yoga, offered by participants)

07:45 – 08:45 Breakfast

09:00 – 09:30 Morning Circle

09:45 – 11:30 1st morning session

11:30 – 12:00 Break/Refreshment

12:00 – 13:45 2nd morning session

14:00 – 15:00 Lunch

15:00 – 17:00 Siesta/free time/open space

17:00 – 17:30 Tee/Coffee/Snack + informal reflection on morning sessions

17:45 – 19:45 Afternoon session

20:00 – 20:45 Dinner

21:00 – 23:00 freestyle community activities, open space, partner presentations, enjoying ourselves : )

23:00 – 07:00 Sleeping time, please respect resting hours

WORKSHOP OVERVIEW

As for the flow of the entire workshop it will be structured into four sections. On the last day of each section we will have a small walk to the mountain or to the sea in the afternoon -to clear our minds, regenerate and prepare for the next section. The two morning sessions will be used to wrap up the thematic, reflect on key points and record the podcasts (in groups of 5-6 persons).

19th August: Arrival day, bus leaves Athens Airport at 5 pm

20-23 August: Community Building

We’ll explore and establish some tried and tested tools which help groups co-create a culture of care, collaboration, transparency and freedom. We’ll explore the design principles of permaculture through the lens of our personal and social lives and with games that show how much more fun and impactful it is to work together than work alone. We’ll dive into the topics of None Violent Communication, Active Listening, Conflict Resolution and Leadership/Decision Making.

24-27 August: Natural Building

We’ll get to know everything about yurts and set one up, finalizing the frame ourselves. We will also learn the basics of bioclimatic design and building according to our needs. We will use stone, wood, clay, sand and straw (cob) for working on small scale projects. Finally we will make an earthern floor for our yurt!

28-30 August: Alternative Energy

We will learn about renewable forms of Energy (Solar, Wind, Hydro, Geothermal) and how they can be implemented in a small or big scale. We will also learn how to make calculations for a Solar system and how to install it. Furthermore we will explore some low tech solutions (like operating your old washing machine with the pedals of your bike) and how to lower our imprint in general.

31 August – 3 September: Permaculture

We will learn about the permaculture way of thinking, designing our land and growing our food. We will learn about soil, composting methods, plants and animals and how to overcome specific problems / meet specific needs. We will get to know the area and its microclimate and plant a small garden on rocky ground.

4th September: Departure day, bus leaves to Athens Airport at 7am sharp

THE VENUE

The venue is located near the village of Vlachia, in a beautiful rural part of the region of North Evia Island, in central Greece. It is on the hillside of Mount Pixarias, facing North to the Agean Sea and overlooking the islands of Sporades. It is a small piece of heaven, close to the mountain-top and close to the sea (45 min walk). It is where we live but it is also our test site, where we are trying to establish a new paradigm in terms of building, farming and living together.

Accommodation will be in tents, which we will provide and which will be shared by 2 to 4 people, depending on size. If you want to bring your own tent, you can (and please bring a matress and sleeping bag with you, let us know if that is a problem). We are using outdoor showers and compost toilets, but there is also a flushing toilet which can be used occasionaly. Since we are living in Nature, we expect flies, wasps, mosquitos, cicadas and other insects. If you are being mindful it is very unlikely to have a painful encounter (there are also small scorpions and snakes living in the area -some are poisonous but we haven’t seen any on site for years). At night occasionally there is a lot of dog barking, we will provide you with ear tubs in case you need them.

There will be a dedicated smoking area within the venue, please avoid using alcohol or other drugs during your stay.

MENU

During the workshop we offer a healthy vegetarian menu with vegan options. A wholesome breakfast, lunch and dinner will make sure participants keep their energy levels high. Snacks and refreshments during the day will also be offered during breaks. Ingredients are mainly from biological or natural farming, sourced locally where possible. Meals are prepared with care and love, taking into account aspects of a healthy nutrition.

WHO IS IT FOR??

This workshop is designed for youth workers of any age, motivated human beings that want to get a wide -and in-depth- overview on the four topics of Community Building, Permaculture, Natural Building and Alternative Energy, in order to share their gained knowledge and experience. Ideally participants should be active members of the partner organisations, or at least related to them.

We expect participants to be actively involved in the learning processes and to respect the collective culture which they will co-create (the three main pillars are “respecting one self, respecting the others, respecting the environment”). Furthermore participants will be asked to prepare themselves in advance (material will be provided three weeks before the workshop) and participate both in the documentation of the workshop as well as in community tasks (in turns, cleaning, assisting in the kitchen etc).

We will also ask participants to share a bit about themselves and write a motivation letter. It is important to have an organic group, where diversity and a common understanding and mindset are balanced. If you are interested to join, please contact us, sharing information about yourself and your motivation (you can also contact the partner organization of your country directly). After the selection process you will be asked to fill out a form with some personal and travel data (this information won’t be shared and will be collected through an open source, secure platform).

TRAVEL INFORMATION

This workshop is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme, accommodation, food and facilitation are for free for the selected participants. For travelling the following amounts are being reimbursed:

1. Germany, 275,-

2. Netherlands, 360,-

3. Slovenia 275,-

4. Spain 360,-

5. Turkey 180,- (+120,- for Visa)

6. France 275,-

7. Italy 275,-

8. Portugal 360,-

9. Lithuania 275,-

Please make sure to book flights that you won’t miss in case of a positive covid test (we can’t reimburse those flights) and please make sure to have a valid EU insurance in case anything happens to you during the travel or during your stay.

A bus will leave Athens airport on the 19th of August at 5pm to our venue and will depart towards Athens airport on the 4th of September at 7am (door to door driving time is 3 hours)

KEEP IN MIND:

Your travel can last longer than one day but you HAVE TO BE HERE when the course starts! And if you travel on more days, or you come here earlier, due to cheaper tickets etc. you have to justify why you traveled more days, or on another day than the travel day.

Since we need your original tickets to reimburse you (way back included) please book online as much as possible so that we can have pdf original copies of your ticket. When booking online is not possible please buy your ticket at the box office and please make sure that you have a receipt with this piece of information: your name; the starting and finishing place of the journey; the date of the journey and the price of the ticket. When the ticket is booked online please bring two printed copies (one for you and one for us).

The participants have to travel from and to the countries above,otherwise they can’t be accepted as co-funded by EU.You should travel arriving to Stagones in the arrival day and leave on the departure day otherwise we can’t refund the travelcosts. It’s not possible to participate as co-funded participant if you don’t participate to the whole training.

WHAT TO BRING WITH YOU

  • Torch (preferably head-torch)
  • Sleeping bag and camping matress (and anything you need for being comfortable)
  • Water bottle and cup with lid (for coffee and tea)
  • Hat, Sunscreen and Insect repellent
  • Natural or Biodegradable Shampoo / Shower gel / Soap (grey waters are used unfltered for watering the gardens – self-care products and herbs are also available from Stagones handmade/handpicked collection)
  • Working /durable everyday pair of shoes (the terrain here is rocky)
  • Working clothes
  • Swimming suit, towel
  • Notebook and pen
  • Any material you need in order to implement the activities you want to share during the course, some games, dances,songs and stories to share…
  • Your motivation and your good mood!

COVID STRATEGY

Our aim is to hold the course without a mask, without risking our safety.

People arriving in Greece have to undergo a COVID test. This is a national regulation and does not depend on us. It though means that you as a participant will have been tested for COVID 19. Once arrived in our place, there will be no more risk of COVID infection. No people from outside are coming in close proximity with the participants of the course, we will spend these two weeks within our premises. If we decide to have a walk into nature we will make sure not to contact other people.

If you will be tested positive, you will not be able to participate in our course, we will though support you to find a place to stay in Greece until you can travel back to your country. To ensure that from the moment of your COVID test until your arrival in our farm there has been no risk of COVID infection, you will have to practice social distancing and wearing a mask and not expose yourself to a threat of infection.

These times are uncertain and regulations might change. It is very unlikely that we are forced to cancel the training, but please make sure to book a travel ticket (flight, train, ferry, etc.) that will be reimbursed to you in case we have to cancel the course last minute. We can’t reimburse your ticket if the course doesn’t happen. Also we can´t reimburse your travel expenses if you are excluded as a participant because of a positive COVID test result.

If a participant shows symptoms of COVID-19 during the course, we might insist on him wearing a mask and undergoing a COVID test that we will pay for. If the test result is positive, we will make a place available where the participant can be in quarantine.

ORGANISATION AND CONTACT INFORMATION

If you want to contact us please send an email to events@stagones.org. If you are interested in participating, please share a bit about you and your motives. After the selection process you will be asked to fill out a form with some personal and travel data (this information won’t be shared and will be collected through an open source, secure platform).

THE ORGANIZERS

Stagones was established as an informal group in Vlachia, Evia in the spring of 2013 and it took the legal form of a Social Cooperative in 2019. The intention of Stagones is to create a framework for rethinking and reinventing life in rural Greece. Autonomy, self-sufficiency, sustainability, healthy and harmonic living conditions, respect to human values and the ecosystem have been major drivers to the formation of Stagones as a project. Therefore, Stagones is involved in many ongoing projects and partnerships that include natural building, organic farming and self-directed education.

The Hara-Goe project is an educational, cultural and artistic hub. By modeling a micro-cosmos where education, culture and art are approached holistically, the Hara-Goe project frames an experiment where Life can be experienced as a whole. Furthermore, its core values and essence are being distilled into a concept that can be adapted to different scenarios. The Hara-Goe project is about people forming an organism, creating networks, living together.

The workshop is co-funded by the Erasmus+ programm of the European Union and supported by the Greek National Agency (INEΔIBIM – thank you a lot!).

THE PARTNERS

This workshop is happening in collaboration with nine partner organisations across Europe and the Mediterranean. Each partner organisation will select 2-4 participants, ideally from within the organisation (there will also be an open call to give the opportunity for people that are highly motivated to join, or in case a partner organisation has difficulties in filling the placements). Furthermore, partner organisations will inform their participants about the content and the goals of this workshop, as well as the Youthpass certificate. They will also assist during the booking process and will spread the learning outcome of this workshop in their networks (encouraging participants to do the same). We feel proud and honoured to collaborate with them and looking forward to welcome them here!

Organisations, Contact persons and number of placements per country

  • Octop’us (France,3) – octopus.ntw(at)gmail”dot”com – Lola Ott
  • Wurzel.Bildung e.V. (Germany,4) – moin(at)wurzelbildung”dot”org – Marius Huebler
  • Associazione Regen ETS (Italy,3) – giuseppesannicandro87(at)gmail”dot”com – Giuseppe Sanicandro
  • VsI “uMunthu” (Lithuania,2) – umunthuprojects(at)gmail”dot”com – Zilvinas Spateliunas
  • Ecobosch (Netherlands,4) – peggyknobel(at)gmail”dot”com – Peggy Knobel
  • Ecoaldeia Silverto, CRL (Portugal,3) – mathijs(at)solnascente”dot”eu – Mathijs de Bruin
  • Društvo Nega Zemlje in Duha (Slovenia,2) – prija.barbara(at)gmail”dot”com – Berbara Balan
  • Asociacion Viajea la Sostenibilidad (Spain,2) – movilidad(at)viajealasostenibilidad”dot”org – Martina Garau
  • Topluma Destek Dernegi (Turkey,3) – toplumadestekdernegiproject(at)gmail”dot”com – Slavica Uzan

Feeling excited as we do?

Let’s co-create this learning experience and let’s start making a difference!

The mountain, the sea and the Stagones team is waiting to welcome you : )