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A7: Centre of Unity Schweibenalp, Brienz, Switzerland, 3 volunteers for 12 months (August 06th 2018 –August 5th 2019)
A8: Ecole d'Humanité, Hasliberg, Switzerland, 1 volunteer for 11 months (August 18th 2018 – June 29th 2019)
A9: Laebesschuel / School of life, Steckborn, Switzerland, 1 volunteer for 11 months (August 1st 2018 – July 31st 2019)
A7. Center of Unity Schweibenalp, Brienz, Switzerland
(3 volunteers for 12 months)
In the midst of the Bernese Oberland Alps, on a plateau at 1100m above sea level with view on the turquoise Lake Brienz, lies the Center of Unity Schweibenalp. As a living and working community we manage the seminar business and the alpine permaculture gardens (4 ha). As a part of the Global Ecovillages Network (GEN), we consider ourselves as one of the emerging models for a holistic cultural transformation. At the Center of Unity Schweibenalp we contribute since more than 30 years to the development of an integral life culture and universal spirituality.
We are offering you the opportunity to be with us and to experience community living, community building, conscious living with each other and nature, as well as running a seminar business together. We want to encourage personal and spiritual development. We are living and working together on Schweibenalp and we share the place with our many guests of the seminars and other volunteers. You will be working in the various possible areas: permaculture garden (herbery, vegetable, nursery, seed garden); housework, kitchen, maintenance, and you will also be encouraged to have your own project. While working in the various areas, we welcome clarity and openness with other people, a good ability to communicate, flexibility and please don’t forget to pack your humour, independence and self-responsibility. You are welcome to join different working groups according to your talents, and you will be taking part at the different events of the community.
Accommodation: Shared rooms (!) with shared bathrooms. The EVS volunteers live together with other volunteers (short & long term) in multiple shared rooms on the upper floor of the main building. There are common rooms that can be used by all volunteers as well (e.g. small living room, library, meditation room, etc.). The volunteers will cook and eat together with the community and seminar guests (vegetarian, vegan and partly ayurvedic kitchen).
Requirements: Participants are motivated to live and work in a remotely located ecological, spiritual and open community of all ages and cultures. You don’t mind living in a shared bedroom and you agree and want to live in accordance with our common grounds (http://www.schweibenalp.ch/en/vision-2).
(1 volunteer for 11 months)
The Ecole d’Humanité is a progressive, international boarding school in the heart of the Swiss Alps (in the winter ski area Meiringen-Hasliberg) that fosters the discovery and development of individual talents in an atmosphere that encourages self-determination, innovation, and tolerance. 120 Students and 50 teachers from over 20 different countries live together in a dynamic community overflowing with academic, artistic, practical, athletic, and social opportunities. Whether admiring the beauty of a poem, projectile motion in a calculus-based physics class, performing an original piece of impro theatre or summiting a 4000 meter peak, Ecole students are challenged to actively discover and pursue their passions, and share them with others.
The EVS Volunteer will work as Youth Leader and Mentor, assisting in the support of our youngest students (ages 11-13) in a variety of ways and supporting a family of resident teachers with their 9-year-old daughter. As a Youth Leader they will work with teachers and staff to create opportunities for the Ecole’s youngest students to have fun, feel a part of the community and connect with their peers. The Youth Leader will develop and organize fun and engaging activities, while being a supportive and positive role model to students. The volunteer will have many opportunities, and is encouraged to bring their own ideas, creativity, and expertise to their work at the Ecole. As part of the Ecole community the EVS Volunteer will take part in community life and be part of an “Ecole Family” (Ecole Families consist of 2-3 teachers and 4-10 students, who live and interact with each other under one roof).
Youth Leader responsibilities may include the following:
- Supporting the kindergarten teacher by leading activities such as: story group, singing, arts and crafts activities, etc.
- Working alongside a teacher in the classroom to create interactive learning experiences related to lessons.
- Developing and leading fun group games to help our youngest students bond, get to know each other, work together as a team, and feel less homesick.
- Assist an experienced hike leader with a group of students on a 4- and 6-day backpacking excursion in the Fall and Spring.
- Participating in the Ecole community and joining an Ecole family
- Providing mentoring for the child of a resident teacher and supporting the family by helping with after-school childcare, assisting with homework and extracurricular activities, and helping with some housework.
- Being a positive role model to all students in the Ecole family and at the school.
- The Volunteer will have many opportunities to gain leadership skills and experience living and working in a progressive international boarding school setting. As a part of the Ecole community they will enhance their communication skills, learn to live in a diverse community and develop skills in teaching, leading small groups, and public speaking. The volunteer will also receive instruction and in-house training on the Ecole outdoor program including safety and first aid for leading students on hiking excursions.
Rooms are doubles and are simply and purposefully outfitted. Living together closely can mean both welcome support and unexpected challenges. Sometimes lifelong friendships are formed, sometimes only bonds of convenience. In the small unit of the room social learning plays an important role. When conflicts arise, the teachers (who supervise the Ecole Families) are there to help resolve them. We eat our daily meals together in a communal dining hall. Students, teachers and volunteers share things like cleaning duties in the Ecole. The beautiful surroundings of the Ecole offer great outdoor activity possibilities (hiking, skiing, climbing, biking).
Participants are motivated to live and work in a rather remotely located place within an existing community consisting of teachers, international students and other volunteers. You shouldn’t mind living in a shared bedroom and you are willing to integrate within the structures of the community. Smoking and drinking alcohol is not permitted for students. EVS volunteers are not allowed to smoke or drink alcohol in the presence of students. Intermediate language skills in English and/or German are helpful and will be the basis for your integration in our school community. All Volunteers will need to pass and submit a background check as part of our regular procedure for new staff and volunteers.
(1 volunteer for 11 months)
The Läbesschuel / School of life is a project within the community of Schloss Glarisegg, which hosts already two EVS since 2012 within their permaculture gardening. Läbesschuel started in August 2016 with 15 children, in 2018 we had 30 children registered.
Main activity within the EVS is to support accompanying the children in their learning journey. All the activities take place at Schloss Glarisegg community. We have different places within the community, we sometimes work outside (forest, beach, neighbour farm or garden), sometimes in the ‘Montessori’ room, other times in the main school building where we have a kitchen, a workshop, a library, a technic room and a main room. The smallest children are mostly spending their time in the forest. One day a week, the children go to Mammern (neighbouring village) by bicycle to do sports in the gym of the local school.
As a volunteer in this project you will meet, cook together and even live in the same flat as the other 2 volunteers from Schloss Glarisegg. You will attend the same weekly community circle and have the possibility to have a closer look at the other's project.
As we use alternative methods of teaching, you will learn a lot about non formal education, for example also working with emotions and the body. The team of the school will help you to discover your competencies and strengths. You will be given opportunities to choose and/or propose activities that you would like to do with the children.
You will also be able to learn more about technical tools from the pedagogy of Montessori, Freinet and Waldorf. Within this frame, you will learn a lot about yourself and others in the frame of education but also in the field of teamwork, relationships and social topics. During the time when the children are not in school, you'll be able to work on your own project, developing your own personal tools. The team will be present to help you to find out about the goals and means of this project. It could be a particular subject that you would like to deepen. Then you and the team will find out how, when, how long, which content, and so on it contains.
The idea of welcoming EVS in our project comes from the wish to open the project to different cultures for the children and the team to get them to know people from all over Europe. As we work with non-formal education and self-reflection we think the Läbesschuel is perfect match to the EVS program.