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Volunteers in

This is an information site on some best practices to apply and plan for a volunteer program like the European Voluntary Corps and on how to manage these projects.

This project

This project page is the product of the collaboration of four communities exchanging good practices about working with volunteers.

The partner organisations are all eco-communities and members of the Global Ecovillage Network. We are Sieben Linden in Germany, Ängsbacka in Sweden, Cloughjordan Ecovillage in Ireland and Ananda Gaorii in Denmark. Each of us are hosting between 8 to 35 volunteers at any given time (some ESC, some from other programs) and each of us are working in the field of education for sustainable development and helping to develop the resilience of our local communities.  

The Ecovillages involved in this project

Ananda Gaorii

... is situated in Denmark near Coppenhagen. Ananda Gaorii is a Yoga & Meditation Retreat Center dedicated to provide a peaceful and comfortable setting for meditation and yoga retreats and seminars covering spiritually, social change, sustainability etc for those seeking spiritual growth and an opportunity for social service.
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Ökodorf Sieben Linden

... is situated in Germany near Berlin, northeast. 150 people live together in an ecologically and socially sustainable way. Volunteers have been a part of the community ever since the project started and a lot of practices have been developed.
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... is situated in Ireland between Dublin and Limerick. Cloughjordan Community Farm is a member-owned farm on the Tipperary Offlay border using biodynamic and organic farming methods, we aim to produce the highest qualitiy, nutritionally dense vegetables, while also reducing the environmental impact of produsing this food.
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... is situated in Sweden near Karlstad. Ängsbacka is a Course and Festival Center for personal and spiritual growth located in the beautiful deep forests of Värmland, Sweden. We support people in their paths to sustainable development, well-being and harmony.
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To get started with your own volunteering project we have different materials and tools to support you. The European Solidarity Corps (ESC) programme was the common scheme all the involved communities use and it has a guide as well with much information to read through. 

Join the GEN Europe conference to get in touch with international organisations or ask within your national network if they have contacts to organisations within our field of expertise to create partnerships for future collaboration. 

Check the structure of your community, try to describe as it helps to see how to integrate volunteers. Check out the good practices that we identified due to this project and check if those can be implemented in your community as well.

  • Supervision and Reporting

  • Feedback and Evaluation 

  • Creating partnerships with local organisations and projects

  • Useful Templates

  • Work leaders/ supervisors

  • Volunteer coordinators

  • Mentors

  • Accountant/ bookkeeper


Tools that can be helpful while running the project

During the partnership, we exchange ideas about practices and try to improve our volunteer service to support the young people in their processes.

These included the different steps we identified to host volunteers:
We are still trying and improving. In the end, we want to create a booklet to share with everyone.

Here you find the best practices for executing the program.

  • Handbook for Volunteers

  • Application Form with Intentional Questions

  • Online interviews

  • Facebook Group/WhatsApp Group for New Volunteers

  • Induction week

  • Life Story Evening

  • A Weekly Programme

  • Collective Practices

  • Community Events/ Celebrations
  • Communication Tools

  • Conflict Prevention
  • Serious Conflict Resolution
  • Community ‘Apprenticeship’

  • Reflection on Learning

  • Guided Reflection Activities

  • Workshops held by the Volunteers

  • Digital tools to Support Volunteers Learning

  • Sustainability

  • Departure Rituals

  • Supporting the Departur Process

  • Time Capsules 

  • Memento

  • Changeover Celebration