Help the world, one camp at a time!
Eight years have passed since my first voluntary workcamp, but I can still remember travelling on the bumpy Czech suburban train and turning to one of the locals to ask if the village of Skalice-nad-Svitavou was still far away. To which she looked at me in bewilderment and asked: “Why would a young person of your age want to spend the summer in a place like that?”.
Suddenly, all my bravery was gone. When I was still just browsing the list of about 1000 projects, it seemed like a super romantic idea to live in a mill without electricity in the middle of a meadow and to organise the English class of some local kids. But when I thought about it realistically, questions started coming up: how to find kids who would come to school in summer and what are we going to do in the middle of a meadow for 3 weeks?
However when I got off the train and was welcomed by the two camp leaders full of smiles and enthusiasm, I left all my worries behind. The next 20 days I did not have a single moment that would have been boring. With the 12 other volunteers who came from all over the world, we planned, exchanged ideas, gave classes, cooked together, organised an international night, travelled all over the area and in the end we felt that we had really done something for the world. Oh yeah, and I haven’t lived in such an extravagant place like the mill since!
All this can happen to YOU too! What’s more, almost completely for free! Útilapu Hálózat, the Hungarian member of SCI International gives enthusiastic young people (without regards to background or age) the opportunity to spend a few weeks serving a good cause in one of the 900 workcamps coordinated by them this year again. The workcamps that bring together young people for more than 90 years to create a better future together, offer a really cost-efficient adventure: since besides 20 euro membership fee and the travel costs, the rest of the expenses are covered by the organisers.
The choice is extremely wide; therefore it is guaranteed that everybody will find a camp of their taste. The topics range from ’Antiracism, antifascism and commemoration’, ’Gender equality and sexuality’ and ’Disabled people’, but most projects fall into the category of ’Environment protection’, ’Art, culture and local history’ and ’Children and young people’. There are 393 camps in Europe alone, but there are just as many in some exotic countries of Asia and Africa too. Although most camps are during summer, it is not impossible to stumble upon some opportunities for the rest of the year either. Moreover, while the usual duration of camps is normally 2-3 weeks, by combining different camps, it is possible to stay in the destination country for even several months.
To apply, the first step is to check out the list of available camps here (https://www.workcamps.info/icamps/HU-SCI/hu/camps.html), where it is immediately visible how many volunteers are still needed for each camp. And once you have found your dream camp, you do not have to do anything else, but get in touch with Útilapu Hálózat, through whom you can send your motivation letter and application to the given organisation. Once this is all done, you just have to lay back and wait for your confirmation and get ready to pack your bags!
More information: http://utilapu.hu/
Written and translated by Judit Molnár