We noticed that you are using an older version of Microsoft Internet Explorer. This website is optimised for Internet Explorer version 9 and later, so please consider upgrading your browser so that you can enjoy all of this website's features. Visit the Microsoft website http://www.microsoft.com to download a newer version of Internet Explorer.

European Youth Portal

Information and opportunities for young people across Europe.


AFS-Loca Labora vzw

EVS Accreditation Details
EVS accreditation type
EVS accreditation expiry date 18/11/2014
Location Beernem, Belgium
Organisation topics
Inclusion topics

EVS accreditation number


For more information about volunteering and European Voluntary Service in particular, visit the Voluntary Activities section of this website.

Please note, information about organisations and projects is only available in English.
Project Environment

Project environment:
Outline the project environment for the suggested voluntary Service, including the local community where the project will take place (e.g. geographical, social and economical environment). If the host placement is located In a live-in community, please include the rules and conditions that apply also for the volunteer.

The community Beernem (area 7167 ha) arose from a historical fusion (1977) of three former communities, Beernem, Oedelem and Sint-Joris. On 01/01/2001 Beernem had 14.556 inhabitants.
Beernem is located 10 km of the historical city Bruges.
The community is characterised by its rural and woody environment (f.e. Provincial Domain Lippensgoed Bulskampveld).
The centre of Beernem is quite dense populated and has most services (shops, post, library, swimming pool,…). The edge is sparsely populated and exists mostly of forests and agriculture. The project Loca Labora is situated in this agriculture zone on the edge of Beernem (close to the neighbouring city ‘Oostkamp’), but close to a busstop with their own name ‘Loca Labora’

Beernem is easily reachable by public transport and has its own train station.

AFS, the coordinating organisation, will provide a host family for the participant, as we strongly believe that this is the best introduction to the Flemish culture and a great opportunity to integrate in the local community. The host family will provide lodging and food. They will be living close to the project and will be Dutch-speaking. AFS encourages the host family to use Dutch as a communication language with the volunteer, to help him/her to practise the Dutch language.

Proposed activities for EVS volunteers:
Please explain:
• what you can offer to volunteers in terms of Service and learning opportunities,
• what will be the role of EVS volunteers in the Host Organisation,
• the activities in which the volunteers could be involved and the activities the volunteers could create in your organisation. Please give examples of typical activities/tasks for the volunteers.

Volunteers signify a surplus for each organisation. Volunteers look at the organisation from a critical distance. They can ask questions about rules or things that the staff considers as normal. So this is very refreshing. It can stimulate new ideas and projects.
Discovering other cultures is also enriching. This is interesting as well for the staff as for the target group of the center. It is an extra impuls to be open and tolerant towards each other and other cultures.
We can offer the volunteer:
-to work together with the target group at the farm, as an equal
-to learn about the principles of biological farming and bringing products to the market
-to learn about the concept of social workingplaces
-to learn about life, insights in the way of living of the target group
-to discover the culture of Belgium and the way of living here.
The volunteer will mainly be doing manual work together with the target group. Helping with the harvest, weeding activities, preparing the vegetables for the market, … This work offers great possibilities to learn about the principles of biological farming and its commerce. Furthermore the volunteer will experience all these task in the context of social working places and he/she will be able to develop insights in the targetgroups of Loca Labora. Untill this day we noticed that the volunteers are not able to develop a personal project. We are very willing though to offer future volunteers the possibility for a proper project with own responsibilities. Every initiative or proposition will be welcomed and discussed in terms of attainability. There are possibilities for shared responsibilities if the volunteer is worked in and has earned the respect of the group. These responsibilities could be: planning and division of labour, guiding a subgroup, solving daily technical and organisational problems, giving psychological and social support to the employees, quality control.

Working at the Biological farm: 100% (sewing, taking care while growing, mowing, weeding, harvest, prepare products for the market, preparing to sell and finally selling in the shop)

Average of 30 hours a week
• Weekdays hours: from 9 am to 4.30 pm, with coffee- and lunchbreaks
• Saturday hours: occasionally (an average of 6 times a year), only after consultation with the volunteer Recuperation time can be taken within the week, after consultation with the responsible person

AFS, the coordinating organisation, will provide Dutch language lessons for the volunteer. These lessons will be given by an experienced teacher and will be organised in a central place that is easy to reach by public transport. The lessons will be organised weekly in the first weeks of the project.

Volunteer profiles and recruitment process:
Please describe the profiles of volunteers you would like to receive in your organisation. Include information on how you ensure an open and transparent recruitment process as well as the overall accessibility of EVS to all young people. Consider further information about the type of Sending Organisation you want to cooperate with. This information can help the match-making between volunteer candidates, Sending Organisations and your organisation.
The volunteer should be open to all kind of people and tolerant.
The volunteer should be prepared to work outside on the field.
The volunteer should be independent.
The recruitment will be done by our AFS as coordinating host organisation.
AFS, the coordinating host organisation, strongly believes in the intercultural learning aspect of an EVS-experience. Therefore, the volunteer will be living with a volunteer host family, as we believe this is the best introduction to Flemish culture and a great opportunity to integrate in the local community. Candidates should be willing to share in the host family's daily life (spend some free time with them, occasionally join the family on activities outside the house, eat together, give a helping hand in the household... ) and should be motivated to live with and learn about Flemish people of different ages and opinions. They should also be willing to adapt to the local eating habits. On the other hand, we guarantee a family that is interested to learn about your culture and background and that respects your values and beliefs. Living in a host family is an excellent opportunity for both you and the family to broaden your cultural horizons!
Candidates who are not sure this suits their profile are advised to get in touch with someone who has experience with living in a host family. If you already know you prefer to live independently, please refrain from applying for this project.

Number of volunteers hosted:
Please state the maximum number of volunteers your organisation is able to host at the same time (ensuring all quality, learning, and welfare standards of EVS for each volunteer): 1

Risk prevention, protection and safety:
Please describe:
• how you will guarantee a safe living and working environment for the EVS volunteers,
• how you will prevent risks and crises,
• how – in the case of EVS volunteers aged 16 or 17 – you ensure appropriate supervision, protection and safety.
The project will assign a personal mentor / contact person to the participant, so he/she can always ask this person for help or guidance.
AFS, as coordinating host organisation will give every project and every participant a local contact person, that will stay in contact and will regularly ask for an evaluation to improve the situation for all parties. In case of emergency, AFS has an emergency-mobile phone, which can be reached 24h/24h, in case of emergencies.
AFS will arrange the enrolment of the volunteer in the Group Insurance Plan for EVS, provided by AXA. Next to this we will also ask the project to register the volunteer in the group insurance of the workplace. We will also make sure that the participant has all needed emergency contacts of the project, the host family, the local volunteers and our organisation.

Motivation and EVS experience

Loca Labora has been working with AFS as coordinating host organisation since 2002.
In the past years they have hosted several EVS-participant (each for 6 months).
In the future Loca Labora is willing to host new EVS-participants, together with AFS as coordinating host organisation, and host one participant yearly, for 6 months (February-July).

Description of the organisation

De Kruiderie" is a social employment project that wants to reintegrate people with limited opportunities and/or capacities (because of a handicap, psychiatric problems, social deprivation… ) into society by offering them a meaningful employment. The project consist of approx. 12 employees (equivalent of 5,4 full times). Depending on their capacities, they work a number of (half) days per week in the project. They are guided by professionel job coaches and a trajectory coach who provides psycho-social support.
The "Kruiderie" produces about 100 different biological herbs for culinary, medicinal and consmetic use. In spring (March - July), the herbs are grown mainly for sale to private persons. From June onwards we start growing herbs outdoors for our own processing (dried herbs, herbal syrups and ointments, oils and vinegars…) and the sale to external parties. During the winter months, we are mainly occupied with processing the herbs and with making and selling gift packages with herbal products. Sometimes we also accept orders from external parties.
There is also a FACEBOOK page: De Kruiderie Loca Labora
AFS is an international, voluntary, non profit organisation that provides intercultural learning opportunities to help people develop the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to create a more peaceful world. AFS does this through several exchange programs, like EVS.
AFS works in cooperation with several AFS partners in more than 50 countries world wide. On a European level we are represented by the European federation for Intercultural Learning.

Contact details
Please note, the selected organisation cooperates with a different EVS organisation to handle enquiries on its behalf.
Organisation name AFS Interculturele Programma's vzw
Street Hendrik Consciencestraat 52
Postal code 2800
Town/city Mechelen
Country Belgium
Email address evs-belgiumflanders@afs.org
Website www.localabora.be
Telephone number +32 15 79 50 10
Fax number +32 15 79 50 11

Last update: 08/12/2011