ESC longterm project in Estonia, Valga county (Valgamaa). Activities on youthwork and ecovillage: in Taheva youth centre and NGO Valga County Youth Work Centre Tankla; in Parmu Ecovillage.
Number of vacancies: 2
* 2018/2019 are the volunteers in Ritsu youth room from Spain (in Linna village) and in Taheva youth centre from Austria (in Hargla)
Look from here amazing photos about Valga county valgamaa.tumblr.com
Look last volunteers blog posts from here and here.
Keywords: rural area, event organizer, ball games, workshop leader, activities related with nature
Taheva Youth Centre is an institution which has been established in 2003. Starting at 2018 it is a part of Valga Open Youth Centre. The youth centre is located in a little village, which is called Hargla (population ~200) and mainly working with around 40 youngsters living in Taheva area. The target group are youngsters between 7-26 years. Main activities are organizing with youngsters events, their free time, clubs, workshops and other „crazy“ ideas to develop local youth work and community. We are famous in our area for our fishing, volleyball and football events.
Per month there are ~300-400 visits. Also the youth centre is leading and organizing Taheva area clubs for youngsters (2018/2019 season clubs: acting, fishing, crafting and ceramics, sport, parkour, dancing, music, horse riding, cooking, entrepreneurship).
The youth centre itself is an old, but charming building next to the main road in Hargla.
It has a big room - even with a stage, where concerts and events (like the ones planned by youngsters) take place. But in Taheva Youth Center you can not only train your stage appearance, also your dance and driving skills, as we have a PS4 room, where the youngsters love to play JustDance or WRC. Of course not only PS4 is played in the Youth Center, there is also a board-game-room, the possibility to play table football, billiard and also table tennis. We regularly organize board game- and table tennis-evenings, where the volunteer can join and try to beat the youngsters. Next to the possibility to do some sport and play games, the Youth Center also has a professional DJ equipment, which can be used during events (like disco), and a brand new drum set.
The Youth Center also has a small kitchen and another room, where some of the clubs take place.
Also on the outside the Youth Center has some cool things to offer, for example an outside training opportunity. For youngsters there is a small playground with the famous Estonian swing. But not only these, also on the territory of the Youth Center are volleyball fields and a dancing-place.
Youngsters made video about Hargla:
Hargla is a village located in South-Estonia near the Latvian border. This village is the biggest village in Taheva area. Starting at 2018 Taheva area and Hargla village is now part of Valga parish. The parish centre is Valga city, which is ~30km away from Hargla.
Hargla is famous for its very beautiful nature, as also Karula national park is nearby – keywords are pure, eco and wild. Around the area are a lot hiking tracks, free camping places in nature, lakes and forest. Near Hargla is also a viewing point, where you can get a great impression of the area. One popular activity is canoeing in Mustjõgi and Koiva river – especially in the „5th“ season of Estonia, which means that the water of the river floats the nearby land. But also volleyball and football are very common and popular in this area, as the youth centre is organizing events about these two sports.
In the village is a school (grades 1th until to 9th), a kindergarten, a library, a youth centre, a culture house, a little food store and 2 bus stops. Also we have courts for football and volleyball, an outside gym and an outside dancing place. The local culture house is organizing activities, events and clubs for grown-ups.
Hargla has a direct bus connections with Valga (4 times per day), Võru and Tõrva (2 times per day), and Pärnu (1 time per day). We are using a lot the Valga train- and bus station to drive to Tallinn, Tartu and Riga (Latvian capital city). Important and biggest cities from Hargla: Tallinn ~270km, Riga ~175km, Tartu ~125km, Võru ~55km and Valga ~30km.
Video about river area (Mustjõgi/Black river):
Keywords: Nature, organic food, permaculture gardening, Gaia education, multicultural, folk traditions, ecological lifestyle, old traditions, work with horses, riding with horses, dance, shiitake mushrooms, handicraft, hiking (canoes and bicycle), social life, community, camping.
Facebook/homepage: https://www.facebook.com/ParmuEcovillage/ /
Parmu Ecovillage is a non-government organization, with official address in Tsirgumäe village, but people who belong to ecovillage live in 20 km radius in their own farms. Every farm has its own field of activity. Some of them are briefly described in following sections. Parmu Ecovillage (Parmu Ökoküla) exists to promote and foster a holistic approach to restoring the environment through regenerative farming, gardening and forestry.
The community centre of Parmu Ecovillage is in Tsirgumäe. There is a zero-energy building resembling traditional Estonian farmstead, which has sleeping room (with single beds) for 10 people. There we organize camps, workshops, and celebrate traditional holidays. Ecovillage has a modern certified food storage centre, where it is possible to store, process and ferment food.
There are about 10 families in Parmu Ecovillage, a total of 43 people (including children).
People who belong to Parmu Ecovillage have sustainability mindset and prioritize eco friendly existence. Old national traditions and traditional culture is highly valued and combined into daily living where possible and reasonable.
We strongly believe that if we are to head off to environmental disasters looming ahead, all young people, not just future scientists, farmers or foresters, must begin to acquire a basic understanding of the fundamental processes through which our ecosystem functions. It will be soon unacceptable for any young person to remain environmentally illiterate and thus ignorant of these processes and our connection to them.
Involving young people through voluntary activities is a great way to raise their awareness and understanding of the importance of maintaining and enhancing the well-being of the environment as well as introduce them to the knowledge of how to make decisions that simultaneously consider economical, social and environmental realities, both short and long term.
Tsirgumäe is a village in Valga county near the Latvian border, 1.5 km from Hargla. The center of the village is Taheva manor from the 17th century.
Many of old manor buildings are decayed, but an old ice-cellar and water-pumping house from 19th century belong to the ecovillage, are preserved and worth a look.
The old manor park is also well preserved and beautifully managed. Taheva Sanatoorium foundation is operating in the renovated manor buildings, offering social welfare services.
There are many beautiful nature places on the territory of the Tsirgumäe village: Tellingumägi hill with a hiking trail and view-tower, Koiva wood meadow nature protection area, Taheva manor park protection area, Kübarakolka with a smoke-sauna and holy trees, and many more beautiful places.
Sooblase village does not have a historical centre, the farms are spread in the area. A village-school operated in Kirepi farm centuries ago, which soon starts to operate again. Most of the ecovillage farms are located in the Sooblase village. Mustjõgi river runs through the Sooblase village, being attractive destination for canoeing.
Tsirgumäe and Sooblase villages are located on the Koiva-Mustjõe nature protection area. In spring the banks of Mustjõe and Koiva rivers are flooded and water will cover very big areas on the wood-meadow. This beauty can be best enjoyed with a canoe trip in spring and very rarely also in autumn.
Application-form for Taheva, Parmu Ecovillage (doc)
Applying deadline: 30th of April
NB! The application is suitable for each youth centres. In which youth centre you will do your ESC will be decided after the Skype-call and is based on your answers (from the form + during the call) and where we think you would fit the best.