Training in Cloughjordan

CLOUGHJORDAN, Ireland, October 2018

For a whole week a group of 22 ecovillage representatives got together for a training in the beautiful setting of the ecovillage Cloughjordan in Ireland. The eleven different nationalities present, representing about 15 different ecovillages accross Europe, wanted to learn about and work with the new programme “European Solidarity Corps (ESC)” replacing the “European Voluntary Service” to create new volunteering projects for youth in their communities and ecovillages and to strengthening the network for international partnerships. The training took place from the 7th to the 13th of October and was funded by the ERASMUS+ programme.

Within this week the group covered topics such as administration of the different project stages (accreditation, application, implementation and follow-up), worked on the various applications for different projects and had time to connect as well.

On the first day the group took a tour around the ecovillage, visited the building site of the amphitheatre and had a look around the farm and the seed saving station.

Though different methods such as “walk and talk” or “world café” the participants could share their knowledge and experiences. After an exchange with the current volunteers at Cloughjordan, the challenges (like the integration into the community) became much clearer.

On two evenings the community of Cloughjordan was invited for presentations of the other fourteen communities and ecovillages that were present. “That was really inspiring and connecting” said Davie, one of the participants.

With three lovely pubs there was always a place to go and chat or spend the free evenings. While getting to know and doing circle dances in the morning to shake the sleepiness off music was also part of the evenings with singing traditional songs from the participants’ respective countries and sitting around a warm fire or having live music inside the pub.

The last evening was spend at a participant’s house with the community bringing food to share and to celebrate this intensive week. Stand up comedy, intriguing stories and musical talents were shared by many people on the open stage.

“The community gave us a very warm welcome. The weather was mixed with sunshine, rain and strong wind – a full Irish experience. We had a really great time with live music and lots of laughing” shared Annika.