ESC “Volunteers for a Green Future” in Vinnytsia, Ukraine

In this 9-month ESC voluntary service project in rural Ukraine, you will help building an eco-centre, support environmental projects with kids and young people, provide workshops about languages and cultures, and have a chance to come up with your own ideas.

Dates: April 2021- December 2022 (9 months in total)
Location: Vinnytsia, Ukraine
Hosting Organization: Pangeya Ultima
We are looking for: Young people living in Germany, age 18-30

About the hosting organization

“Development center Pangeya Ultima” is a Ukrainian non-governmental, non-profit organization that was founded in 2012. They have a mixed team of  young people and youth workers that organise a wide range of activities in Vinnytsia, a small town approx. 3 hours by train from Kyiv, and in the surrounding rural regions.

Pangeya Ultima aims to create opportunitites of intercultural dialogue, personal development and sustainable development of communities. The working methods are based on non-formal education, such as experiential learning, games and outdoor education. Through their work, Pangeya Ultima also aims to promote eco-tourism and ecological lifestyles, as well as intercultural dialogue through projects around media, theatre and music.

In 2016-2017, Pangeya Ultima became a partner in launching the “Eco center in Stina” in one of the remote communities of the local region. In this new space, they want to provide non-formal learning opportunities also to young people from the villages. The eco-center is a wonderful ground for realization of outdoors and rural development initiatives, in collaboration with other NGOs and initiatives in the region.

The organisation has been hosting volunteers from all over Europe since 2013, first with the European Voluntary Service, and now with the European Solidarity Corps, Weltwärts , Peace Corps and other international programmes.

At the moment, Pangeya Ultima is moving a lot of their activities online or organising them in smaller offline groups, always following the local guidelines regarding hygiene and social distancing. Through using technology, their team and current volunteers still manage to have activities with the local schools and young people that would normally come to their offices in person. Additionally, through their online magazine Mozaika, they are still actively contributing to making the multi-cultural community of Vinnytsia more visible.

To find out more, visit their Facebook and Instagram.

Your tasks as a volunteer would include…

In short, what you would be doing at Pangeya Ultimate would include:

  • Helping out with ongoing activities at the youth centre – offline and online – such as theatre, language, media, music and other themed clubs
  • Supporting the team in the development of the Eco-Centre Stina – researching ecological and sustainable ways of managing the centre, organising the garden, planning and implementing workshops on ecological topics with the other volunteers for local young people
  • Writing articles for the Mozaika online magazine
  • Helping out with website design and writing of articles
  • Supporting the German/English language lessons at local schools in collaboration with their teachers
  • Providing a German (or English or your other native tongue) language club for local youngsters
  • Coming up with your own ideas for small projects and activities within the organisation

You do not need to have any prior experience in any of those areas or tasks. Your motivation is key!

You will be supported by members of the organisation throughout your voluntary service, to discuss your weekly schedule, and to learn more about the hands-on activities. You will meet your coordinator on a regular basis to discuss your development, ideas and tasks. As a volunteer, you are expected to be an active contributor – you will provide a new vision and perspective and be a valuable member of the team.

In addition, you will have a mentor who will help you integrate into life in Vinnytsia.

Working hours are approximately 30-35 per week. You are entitled to 2 free days in addition to all weekends per month. Holidays have to be agreed with your hosting organisation in advance.

You will receive a basic language course in Ukrainian once per week, so you can learn the language as well.

About the background of the project

Why are we organising this project? Whether it’s the single-use plastic ban, Fridays for Future, or the EU Green New Deal – environmental topics are moving into the focus of European politics and young people’s lives. To support this development, we collaborate with organisations that are actively making a positive change in the environmental field. This voluntary service opportunity with Pangeya Ultima is part of a bigger project we are coordinating across 5 different European countries: “Volunteers for a Green Future”.

The European Solidarity Corps finances this project and wants to bring people from different backgrounds together to form a society based on mutual acceptance, solidarity and cohesion.

Accommodation, logistics, finances

You will share a flat together with up to 3 volunteer max. Every volunteer has a private room. The flat has all basic equipment, including a washing machine and internet connection. Your accommodation will be on the outer parts of Vinnytsia, so you can easily commute both to Stina and Voronovytsia (the villages where some of the voluntary work takes place) and to the city centre.

You will receive 3€/day of Pocket Money, so 90€ per month. Additionally, you will receive 90€ for food per month.

Travel costs will be reimbursed up to 275,00€. As we want to lower the carbon footprint of our projects as much as possible, we encourage you to travel without using planes – we are happy to support you finding a route that uses trains and busses whenever possible.

Together with Pangeya Ultima, we will also help you to get a residence permit for Ukraine and the costs will be covered by us (up to the limit of 190€).

You will be entitled to free health insurance with the CIGNA programme in addition to your European Health Insurance Card. If you are not too old, you are also entitled to continue receiving Kindergeld (German state support money for children).

Your participation in the ESC programme is free.

Who are we looking for?

You can apply if the following criteria applies to you:

  • You are between 18 and 30 years old
  • You are a resident of Germany
  • You have an interest in working with young people and ecology and sustainability
  • You are motivated to contribute to the work of Pangeya Ultima with your own ideas
  • You are confident that you can live in a smaller community in a foreign country with basic living conditions
  • You are a team worker who is also confident to carry out tasks independently

If you have any questions, please get in touch with Irma: irma.franz @ naturkultur.eu

To apply, simply fill out the form below. The more information you give, the easier it will be for us to learn more about you. We will then contact you.

(Image Credits: Pangeya Ultima)