ESC Voluntary Service, March – August 2020 on Chios Island, Greece
10th September 2019
ESC Youth Work & Special Needs, 1.11.2019 – 31.10.2020, in Toledo, Spain
21st September 2019

ESC “Solidarity Seeds”, 01.11.2019 – 30.04.2020 in Blanes, Spain

Ecology, gardening and sustainability – this ESC project provides an invaluable opportunity for two volunteers to grow and learn in the Botanical Garden of Barcelona!

Dates: 01.11.2019 – 30.04.2020

Location: Blanes, a city close to Barcelona in the region of Catalonia, Spain

The Project

Within the framework of this ESC project, the volunteers will help with the sustainable conservation of the collection of plants in the Marimurtra Botanical Garden, help with tasks related to the effects of climate change, provide educational opportunities to young people about social, cultural and ecological topics while immersing themselves in the culture of Catalonia and Spain.

The long-term objective of the project is to promote and consolidate international volunteering in both the Foundation, and particularly in the Botanical Garden, in accordance with the founding objective of playing a role in international cooperation. Creating a quality volunteering project at Marimurtra is an important aspect of achieving this objective.

The immediate Objectives of this project are:

  • To raise awareness for the importance of biodiversity and the roles played by plants in ecological sustainability and society
  • To inform society about environmental threats posed by climate change effects – identification and communication of issues, discussion of sustainable mitigation of the risks
  • To share the importance of ecological lifestyles with young people in the local community
  • To provide the chance for international volunteers to bring their own ideas and initiatives, learn a new language and live as part of a different culture

Your hosting organisation

The Carl Faust Foundation is responsible for the management and ongoing development of the Marimurtra Botanical Garden , keeping the fundamental objectives of the Garden alive and working. The The Foundation was created in 1952 by German philanthropist Carl Faust, who starting in 1918, created the Marimurtra Botanical Garden. In the present times, Marimurtra Botanical Garden aims to be again a milestone for everyone interested in Botany. Joining the ESC programme, the garden follows the traces of its own history by inviting two volunteers from Germany to join their team!

The activities of a botanical garden are not limited to a collection of plants and its preservation. There are other, more social activities which have positive impacts beyond the garden itself. For example, one of the agreed functions of a botanical garden is to educate and disseminate information about the importance of the plant world, the benefits that it brings to us all, and how gardens shelter additional local biodiversity from the surrounding area.

Marimurtra Botanical Garden annually receives over 120.000 visitors, from different nationalities. Communicating with this social diversity, whether actively or passively, involves significant attention to social relationships.

What can you learn during this project?

The activities of the project will be related to sustainable conservation, dissemination and education, and climate change research.

Thus, you will be able to learn applied techniques for sustainable and ecological treatments of plants, to communicate to and collaborate with different kind of social, cultural and professional communities, collect data to be able to perform climate change research, etc.

In addition, you will be able to improve you language and interpersonal skills, self-management, sense of initiative and pursue your own interests within the work for and with the Botanical Garden.

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 be supported by members of the organisation throughout your voluntary service, to discuss your weekly schedule, and to learn the hands-on activities in the garden. 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 contributer – 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 Blanes.

You will be enrolled to the OLS Spanish course so you can improve your language skill throughout your stay in Spain.

Accommodation, logistics, finances

You will be hosted in a flat next to the Botanical Garden (5 min walk) in Blanes. From there, you can also  easily get to Blanes’ main beach, the city centre and a bus station. Each volunteer will have his/her own room, while bathroom, kitchen and other space in the flat are shared. The flat is furnished so that all basic needs are covered. Rent and utilities will be paid by the hosting organisation.

You will receive a monthly allowance for food in addition to 4€ of pocket money per day, which will be transfered monthly. Volunteers will be supported to open a national account.

Your hosting and sending organisation will help you organise your trip to and from Spain. Your travel costs will be reimbursed up to 275€ in total.

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 ecology, plants, environmental protection and education
  • You are motivated to contribute to the work of the Botanical Garden with your own sense of initiative and 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

Any other questions? Just send an e-mail to Irma: [email protected]

You can apply through the form below – the more information you give, the better. After the first selection round on September 24th, we will invite 4-5 candidates for a Skype interview in the last week of September 2019. The application forms and notes of the Skype of 2-4 final candidates will then be forwarded to the Spanish hosting organisation for the final selection.

This call has been closed – thank you!