From the point of view of the hosting and coordinating associations, the most beautiful aspect of volunteering projects is the possibility they offer of creating new synergies and new networks within the territory and at international level. The collaboration between Vicolocorto and the Pesaro-based association Campo Base is a wonderful one, one that has created happy volunteers in close contact with nature!
Campo Base is a type B social cooperative founded in December 2008, which means that its main objective has always been the inclusion of people with fewer opportunities through the activities it organises. The cooperative employs, in fact, people with disabilities in a fully inclusive environment.
Campo Base operates in the fruit, vegetable and livestock sector according to the organic method and the concept of “permaculture”. Activities in the farm involve people with disabilities and are mainly about contact with nature and animals with the aim of learning to respect the planet and to grow food in an organic and ethical way.
It is a perfect environment for volunteers who want to experience both the concept of inclusion and the concept of an ethical and sustainable relationship with nature. At the moment, the association hosts 2 volunteers from France and Poland, Baptiste and Martyna, who work together with 2 other volunteers from Spain, Aina and David who are hosted by another association in Pesaro that deals with disabilities, a close collaborator of Campo Base and Vicolocorto.
Through the volunteers Aina, David, Martyna and Baptiste we can discover what it means to take part in this volunteering project. First of all, the activities that the volunteers carry out follow the rhythm of nature and the seasons, therefore they change according to the time of year. Volunteers are involved in 3 main activities: taking care of the vegetable garden, taking care of the animals and taking care of the farm. In fact, Campo Base has special guests: chickens, turkeys and sheep (the latest additions to the family!). Volunteers have the opportunity to learn how to take care of the animals and the environment in which they live: they feed them and clean where necessary. As for the garden, they learn to recognise seeds and plants, as well as the right time of year to plant and harvest fruit and vegetables.
As Aina and Baptiste tell us, this project is not a peaceful retreat in nature and, above all, it is not just about farming! The human relationship is fundamental: they work closely with people with disabilities and “inclusion” is the key word. Nevertheless, it is a perfect opportunity to get to know the world of agriculture up close: you learn the importance of the seasonality of vegetables, the need for organisation, how to recognise seeds and plants, the need for rain, and you also understand the physical commitment that this type of work requires.
By taking part in this project, in fact, David says that he has learned the importance of caring for nature, that he has become more aware of the origin of what we eat and all the work that goes into it.
So who should participate in this kind of project? Certainly it is the ideal project for all those who want to experience the world of sustainability, for those who want to have a direct relationship with nature and animals, while learning new best practices for inclusion. But as Aina reminds us, be prepared to get your hands dirty!