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Volunteers 2017

Volunteers 2017
Skala Ecovillage opens for volunteers from April the 20th - July the 30th, 2017 The volunteers are invited to take part in daily tasks which alternate often according to the needs of each season of the year. They mainly refer to gardening, farming, seeding, construction of paths, maintenance of the infrastructure, building of a big “ferro-cement” water tank, construction of a lake, processing of fruits and vegetables, cooking, cleaning, etc. Ιn general, life in an ecovillage offers experience on the areas of natural farming, healthy cooking, knowledge on natural building, on water retention landscape but also learning of several social tools for working in a team. The volunteering period is also a good opportunity for coming closer and knowing deeper each other, both in between the volunteers themselves and with the members of the ecovillage. Building community is a pioneering task. It requires strong hands, warm heart and will for cooperation! We will be glad to cooperate with you if you decide to participate as volunteers to our project! During each week, there will be “sharing circles” or “sharing from the heart”, which is an opportunity to know us better, to communicate, to listen and be listened. Such circles is the core of our community and we invite you take part! We can host up to 4-6 volunteers each time either in our huts / wooden houses or in tents which offers a closer contact with the nature. The day usually starts with breakfast, sometimes with yoga, and with an attunement in between all of us in between 08:00 and 08:45. Lunch time is approximately at 14:00 and then a little siesta. In the afternoon either we continue working or we express our creativity in other ways like recreations or art. Dinner for all of us will take place at around 20:00 and later on there is the possibility to enjoy ourselves with music, talking and good company. You are all very welcome with your proposals and abilities. Skala ecovillage is located in a protected green area, on the edge of a beautiful oak forest, next to a gorge which is available for short excursions. The city of Thessaloniki is 45 km away and the beaches of Chalkidiki area are an alternative for the summer season. More info on Skala ecovillage at www.skalaecovillage.com If interested, contact us at  info@skalaecovillage.com We are glad for all possibilities from such an exchange. SKALA Ecovillage We will accept only those volunteers that wish to cooperate with us for at least 2-3 weeks and get to know Skala deeper.
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Volunteers 2016

Volunteers 2016
Dear new and old Skala Ecovillage’s friends, WE THANK all volunteers, who have honored us with their working time, with their smile, their heart, and their inspiration and helped us to create more harmony, community and beauty in our ecovillage! We are happy to announce that we attend to continue the volunteering program till the end of October 2016 and we want to invite you to join our Community Activities. There is a possibility to accommodate 4 people each time unter roof, in sharing rooms, for two women and two men each. Of course you can also stay in tents enjoying the closer contact with nature. Normally the day starts with a breakfast (sometimes also with yoga) and a “tuning in” meeting from 8:00 to 8:45am. Then it is time to get into work, in the vegetable garden, in the kitchen, cleaning the common spaces or in specific projects, as maintenance of existing infrastructure and helping in buildings: a tree house, a ferrocement water tank, finishing the biogas station, seeding etc. Lunch is served round 14:00 in the common house and it follows siesta. In the evening, depending on what are the projects in evolution and on the group’s energy, we may continue some works or take time for other creations, as art and sports. Dinner is serving at 20:00 and then we are open for celebration, music, talks, good company… Everybody is invited to make their proposals and share their knowledge and abilities. Once or twice a week we aim to get in “heart sharing circles”, a good opportunity to get to know each other better, to communicate and to listen to whatever is on stage. The circles of sharing are the core of our community and you are very welcome to join us! The volunteer work is on exchange basis, where the volunteer has covered the costs of food and accommodation and offers his work, six hours a day, six days/week. Accommodations will be either in caravan, either in the common house (in both of cases, sharing it with one other person). Other personal expenses are their own responsibility to cover. We accept only volunteers who want to get to know us better and are interested to stay and work with us longer than 2-3 weeks. If interested, please come in contact with us telling the days you would like to come. Looking forward for all the possibilities this exchange may bring, Anna Filippou in name of Skala Ecovillage.
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refuGEN

refuGEN
refuGEN GEN Takes Action regarding the Refugee Crisis on the Island of Lesvos “Together we aim to provide help on the ground in Greece and take responsibility for an issue that affects us all.” Dear Ecovillage Communities of Europe, The flow of refugees from war-torn areas continues and crossing into the EU is a dangerous risk many men, women and children feel forced to take to survive. The Greek Islands and especially the island of Lesbos is the main entry point where many arrive in need of help; others do not survive the crossing. As the colder winter comes, the situation will become even worse. As ecovillages we stand for social justice and a humane world where people should not be hindered to seek their legal right to asylum in the EU. refuGEN is now ready to act. Our plan is to field a mission to the small city of Mytilini on the Greek island of Lesvos. We have already been there through our Team Member Anna of Skala and made connections with the local NGOs, municipality and university. Our mission will work seamlessly with local efforts and we aim to strengthen local capacities in Mytilini to utilise local residents and international volunteers to meet the needs of distressed refugees arriving, especially those who have lost family members, needed medical care and remain on Lesvos a longer period. We are working with the local community to arrange our accommodations and identify the greatest need for refuGEN to fill. The refuGEN mission will start its briefing in Greece 20-23 Dec and be on location in Lesvos no later than 24 Dec. Both Anna and I, Robert will be part the first group of refuGEN volunteers on location before Christmas. We now need your help. We need volunteers, financial support and materials. VOLUNTEERS: Persons capable of helping others in need, with at least a minimum of basic skills in English are welcome to apply to become a refuGEN volunteer by filling in the application form here:https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MBJDVLQ We need Arabic speakers and medical doctors and nurses as well as people with good community/inter-personal/trauma/practical skills. You must be willing to stay at least 7 days, but the longer the better. Unfortunately we cannot promise any financial assistance with travel and food/accommodation costs. We hope to be 5 persons at all times, with a team leader staying a longer period, a medic, an interpreter and two more volunteers. DONATIONS: If you can, please contribute to the refuGEN fund. It is for paying common costs of the mission that we cannot ask individual volunteers to pay for. If we collect enough money we would like to help volunteers in financial need to help pay food, accommodation and possibly travel to the location. It is possible to donate via GEN Europe PayPal account or GEN Europe bank account. Please mark all donations with "refuGEN". PAYPAL: http://gen-europe.org/spende/index.htm Postbank Berlin, bank code 10010010, Account no: 7681105 IBAN: DE 11100100100007681105, BIC: PBNKDEFF GEN-Europe e.V. is a charity association - Donations to us are…
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Report From Lesvos

Report From Lesvos
Dear friends, As we all know, Lesvos is undeniably experiencing a humanitarian crisis.
 Fortunately, several large international NGOs are present in Lesvos and they obviously perform a work of great importance to manage the current “crisis”. However, the needs far exceed the capacity of their staff. Me, Anna and Nikiforos (SKALA Ecovillage, Greece) have visited the island and researched the possibilities for a longer term team of volunteers from the GEN, to be there and help. On Lesvos, several local teams of volunteers are at work. Doctors without borders are there, and IRC, the Islamic Relief, Red Cross, Action Aid and many others…These groups are based in different places of the island and try to collaborate as much as possible. However, they have so much to do that often lack time to coordinate their efforts. Most refugees arrive by the northern coast of the island, but some of them reach Lesvos by the South. 80% of the refugees arrive by boats on the north coast between Molyvos and Sykaminia. 30 km long beatch. They come by small plastic boats, overloaded with 60-80 people or by old fishing boats hugely overloaded with 200-300 people. If the boats get to trouble the volunteers go into the water to rescue the people. Several amazing teams are working on the north coast of Lesvos. The most important is that the people come alive out of the sea. A Spanish/south American crew and a Greek crew with jet ski operate there, they go out quickly and rescue people in the middle of the sea. I could see with my own eyes a rescue action, while trying to make a photo and I had to take my heart into my hands and praying for the safe result. We went to Skala Sykaminias, an arrival spot – with a strong presence of Greek anarchists, plus various NGOs and individuals, they welcome the people, who have just arrived by boat. They have a small kitchen and they provide the refugees arriving by boat with dry clothes and shoes, rain ponchos, sleeping bags, food, medical help, information, bus tickets, etc. From there buses go to the “Hot Spots” and Mytilini. We were also in Molyvos – Captens Table of Melinda – NGO Starfish. Melinda McRostie and her great team are also providing arriving refugees with water, basic food, clothes, buses. Melinda runs the Starfish organization that runs the Oxy camp and provides shelter in the harbor. We need to have in mind that people who arrive here are coming from extremely difficult situation, war, long walk, the long travelling through Turkey (for some of them two months), often without water or food, then they go on a boat and are even more terrified and so, when they come here, in Lesvos, they feel lost. Some of them don’t know, if they are realy in Greece or in Turkey, if they are safe, what is happening next… People offen feel powerless and confused. An humanean welcome is of great importance.…
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Alternative and solidarity economy in Skala

Alternative and solidarity economy in Skala
Dear friends, From 22 to 28 of October in SKALA Ecovillage, Greece, we had the honor to explore together with the experts, Matthew Slater and Stewart Noble the issues of money and alternative and solidarity economy. The last five years, Greece is in economic cyclone eye. A cyclone, which, as we all know, has a tremendous impact on the real lives of millions of people. Now, economists and politicians are trying to find ways to extend Greece's debt, without even considering whether it should be repaid. We wonder, if it is an opportunity to redefine the measure of the value of money. If we stop using GDP as an indicator of economic success and if we set our resources in productive activities instead of military spending, security and inefficient ideologies, if we declare that "we do not want to be part in this madness", how can we regain control of our productive resources and how do we do it with dignity and not with violence? Matthew Slater, software activist from the UK, co-founder of the Swiss NGO Community Forge, alternative currency consultant, advises communities to create and manage complementary currencies, enabling: 1. promotion of local resources 2. increase in social cohesion and social dynamics 3. increasing economic resilience 4. promotion of local autonomy 5. reduction of environmental impacts Together with him, Stewart Noble, with decades of practical experience in supporting local economies without money, showed us, how we create new "cells" of alternative economy. Stewart Noble founded or supported most of the LETS in Scotland - local exchange trading system - explained to us in a direct and practical way, what are the Lets systems. Lets is a mutual aid system based on the community where people exchange goods and services by evaluating in terms of local currency, instead of spending cash. The great attraction of alternative economy in a time of uncertainty is because a certain amount of cash that would otherwise be spent on services such as hairdresser or language courses etc. can be saved, as people pay each other in kind instead. More specifically , in workshops with Matthew and Stewart we dealt with : Offers and needs between us (SKALA Ecovillage) but also with the local community . Relations with the local community - what can we offer to the local community and the world? What do we need? Afterwards Matthew led us in the trading floor game while Stewart put all the offers and wants into his SAM software and produced a printed directory. Look at new offers and wants directory. Write some cheques for imaginary transactions, enter them in SAM and browse. On Monday morning , Stewart left for Crete, promising to return in the spring and develop some Lets systems in Greece. The next two afternoons Matthew led the workshops as follows : 1. How does money flow through Skala & members 
Map collective and individual economic inputs and outputs 2. Core business ideas. 
ASK everyone what kind of work creates flow, is…
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Our People Feel Deeply Wounded

Our People Feel Deeply Wounded
A letter from the Greek ecovillage “Skala” to their friends and supporters of the Global Ecovillage Network Dear friends, «Nothing is like before» one of the signs of May ’68 seems to be written for Greece also today. The questions that everybody, who follows what is happening in Greece the last days are: “Was it really necessary this humiliation of the Greeks?”, or as, Mat O’Bryan from Washington Post says: “Germany doesn’t want to save Greece. It seems that wants to humiliate the country” «Humiliation»: one more word with heavy content, a word which corresponds with the meaning of inconsistency of the exchanges and the punishment. The resistance of a small country had to be stopped in a brutal and humiliating way, so that no other “different voice” can ever arise… The new, the third Memorandum, has the signatures from the left party also and this is something that hurts everyone, who vote with the consciousness and with the heart the OXI (NO) on the referendum of the 5th of July. The self-critic that Prime Minister Tsipras made, when he spoke about mistakes, omissions, delusions and bad calculations is acceptable and lawful but it concerns the history and not the presence and also not the future. What it is needed now, is a plan, a new plan, which contains fantasy, knowledge and courage. The conviction that the representatives of International Bank Systems will negotiate with clear cards, honestly and not dishonestly has been proved catastrophically. Of course the conflict between Greece and the creditors brought into the surface and make visible in front of the eyes of millions of citizens all over the world, that E.U. has been transformed into an antidemocratic shape, which wares the straight-jacket of austerity and leads more and more to new historical separations and conflicts and allows the old ghost of fascism to arise again. But the short-termed and the middle-termed result for Greece is distractive and in this result contributed a lot the revengeful rage of the german elites. “The greek crisis could be the beginning of the end of Europe, as we knew it”, is the title of an article and I think this is true also. The last days in Greece are very intense. A Memorandum with the left signature has bigger power than a nuclear bomb. There is no coolness and the people feel deeply wounded. The frustration of the hope, the thrown down of the delusions and also the collapse of the image of the world as we knew it, brings a deep grief. And all these after some days of the “heroic No”. Is it a defeat? A necessary winding? A capitulation? A treachery? Doesn’t matter how you call it, the reality is that everyone has pain now, both the ones who support the agreement as the necessary bad and the ones who fight it and the last ones who still stay silent. I feel more than ever that it is time to leave the old ways of thinking,…
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Open Letter To Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

Open Letter To Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras
Dear Prime Minister and Comrade Alexis Tsipras, We greet you from the Peace research center Tamera in Portugal, where we are working to create a model for an ecologically and socially sustainable peace culture. An international meeting of the Global Campus is currently taking place here; we are hosting representatives from many parts of the world. We are hearing reports of crises, exploitation and violence from all over the world, but we are also hearing from people who are courageously standing up for autonomy, justice and peace. It was with great joy that we heard about the election of a socialist government and a trustworthy prime minister in Greece. You have been fighting like a lion for the wellbeing of your country. Now, we would like to pray for your heart. One of the most evil methods of neoliberalism is to force of all leftwing governments and most honest politicians to implement its anti-social, destructive and exploitative plans. I am ashamed of my (the German) government, of the insincere media and the cold power politics of the financial institutions. Regarding all the suffering that austerity measures have already brought to the people of Southern Europe: How hard must it be for you now, to be forced into those decisions on a daily basis! Under this kind of pressure, how easy it would be to become just the way the opponents want us to be: cynical, lonely or hungry for power. We hope that you can find moments of calm and contemplation and that the sense of community with your comrades and the power of vision stay alive within you – for your beautiful country and for its brave inhabitants. All your suggestions were shot down by the European group. And yet, the struggle still had meaning. Friends from Greece said, “The masks have fallen, Europe has shown it true face.” We can see clearly now how merciless are the power structures we must face when we wish to introduce justice and common sense. The representatives of the power systems and financial institutions undermine humaneness, social cohesion and regional autonomies while openly defying any democratic or ethical rules. This insight has radicalized many people. Ever more know that, in this system, there can be no future. We need a completely different system if we, as humanity, want to survive: a system of solidarity and justice, of coopration with nature, of communities. No country will be able to exit the present system alone. For a New Socialism throughout Southern Europe And still, we see the possibility of a thriving Greece, as well as a thriving Portugal and Spain. We see the possibility of a Third Way, beyond Grexit and subjugation. No doubt, in the solar age to come, Southern Europe with its long-lasting sunshine will belong to the prosperous and leading regions. May this happen in terms of solidarity, cooperation with nature and genuine democracy – in terms of a new socialism. What does socialism mean today? I am sure we share…
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