Green Skills XIII

​Learning and Volunteering Program

Starting April 2023

in Suderbyn Permaculture Ecovillage

​on the island of Gotland, Sweden

Since 11 years, RELEARN Suderbyn has been hosting 1-year-long learning programs “Green Skills” in Suderbyn Permaculture Ecovillage yearly. Young people from all over Europe and neighbouring countries come to Suderbyn to develop practical skills, soft competencies and get involved in local and international pro-change projects.

​Food, accommodation and travel is covered via European Solidarity Corps (previously Erasmus+).

We invite you to join us in experiencing the joys and challenges of community life.  If you are ready and motivated to dedicate your time and energy to co-creating this home, in exchange you will acquire hands-on skills, personal and social competences, and meaningful experiences and connections.

The program is for young people, who are:  

  • Between 18 and 30 years old;
  • From the European Union, Schengen countries and Ukraine;
  • Eager to put your body and mind to work in an intense combination of research,
    experiment and creation of an alternative model of life;
  • Seek to experience living and working in a community – with the challenges it
    inevitably brings – either based on curiosity or because you already know it suits your personality; 
  • Motivated to invest time and effort into the development and improvement of Suderbyn;

Deadline for application: 13th of November 2022 
Interview process : December and January 2023
Selection announcements: second half of January 2023

The Green Skills volunteering program is completely integrated into Suderbyn’s work and community. Participants of Green Skills co-create social, ecological, economic and cultural dimensions of Suderbyn as much as the rest of the residents do. While developing the ecovillage, volunteers have the opportunity to grow practical, organisational and social skills. By living closely together and slowly building a small but holistic model of a more sustainable society, we experience the complexity and beauty of life every day.

Below, you can find more information about Suderbyn and volunteers positions.
For additional information, feel free to explore the pages about who we are, what daily life in Suderbyn is like, and which principles we follow in our community.

Volunteer Profile

We are looking for volunteers who are highly motivated and are ready to dedicate their energy both to the practical work and communal involvement. We base the selection process mostly on your reasons to apply and willingness to learn, rather than on whether you already have existing skills or experience.

Show an understanding of the actual conditions at Suderbyn Ecovillage, and have a personal motivation for learning and living in this community

Ready to participate in permaculture gardening, low-tech construction, learning projects, social life, vegan cooking and maintenance of the place

Know that community life can be as demanding as it can be rewarding when living closely with over 20 people, and are ready to participate and support

Suderbyn Work Domains

We structure the complexity of Suderbyn into work domains, each operate independently but are all interconnected and interdependent. By clicking on the title you can learn more about each of the domains.

Garden

Everything connected to plants and food: production, processing,  soil improvement, storage, regenerative permaculture design, education, working towards self-reliance.

Infrastructure

Maintenance and development of the physical aspects of Suderbyn: planning, building, and fixing using natural building techniques and permaculture design. ​

NGO Relearn

International and local projects in the fields of education, research and outreach for social and environmental topics, cross-border cooperation, strengthening networks, and activism.

Office

Organisation and project management, accounting practices, facilitation of meetings, financial work, documentation and archiving, various IT and office tools and external communication, 

Social Life

It is not an official domain, but it is nonetheless very important. This is where community-building, celebrations, games, , music, films, and sharing our feelings  take place.


Volunteer Positions

Suderbyn has been placing more and more focus on food production and self-reliance. To achieve this, we need dedicated individuals to help plan and organise expansion of our gardens according to permaculture principles. We are looking for volunteers to dedicate their year mostly to garden work. Do you want to get your hands dirty while also learning about sustainable food production and permaculture design? Do you want to work with Nature, support soil restoration, learn and help us to achieve self-sufficiency? Then you might want to click this link!
Read more about Earth Keepers

Are you already experienced in practical work – building, designing, carpenting, electrical wiring, engineering or similar? Great!
Have you never held a tool in your hands or done a technical drawing? Fantastic! What matters most is your interest in being in a dynamic environment with continuous choice-making and your willingness to take on some responsibility as a coordinator within the Infrastructure and Building domain. We are looking for volunteers who are motivated to take on a leading role, If you are interested, click below for more information:
Read more about Roof Keepers

Practicalities

ESC-volunteers are assigned to work 35 hours per week , including:

  • work in any of the four domains, or multiple domains
  • work-related meetings and instructions
  • household tasks (vegan cooking, cleaning)
  • language training in Swedish and/or English (max. 3 hours per week are counted as working hours)

Weekends and some holidays/celebrations are days off. Volunteers earn 2 additional days of holiday from work per month. 

Attention! 

There are often additional learning and social processes – workshops and events – outside of the working hours, which the volunteer may choose to attend or skip  

​Accommodation, food, travel, pocket money ​and all administration costs are covered by European Solidarity Corps


Volunteers will have simple accommodation in small single rooms, usually in a shared house. The same conditions apply for permanent inhabitants and are part of the voluntary simplicity of life in Suderbyn.


All the food purchased and prepared by the community is organic and vegan. Every weekday, one or two people volunteer to cook breakfast (porridge) and lunch, that we eat together. For other meals, you can use food from our supplies, and it is always appreciated if you cook for others as well.


Suderbyn has both a biogas car-pool and bicycle-pool for transport. Traveling by public bus on the island is also a possibility when circumstances require it, and there is a bus stop close by (5 minute walk)

We already have quite some social, organisational and physical structures in place, but Suderbyn is still a work-in-progress. We are hindered in our ambitions and projects by diverse limiting factors – be it legislation, skills, funding or agreements. It is very important for us and for you that you do not expect to arrive in a perfect place and rather would like to co-create it together.

The Green Skills program carries a special significance for Suderbyn Permaculture Ecovillage. It gives volunteers an opportunity to experience Suderbyn life with its ebbs and flows, while enabling them to cultivate an intimate bond with the place, its people and its values. 

Approximately 50% of the people that make up the community today, initially arrived as Green Skills participants and decided to stay after its completion. This means two things; first and foremost that most people who involved in organising this project deeply care about it and the experience you will derive from it, and secondly, that you too shall have the possibility to grow your roots among this family if that’s what you end up wanting to do.

Whether you stay or move on to another path, the Suderbyn family will continue to grow.

Photos: our previous EVS/ESC volunteers who decided to stay on and become a part of the Core team of Suderbyn