2013-03-18

Two Sustainable Projects where you can get involved

Written by Thomas Gruber & David Schweinzer
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Some years ago, Voluntario Global started a collaboration with another foundation called "Chacras de Buenos Aires" which is located in a traditional neighbourhood of San Telmo. This organization tries to enforce sustainable human development by having different projects with the target of achieving fairer society.

The Delta Sanfernandino

One of the projects is located in the Delta of Sanfernandino which has been protected as part of the UNESCO world cultural heritage since 2000. About 3000 people are living in this area which can only be reached by boat and contains a unique flora and fauna. The Chacras organization supports local people by building up little houses which are completely made out of wood. The knowledge of local residents is used to build the houses with special techniques so that the houses will not get destroyed within the next years. Since 2005, 3 houses have been built and 3 more are planned to be built on one of the islands in the next year.

What will Volunteers do?

The main tasks of the volunteers will be to help Marcelo, the guy with the knowledge of how to build the houses and Nicolas who will stay at the island if volunteers want to stay there too. Volunteers are encouraged to tell others if something could be done more efficiently or in a better way than before. Nicolas is responsible for building the house as well as taking care of the organic garden which is going to be placed on the ground floor.

Sembrando Vida -  Organic garden at the psychiatric hospital “José Tiburcio Borda“

At the psychiatric hospital, which is located in central Buenos Aires, the organization Chacras created an organic garden and a greenhouse to provide a tranquil space for patients to help them resocialize in the community. Volunteers from Voluntario Global and other organizations are working together with the patients in order to take care of all the plants and to enlarge the diversity by planting new crops

For the patients, this project has two sustainable effects. On the one hand, it is good that many people care about seeds and plants, and on the other hand they are doing something useful during their time inside the hospital which furthermore addresses their health and resocialization. The belief behind this program is that as patients learn to care about a living plant, they will also learn to take care of their own lives. In the past years, some patients already left the hospital because they mentally recovered. Two of them are still working in the garden. Besides gardening, patients are also able to do some creative work in the cultural centre which is placed next to the garden. The project of Chacras also includes building houses with organic materials. Due to a lack of qualified people, it is still under construction and therefore volunteers are needed urgently! So whoever reads this and wants to spend some time in Buenos Aires, there is a lot of work to be done and great experiences to make ;)

What advantages do these projects have for volunteers?

These projects provide an unforgettable experience for everyone who is part of it. If you want to get to know a completely different culture and meet other volunteers from all around the globe which are curious to see something completely unknown - you are the right person for it! In fact, the island of Tigre provides one of the most relaxing places around Buenos Aires, which you might not see as a normal tourist. Be part of it!

 

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