Ethno Village Stari Draganac
Description: Draganac Monastery is situated in Novo Brdo municipality in eastern part of Kosovo. The area is known by an old fortress from 14th century and lots of natural resources. Stari Draganac is an abandoned village situated 2 km from the Monastery. Around 10ha of land and forest, including several facilities, belongs to the Monastery. It is planned that this property becomes an ethno village, with gardens, orchards and animals and place for pilgrims. Last year, GAIA and local NGOs organized two workcamps together with the Monastery. During workcamps volunteers were assisting in renovation of damaged houses, helping in gardens and orchards, constructing new facilities for animals, cleaning walking paths and helping the monks during Slava.
Type of Work: Volunteers will continue to work on the project that was started last year by reviving the old village, taking care of the place, helping monks with their orchard, clean and repair facilities and clear the vegetation which overgrew. The work will be physically demanding and it will depend on weather conditions and work progress. Volunteers will have an opportunity to be in the monastery during their Slava, the 26th of July. Slava is a celebration in honour of a saint, it is one of the most important celebrations of Orthodox communities. On that day, the monastery will be visited by a lot of believers so there will be many things that will need preparation in advance, which will include cleaning around the monastery, cooking, hosting the guests, etc.
Study Theme: Volunteers will learn about simple and communal lifestyle in remote area, and also about sustainability and how it’s connected to our way of living. Surrounded by nature, volunteers will learn from and about it. Volunteers will have an opportunity to learn about cultural and natural heritage. Since our work will be based very close to the monastery and within it, there will be plenty of time to learn more about the monastic way of living, Orthodox Church in general and their customs and traditions.
Accommodation: Volunteers will be sleeping either in a renovated house, tents or in hayloft (in hay) in. Simple outdoor shower and toilets will be provided. There will be no electricity nor running water, so connection with nature will be guaranteed. Food will be prepared by the volunteers and it will be sustainable, local, vegetarian and seasonal products. Volunteers should bring their sleeping bags and mats.
Approximate Location: Municipality of Novo Brdo is in a beautiful hilly area, near Priština/Prishtine. It was a very important mining centre in medieval period of history. Nowadays it has around 10.000 citizens and it’s a very multicultural area. Novo Brdo fortress was built in the early 14th century to protect gold, silver, iron and lead mines which were abundant throughout the area.
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