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Community Based Organization

Organization Location: 
The Original Farmhouse
  • Shakawe, Botswana
English, French
Organization Description

Our 9 local employees and ourselves are very excited about welcoming new volunteers on our small permaculture homestead of 6 hectares situated on the amazing Okavango Delta (newly nominated as World Heritage site by UNESCO) in Botswana.

We, Dave and Marina, started to develop the farm 2 years ago from a virgin bushy piece of land in a very rural and undeveloped area of the country, where people survive mainly on cattle and monoculture farming (maize, sorghum, beans…). The level of poverty and unemployment is one of the highest of the country. People have very restricted access to basic needs such as water, electricity…

After few years of collaborating and managing NGOs focused on community development and being torn between donors and community expectations, we have decided to start our own project with our own funds in order to reach our mission to ‘inspire and empower our community towards self-sufficiency and sustainable living.’

So our idea is to develop this farm as ecologically friendly and self-sustainable as possible using as much material and ‘scrap’ available around us in order to share with our community that it is feasible to improve and embellish its livelihood without much and without spoiling the environment.

So here, we experiment with all sort of things hoping we’ll turn them into viable systems – from compost making, biogas production (starting), keyhole garden, sack garden, agroforestry (all organic farming methods conserving water), recycled furniture making, eco-building, preserving harvest (canning, drying…)…- not only for the farm to become more and more self-sufficient but also in order to then, be able to inspire and share with our community.

We are still at early stage and although we cannot yet offer workshop and training to all our community, here are our achievements so far :
. Permanent jobs and training : We are employing 9 people from our village. They all started with very little education and experiences. So as a first stepping stones to reach our community we have been providing them with in-service and life-skills training for the past 2 years.
. We offer piece jobs whenever we can, always trying to give a chance to more people
. We are also about to start a ‘help each-other’ community program where our staff will use the skills they’ve learned at the farm to help the most vulnerable members of their community (elderly people, HIV patients, Single parents, Orphans…). The farm donate the materials, seedlings, transport… needed for the project. Example of projects : established low maintenance vegetable garden, fixing doors or windows.., bringing firewood …
We are all very proud at the farm to be able to produce and sale organic vegetables for now 18 months consistently while always experimenting, learning and soon reaching out !

You are a COUPLE who are considering embracing a more down to earth life style, you are thinking of starting your own permaculture farm ? We think our farm could be a great experience for you!

Here you will not only learn about the permaculture principles but you will also experience the daily routine of such a life style for you to start your project with more visibility.

With hope to meet you soon,

Dave and Marina
Environment, Health / Medical, Building / Construction
Skills Needed
Farming, Permaculture, Craft - Arty Project, Eco Building, Community Buiding, Sustainable living
Accommodation Provided - Minimum Stay: 1 month
Average Cost per Week ($USD)
$160 per week
Estimate only - contact this Organization for actual costs to Volunteer
  • Pre-Departure Orientation
  • 3 Meals per Day
  • Volunteer Hostel
  • Internet

Costs do not include Flights, Visas, Vaccinations, Insurance, Spending Money, 2-Meals-per-Day, 1-Meal-per-Day, Homestay, Local-Transport, Airport-Pickup-and-Drop-Off
David and Marina Bodington


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