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					Open Houses Network
Offene Häuser
Workcamps 2009


About Open Houses Network:
Open Houses – rooms open for those who come along.
Not empty buildings, but places with visible and invisible traces of history, places which have
grown and decayed over the centuries, places which were shaped by those people who lived
there long ago as well those who left only yesterday – places which will be shaped by those
who live there or who come as a guest.
Open Houses – rooms which want to be filled with dreams and ideas, with meetings and
exchange, by people of different backgrounds, different cultures, different generations and
different ideas and visions.
The history of Open Houses Network dates back to the mid-1980s, when a group of young
people started to restore village churches in East Germany in voluntary work to protect them
from decay. The engagement for these buildings united people who enjoyed the freedom
these activities provided and who filled these rooms with life again in ways which by far
exceed the craftsmen’s´ work done – through exhibitions, concerts, making music together
or just sitting by the camp fire.
Meanwhile, rooms free of political and ideological pressure are no longer urgently required;
however, places have become rare where people can meet without commercial pressure,
free of bureaucracy and institutionalism, free of nepotism and the exclusion which it
produces.
What should be easy – to go somewhere in order to meet people and to work together – has
become difficult. The tightrope walk between, on the one hand, public activities in a
monetary and functional sense, and the retreat into private life on the other, is very difficult,
and it requires a lot of power and permanent efforts to tackle red tape and financial
restrictions.
Free spaces are less and less understood as common property, and are permanently being
cut back. The idea of public property seems to have gone out of fashion, and places of
common responsible work have become rare.
Open Houses Network tries to create and protect such spaces. In this process, we do not
want to be the do-ers, but be people who have a vision, who want to initiate something, but
who also are aware of depending on the co-operation of others. We understand our projects
and events as offers – as offers to create space for commitment, for changes, for meetings.
Camp List 2009:


Workcamps


Code           Location                                   Dates              Type
No. of vols.      Ages
OH-W01         Lohra Castle                               14/06 – 27/06    ENVI / RENO
10                   18+
OH-W02         Lohra Castle                               28/06 – 11/07    ENVI / RENO
12                   18+
OH-W20         Forestry Bogensee (near Berlin)   05/07 – 18/07      ENVI            10
18+
OH-W03         Rathewalde Youth Accommodation House       12/07 – 25/07    ENVI
7                   18+


OH-W04         Lohra Castle                               12/07 – 25/07    RENO / ENVI
14                   18+
OH-W05         Lohra Castle                               26/07 – 13/08    ENVI / RENO
16                   18+
OH-W06         Gantikow Manor/Wolterslage Manor           26/07 – 15/08    ENVI
7                   16+


OH-W07         Wehlen Rectory                              26/07 – 08/08    ENVI / RENO
7                   18+
OH-W08         Water Castle Ollendorf                     02/08 – 15/08     ENVI / RENO
8                   18+
OH-W09         Rathewalde Youth Accommodation House       09/08 – 22/08     ENVI / RENO
7                   18+
OH-W10         Water Castle Ollendorf                     16/08 – 29/08    ENVI / RENO
8                   18+
OH-W11         Welzin Manor                                16/08 – 29/08    ENVI
12                   18+
OH-W12         Lohra Castle                               23/08 – 05/09    ENVI / RENO
18                   18+
OH-W13         Lohra Castle                               06/09 – 19/09    ENVI / RENO
12                   18+
OH-W14         Lohra Castle                               20/09 – 03/10    ENVI / RENO
10                   18+
Building Weeks


Code           Location                                 Dates               Type
No. of vols.      Ages
OH-B01         Welzin Manor                             28/06 – 18/07      CONS
8                   18+
OH-B02         Lohra Castle                            12/07 – 25/07      CONS
6                   18+
OH-B03         Welzin Manor                             19/07 – 08/08      CONS
8                   18+
OH-B04         Parum Rectory                            01/08 – 15/08     CONS / CULT
8                   18+
OH-B05         Parum Rectory                            16/08 – 29/08      CONS
8                   18+
OH-B06         Wehlen Rectory                           09/08 – 30/08      CONS
8                   18+
OH-B07         Wehlen Rectory                           30/08 – 13/09      CONS
8                   18+




Special Projects


Code            Location                                 Dates               Type
No. of vols.      Ages
OH-P01          Klein Dammerow Manor                      05/07 – 19/07      CONS
12                   16+
OH-P02          Oberau Castle / Klein Dammerow Manor   09/08 – 30/08      ART (Theatre)
10                   18+




Mid-term Volunteering


Code            Location                                 Dates               Type
No. of vols.    Ages
OH-M01         Lohra Castle and other camp places         07/06 – 30/08       SOCI
3                 20+
OH-M02         Lohra Castle and other camp places         28/06 – 27/09       SOCI
3                 20+
OH-M03         Lohra Castle and other camp places         02/08 – 03/10       SOCI
3                 20+
OH-M04         Chapel of Reconciliation                    07/06 – 30/08       CULT
2                 20+
OH-M05         Chapel of Reconciliation                    02/08 – 25/10       CULT
2                 20+




W          Workcamp (accent lays on work in multicultural groups)
B         Building Weeks (constructional expertise is advantageous)
P         Special Project (special requirements)
M          Mid-term volunteering



CONS       handling with ancient building volumes
CULT      cultural work
ENVI      work in the exterior
RENO       building / renovation
SOCI      social work (camp leading)




Terms of organization:


Charges
Our projects are free of charge for participants sent by Alliance Member Organisations or
Alliance Partner Organisations.


Age
In general participants have to be at least 18 years old to take part in our projects.
OH-W06 is open for volunteers from 16 years on.
Participation term
Participants of Workcamps have to take part for the whole time of the project.
At Building Weeks it is also possible to take part just for one week of the project. This
possibility is especially an offer for people who are tied up in their job and often do not have
enough time to take part at the whole project.


Language
In general the language spoken in the camps is English.
Exceptions are OH-W09 and OH-W20. Camp language will be German.
The languages spoken in OH-B04 and OH-B05 will be English and French.



Insurance
In cases of accident, illness and liability all participants from foreign countries are insured by
us. Nevertheless we recommend an individual travel insurance.
Participants from the EU usually have a health insurance card.



What to bring
Normally sleeping bags are necessary. Furthermore the volunteers need their own work
gloves, strong shoes and they should bring along appropriate clothes, especially rain coats.
We have neither telephone nor internet facilities in the camps. If the volunteers need to use
a telephone, they should equip themselves with their own mobile phone.




Workcamps:


For the last 20 years Open Houses Network has organised international workcamps in
historic monuments and buildings. Our projects are mostly in the countryside.
We hope that our project places are adequate explained, so that you can imagine them.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need some further information!
We are looking for volunteers who are ready to get to know the countryside of Germany.
They should be open minded, flexible and creative.
The workcamps offer the possibility to live together with people from different countries in
basic conditions. The volunteers will help us to restore these historic monuments and
buildings.
Often, the honorary commitment of people from other countries and cultures leads to a
renewed regard by the inhabitants of the region itself for their own historic buildings,
particularly in rural areas where the buildings had rarely received any public attention.
During our regular workcamps, volunteers mostly are going to do building care, reparation
and maintenance work in- and outside the buildings, collecting fire-wood or mow the grass
and lawn. Volunteers generally work six hours per day, 30 hours per week with two days off –
Saturday and Sunday.
In addition we offer special building weeks. During such weeks we focus on one project in a
more professional sense and we do things like restoring a whole roof structure, or bring up
again decayed walls




Lohra Castle



Lohra Castle is situated in the heart of Germany in northern Thuringia. The castle, which is
surrounded by a scenic hilly landscape, is located on the edge of a nature reserve area. Being
one of the largest castles in Thuringia, the history of the castle Lohra begins in the Middle
Ages. The castle is more than 1000 years old. Today, it includes 20 buildings from different
times: medieval fortifications, remnants of a tower from the 11th century, a roman chapel, a
manor from the Renaissance period as well as stables and granaries from the 19th century.
The ensemble is situated in the centre of a beautiful forest. From the top of the buildings you
will have a wonderful view over one of the most impressive landscapes of Germany: the Harz.
For years Lohra Castle was unoccupied. At the beginning of the 1990s Open Houses started
to restore the castle and to revive it by cultural activities at the beginning of the 1990s. Since
that time, a large number of art-workshops, exhibitions, concerts and international meetings
took place in the castle.



General Information
Code           Dates
OH-W01          14/06 – 27/06
OH-W02          28/06 – 11/07
OH-W04          12/07 – 25/07
OH-W05           26/07 – 13/08
OH-W12          23/08 – 05/09
OH-W13          06/09 – 19/09
OH-W14             20/09 – 03/10


Type: ENVI / RENO


Accommodation:
Shared rooms with 2-5 beds in 3 guest houses, warm shower (limited hot water), WC inside,
1 camp kitchen (cold water), coal-burning stove


Location:
Next town: Bleicherode (7 km), Nordhausen (20 km), Erfurt (75 km)
Region: Thuringia


Terminal:
Next railway station: Gebra / Hainleite (6 km)
Next airport: Frankfurt / Main (280 km), Halle / Leipzig (155 km), Berlin (300 km)


Age: at least 18


What to bring: working gloves and strong shoes, appropriate clothes, sleeping bag


What to bring: working gloves and strong shoes, appropriate clothes, sleeping bag


Project Description
Besides some small repair works at the castle buildings, the main work at Lohra castle is to
collect fire wood. So the volunteers may go into the forest by car, divided in several groups,
and cut logs. The wood will be stored at the castle for wintertime. In addition to that the
volunteers will take care for the green areas around the castle, as well as for the adjacent
nature protection area.
In August and September they will pick fruits like cherries, plums and apples in the meadows
around the castle.




Rathewalde Youth Accommodation House



The Rathewalde Youth Accommodation House is situated at the health resort Rathewalde in
Saxony; The building is located directly at the border of the National Park Saxon Switzerland
(Sächsische Schweiz). The mountains are famous for their typical formations of sandstone
with lots of small caves called Bove and overwhelming views from the mountain tops. The
nature reserve offers various possibilities of hiking and climbing tours of different levels as
well as cultural events like theatre performances at the open air theatre called cliff stage
Rathen (Felsenbühne Rathen).
The Youth Accommodation House was built around. In the 1950s, it was donated by its
owner to the Saxon Protestant State Church to assure the continuity of the services offered.
During the following decades countless volunteers renovated and extended the mansion.
Today it attracts lots of visitors by different styles from sequential construction periods.
The mansion is surrounded by a beautiful garden, an orchard and large rhododendrons. You
have a fascinating view to a rock formation. Until 2003 the building was operated by the
Saxon Protestant State Church and in 2005 it was reopened by Open Houses.


General Information
Code           Dates
OH-W03             12/07 – 25/07
OH-W09             09/08 – 22/08


Type: ENVI


Accommodation:
2 shared 4-bed rooms, warm shower and toilets


Location:
Next town: Pirna (12 km), Dresden (30 km)
Region: Saxony


Terminal:
Next railway station: Pirna (12 km)
Next airports: Airport: Dresden (30 km), Leipzig (160 km),
Berlin (240 km)


Age: at least 18


What to bring: working gloves and strong shoes, appropriate clothes, sleeping bag


Note: Language spoken in Camp OH-W09 will be German So this camp is especially for
people who don´t speak English very fluently or want to improve their German language
skills.


Project Description
The main work in Rathewalde will mostly consist of gardening and cleaning up the area
around the house. Volunteers will clear the garden from pest plants, cut the bushes and the
trees, or collect old leaves and branches.
Furthermore there will be the opportunity to help with reparation and painting work inside
the building.




Gantikow Manor and Wolterslage Manor


This Camp will take place at two different locations. The first week volunteers will stay and
work at Gantikow Manor, week two and three they will stay and work at Wolterslage Manor.
Gantikow Manor is situated 90 kilometres north of Berlin, the capital of Germany. Open
Houses Network uses this beautiful building, which is surrounded by a sleepy village with a
small church and attractive countryside, as an accommodation for guest groups, workcamps
and other projects. The facade of the building is decorated with unique paintings.
A small lake is situated nearby the old building. So it is possible to go swimming. The
beautiful garden around the manor-house invites people to relax.


Accommodation:        Shared rooms, warm shower and toilets.
Location: Next town: Kyritz (4 km),
Region: Brandenburg
Terminal: Next railway station: Kyritz (4 km)
Next airport: Berlin (90 km)



Wolterslage Manor is situated in mid old march (Mittlere Altmark) region in the nature
reserve lower Elbe (Untere Elbe) nearby Berlin. The manor-house is surrounded by an idyllic
and rather peaceful countryside that is well known for its green meadows, pastures and
fields. Close to the manor there is a lake, where the volunteers can swim and sit around a
campfire.
The calm surroundings, far away from the busy everyday life in big cities, make Wolterslage
Manor a perfect place to relax and enjoy the nature during leisure time having done work.
The building is a typical example of manor architecture from the second half of the 19th
century. Though the architectural design is simple, the brick walls are slightly decorated. The
windows, shutters, doors and mountings are all rare craftsmanship. In spite of
misappropriated usage and being unoccupied for years the architecture and decoration of
the manor are kept completely preserved.
After the renovation the manor will be put at the disposal of groups who wish to organize
particular projects, which suits to the peaceful nature of the surroundings.


Accommodation: Very simple, shared rooms with mattresses, kitchen, toilets and shower
inside.
Location: Next town: Stendal (32 km)
Region: Saxony-Anhalt
Terminal: Next railway station: Osterburg (12 km)
Next airports: Berlin (150 km), Hannover (230 km), Hamburg (230 km)



General Information


Code           Dates
OH-W06             26/07 – 15/08


Type: ENVI


Age: at least 16


What to bring: working gloves and strong shoes, appropriate clothes, sleeping bag


Note: The workcamp starts in Gantikow (Brandenburg) and finishes in Wolterslage
(Saxony-Anhalt).


Project Description
The first week of the workcamp volunteers will stay at Gantikow Manor. There they will do
some care and gardening works outside the manor. Works that will be done are cultivating
the garden and mowing the lawn, as well as chopping wood in the forest around the manor
and store it for the winter time.
The second and third week volunteers will stay at Wolterlage Manor. There they will do care
reparation and simple maintenance works inside and outside the manor. The main topic of
the care works will be cultivating the manor garden including mowing the lawn and cutting
bushes.
Wehlen Rectory


Near Dresden, located at the border to the Saxon Switzerland and at the banks of the River
Elbe, there is a small dreamy and old city named Wehlen. At the centre of the 700-years old
city, next to the market square, there is a rectory, which can be dated back to the 16th
century. Due to extensive use as rectory and assembly house of the parish, and due to the
aftermaths of several floodings, the rectory is in acceptable but poor condition. Some
attempts to restore and to renovate the house were dared, but they turned out to be failures,
since all the things, that were done, were not made in an appropriate manner according to
the age and structure of the rectory.


General Information
Code           Dates
OH-W07             26/07 – 08/08


Type: ENVI / RENO


Accommodation:
Shared rooms with sleeping pads, warm shower and toilets


Location:
Next town: Pirna (12 km), Dresden (30 km)
Region: Saxony


Terminal:
Next railway station: Pirna (12 km)
Next airports: Airport: Dresden (30 km), Leipzig / Halle (160 km), Berlin (240 km)


Age: at least 18


What to bring: working gloves and strong shoes, appropriate clothes, sleeping bag and
sleeping pad



Project Description
The participants of the workcamp will work inside the rectory and outside in the garden.
Since the house and the garden around the houses have been unused for some years there is
a lot of cleaning and clearing work to do. Volunteers will mainly clean the garden from leaves
and branches, cut the bushes and trees and mow the lawn. In addition the volunteers will
broach and tidy up inside the rectory.




Water Castle Ollendorf



Ollendorf Water Castle is situated between Erfurt (capital of Thuringia), and Weimar
(European capital of culture 1999). The small village Ollendorf is surrounded by a beautiful
countryside.
In ancient times the village was an important settlement on the historic Via Regia, one of the
most significant routes of commerce in the middle ages, which linked Thuringia and Saxony
to Eastern Europe.
Today Ollendorf is well known for its multicultural events and besides a good place to start
excursions to important historical and cultural towns like Weimar and Erfurt that are nearby
the village.
At the end of the 17th century the water castle at Ollendorf Water Castle was built in a
simple rural baroque style, replacing the former castle that had been destroyed by a fire.
Following the decline of the Via Regia in the 19th century, the site was chiefly used for
agricultural purposes and store houses and barns were built. Then the manor fell into
disrepair after having been abandoned for several decades.
In 1998 the water castle was taken over by the Open Houses.
Due to the young people, who have lived there and have taken part in its renovation since
years, the castle is a place of creativity and open-mindedness. In a spirit true to its past as an
inn, the castle will once again become a place where people come and go and where
different cultures meet.


General Information
Code           Dates
OH-W08           02/08 – 15/08
OH-W10           16/08 – 29/08


Type: RENO / ENVI


Accommodation:
Simple conditions, shared rooms with mattresses, warm showers and toilets


Location:
Next town: Erfurt (12 km), Weimar (12 km),
Region: Thuringia


Terminal:
Next railway station: Erfurt (12 km)
Next airport: Halle / Leipzig (120 km), Berlin (275 km)


Age: at least 18


What to bring: working gloves and strong shoes, appropriate clothes, sleeping bag


Project Description
The volunteers will do some care and gardening works outside the castle to prepare it for
coming projects and seasons. Among other things these works will be: cultivating the garden
and mowing the lawn, as well as to do some small reparation and installation work in the
accommodation house and the castle. In addition, the volunteers will help our carpenter
repairing the roof of a stable.




Welzin Manor



Near Lübz, at the edge of the Mecklenburg Lake District, there is a manor in a very small
settlement of manor houses, called Welzin. The manor is surrounded by a 200 years old,
wonderful park. This manor, which was built in half-timbered style in the middle of the 19th
century, is one of the biggest manors ever built in this style. The manor house itself is a large
simple half-timbered building that has not been changed since its construction.


General Information
Code           Dates
OH-W11             16/08 – 29/08


Type: ENVI
Accommodation:
Simple conditions, shared rooms with mattresses, toilets inside, shower (cold water) outside;
or tents


Location:
Next town: Schwerin (50 km),
Region: Mecklenburg-Pomerania


Terminal:
Next railway station: Passow (Meckl.) (1 km)
Next airport: Berlin (170 km)


Age: at least 18


What to bring: working gloves and strong shoes, appropriate clothes, sleeping bag


Special: two kilometres away there is a swimming lake


Project Description
The volunteers will work outside the Manor in the former park. The amazing parkway is
several hectares huge and more than 23 different types of trees can be found there.
Unfortunately the parks has been disregarded for decades. The voluntees will continue the
work that was started by other voluneer groups two years ago: They will clean and
re-cultivate the garden, cut the wild grown plants, cut the meadow, collect old leaves and
branches as well as scrap metals and rubbish. Furthermore they will renew the old paths.
The surrounding landscape is not very hilly, but quite delightful. And only two kilometers
away there is a beautiful lake where the parrticipants can go swimming and enjoy their
leisure time.




Forestry Bogensee



The forestry with several buildings goes back to the thirties and was used in the former GDR
as a college called Bogensee. It is part of the village Lanke closed to Berlin. The forestry is
surrounded by moor areas and several lakes, inside large woodland. The workcamp will take
place at a youth accommodation house called Jugendwaldheim Bogensee that has been
already used in the GDR to accommodate young people. The current aim is to revive this
place and create an international youth centre where young people are invited to learn
about environmental themes and commit themselves to nature. The focus of interest will be
on practical experience in ecological education. At the forest school (Waldschule) and special
seminars volunteers study and work in the forest, in the project garden and in the yard.


General Information
Code           Dates
OH-W20             05/07 – 18/07


Type: ENVI


Accommodation:
In wall tents with beds inside (in case of bad weather they can sleep inside the building),
bathroom (with warm shower and toilets), kitchen in the project house


Location:
Next town: Wandlitz (5 km), Berlin (30 km)
Region: Brandenburg


Terminal:
Next railway station: Wandlitzsee (5 km)
Next airports: Berlin (30 km)


Age: at least 18


What to bring: working gloves and strong shoes, appropriate clothes, sleeping bag


Note: Language spoken in this Camp will be German. So this camp is especially for people
who don´t speak English very fluently or want to improve their German language skills.


Project Description
The volunteers will work in two or three small groups in the wood-workshop and in the
forest. There are different ecological and forest works: among others things participants will
remove weeds, care for the herb and project garden and participate in biotope and species
protection program. Besides the work part, there is also an study part included. The
volunteers will learn how to become aware of nature and how to educate teenagers and
adults ecologically in their home country when they will have gone back home. Also an
important topic of this workcamp will be forest protection and forest care. Wildlife can be
watched in the wild. A trip to Berlin is planned, as well. There the volunteers will learn inter
alia about the governmental system of Germany when they will visit the house of
parliament.




Building Weeks


In addition to the workcamps we are able to offer a special: Building Weeks. These special
weeks are tightly linked with the aims and idea of Open Houses Network: To create and
protect public places of common responsible work.
Therefore, the construction and the maintenance of buildings should primarily be
understood as an approach to stimulate the contact between people and historical
monuments and to facilitate meetings and learning.
Further, it is important for the association to allow the buildings to preserve their particular
spirit, history and atmosphere, instead of confronting them with supposed needs of
utilisation or of forcing a modern usage concept upon them. Within the framework of the
building weeks both, skilled manual workers and those with no manual training can work
together to restore historical monuments and work with Open Houses Network to meet this
idea and these aims.
In contrast to the workcamps where the emphasis lies on communal life in a group of people
of different nationalities and from different backgrounds and the working time is 6 hours a
day, in building weeks the emphasis is on manual work and the daily working time is 8 hours.
Participants here have a greater possibility of gaining real experience in restoration and other
manual tasks and to broaden their knowledge.
A further aim is that those taking part should share their skills and experiences. To make the
work in our building weeks as productive as possible, the volunteers should have some
technical skills and it also could be advantageous if they have structural previous knowledge.
The building weeks each last for at least two weeks and the groups are small - up to eight
people depending on the number of applications received. It is also possible to take part for
a shorter time, e. g. just for one week, as we would like to offer this opportunity also to
those who are tied up in professional life and have got some free time.
Motivation letters are requested for all building weeks.
Welzin Manor



Near Lübz, at the edge of the Mecklenburg Lake District, there is a Manor in a very small
settlement of manor houses, surrounded by a 200 years old, wonderful park. This Manor,
which was built in half-timbered style in the middle of the 19th century, is one of the biggest
manors ever built in this style. The manor house itself is a large simple half-timbered building
that has not been changed since its construction, except some of the retral claddings, which
were restored improperly after World War II. Instead of bringing up again the half-timbered
framework an ordinary brickwork was installed.


General Information
Code           Dates
OH-B01         28/06 – 18/07
OH-B03         19/07 – 08/08


Type: CONS


Accommodation:
Shared rooms with mattresses at Klein Dammerow Manor (15 km away), warm shower, and
toilets


Location:
Next town: Schwerin (50 km),
Region: Mecklenburg-Pomerania


Terminal:
Next railway station: Passow, (Meckl.) (1 km)
Next airport: Berlin (170 km)


Age: at least 18


What to bring: working gloves and strong shoes, appropriate clothes, sleeping bag


Note: Motivation letter required.


Project Description
Under the guidance of an experienced carpenter we will replace the brickwork, which was
brought in after World War II, with a traditional square framework, which is supposed to be
the original construction. Due to the small numbers of volunteers this challenging work will
be very intensive and will provide a great opportunity in getting to know and learning
traditional carpentry handcraft.




Lohra Castle


Lohra Castle is situated in the heart of Germany in northern Thuringia. The castle, which is
surrounded by a scenic hilly landscape, is located on the edge of a nature reserve area. Being
one of the largest castles in Thuringia, the history of the castle Lohra begins in the middle
ages. The castle is more than 1000 years old. Today, it includes 20 buildings from different
times: medieval fortifications, remnants of a tower from the 11th century, a roman chapel, a
manor from the Renaissance period as well as stables and granaries from the 19th century.
The ensemble is situated in the centre of a beautiful forest. From the top of the buildings you
will have a wonderful view over one of the most impressive landscapes of Germany: the Harz.
For years Lohra Castle was unoccupied. At the beginning of the 1990s Open Houses started
to restore the castle and to revive it by cultural activities at the beginning of the 1990s. Since
that time, a large number of art-workshops, exhibitions, concerts and international meetings
took place in the castle.


General Information
Code           Dates
OH-B02          12/07 – 25/07


Type: CONS


Accommodation:
Shared rooms with 2-5 beds in 3 guest houses, warm shower (limited hot water), WC inside,
1 camp kitchen (cold water), coal-burning stove


Location:
Next town: Bleicherode (7 km), Nordhausen (20 km), Erfurt (75 km)
Region: Thuringia


Terminal:
Next railway station: Gebra / Hainleite (6 km)
Next airport: Frankfurt / Main (280 km), Halle / Leipzig (155 km), Berlin (300 km)


Age: at least 18


What to bring: working gloves and strong shoes, appropriate clothes, sleeping bag


Note: Motivation letter required.


Project Description
During the building weeks we will fasten a photovoltaic installation on the roof of a stabel
under the guidance of two experienced craftsmen. And furthermore, we are going to repair
and restore some the roofs of the castle buildings. In the case of bad weather we will work in
a storehouse at the castle site. The storehouse is going to be used as a seminar room, a room
for presentations and as a room for theatre, dancing and soicalising. We will finish the
installation of planks for a new floor and do the final treatment of the floor, so that the room
can be used in the mentioned way.




Parum Rectory


Parum Rectory is located in a small village in the North of Germany, circa fourty kilometers
south of Rostock. The village consists only of one church, the former rectory, the church
school and two old farmhouses. The church itself dates back to the Middle Age. In order to
save it from totally falling apart, it was renovated by the parish in almost non-commercial
work. The other buildings of the village are all restored quite well. The rectory, built in 1841,
as the biggest in whole Mecklenburg, leads to it’s status being representative of typical
manor architecture of this period. Behind the house there is a meadow that borders on
some worth fully woods facing down to the lake of Parum. The interior of the house is almost
unchanged, the old room desponding, original doorways, windows and fittings and also wide
hallways.


General Information
Code            Dates
OH-B04          01/08 – 15/08
OH-B05          16/08 – 29/08


Type: CONS / CULT
Accommodation:
Simple conditions, 2 shared rooms with mattresses, 1 bathroom with limited hot water,
equipped kitchen,


Location:
Next town: Güstrow (4 km)
Region: Mecklenburg-Pomerania


Terminal:
Next railway station: Güstrow (4 km)
Next airport: Berlin (200 km)


Age: at least 18


What to bring: working gloves and strong shoes, appropriate clothes, sleeping bag


Please pay attention that the languages spoken in OH-B04 and OH-B05 will be English and
French. Motivation letter required.


Special: A concert will be held at 8. August at Eickelberg Church, another historic building
cared for by Open Houses, not far from Parum.


Project Description
During the building weeks the exterior plaster of the rectory should be renewed. A big
challenge will be the amending of the historical stucco profiles. The work will be done under
the guidance of a experienced mason and bricklayer, who is both English and French
speaking, and who used to work for various workcamp projects all over France. In case of bad
weather the boarding in the attic will be floored with wooden planks.
During OH-B04 one half of the group will work at Eickelberg Church to prepare it for a
concert held there at 8. August. They will also arrange the evening and all the circumstances
linked with that event.




Wehlen Rectory


Near Dresden, located at the border to the Saxionian Switzerland and at the banks of the
River Elbe, there is a small dreamy and old city named Wehlen. At the centre of the
700-years old city, next to the market square, there is a rectory, which can be dated back to
the 16th century. Due to extensive use as rectory and assembly house of the parish, and due
to the aftermaths of several floodings, the rectory is in acceptable but poor condition. Some
attempts to restore and to renovate the house were dared, but they turned out to be failures,
since all the things, that were done, were not made in an appropriate manner according to
the age and structure of the rectory.


General Information
Code           Dates
OH-B06           09/08 – 30/08
OH-B07           30/08 – 13/09


Type: CONS


Accommodation:
Shared rooms with sleeping pads, warm shower and toilets


Location:
Next town: Pirna (12 km), Dresden (30 km)
Region: Saxony


Terminal:
Next railway station: Pirna (12 km)
Next airports: Airport: Dresden (30 km), Leipzig (160 km), Berlin (240 km)


Age: at least 18


What to bring: working gloves and strong shoes, appropriate clothes, sleeping bag and
sleeping pad


Note: Motivation letter required.


Project Description
During the building week the volunteers start to make the house livable again. So nearly
every kind of handcraft – mainly carpentry and bricklaying – needs to be done. The work will
be carried out under the guidance of an experienced carpenter. The work that needs to be
done is very challenging and offers the opportunity of getting to know different kinds of
traditional handcraft




Special Projects


Clay-Building Weeks


Wangelin in Northern Germany, an apparently abandoned village with 200 inhabitants, is not
boring at all: In 2011, an innovative Youth Village shall open its doors for young and old, who
like to get back to nature. The village will be established next to the area of the biggest
herb-garden of the province Mecklenburg-Pomerania, hosting more than 900 different
species and sorts of plants. In this garden area lots of exciting things can be discovered
already today: medicinal and magic herbs, a playground with a labyrinth, a mole hill which
can be walked-in, culinary specialities as well as the work at the European Institution for
Earth-Building.
The planned Youth Village sets high ecological standards and will offer space for almost 50
guests in yurts and cottages. A garden with vegetables and cereals, an earth cellar, a garden
house, sanitary facilities and a sauna shall enable the guests to live preferably
self-sufficiently.


General Information
Code              Dates
OH-P01            05/07 – 19/07


Type: CONS


Accommodation:
Shared rooms with matresses, warm shower and toilets


Location:
Garden of Wangelin and Klein Dammerow Manor, located in the Mecklenburg Lake District
(Northern Germany)


Age: at least 17
What to bring: working gloves and strong shoes, appropriate clothes, sleeping bag.


Note: In cooperation with selected partners only. Motivation letter required.


Project Description
The mixed youth group will first do building works for the village and thereby use natural
materials like straw, clay and wood. In teamwork, the youngsters will set up a house made of
bales of straw and clay as well as a yurt. In international atmosphere and under instruction of
professional clay work-architects the participants will get to know the technique of
earth-building. Their free time can be used for games, swimming and smaller excursions.
On the 11th and 12th of July, the 10th birthday of the Wangelin Garden as well as the
international day of Earth-building will be celebrated with a garden festival. Within this
festival the participants can present their results of the first week.
The youths will be accomodated at Klein Dammerow Manor, located around seven
kilometers away from Wangelin. Nearby the Kritzow Lake and surrounded by four nature
reserves, fields, woods and rivers the place is ideal for having a great summer with lots of fun
and nature. The youngsters cook together in small teams for the whole group; a stone-oven
in the garden of Klein Dammerow Manor is inviting to experience conventional baking. The
participants can borrow bicycles for the way from their accommodation to Wangelin and for
their leisure time. The communication language will mainly be English. The daily working
times will be around six hours. As a deserved ending of the youth weeks an excursion to the
Baltic Sea is planned.




Crossing (In)Visible Borders: A Theatre Project


Creating new realities, discovering borders and maybe even crossing them, experimenting
with your hidden talents ... theatre as a medium of human communication makes it possible!
For three weeks youngsters interested in theatre come together, cross geographical and
language borders and reflect on visible as well as on invisible borders. What does it mean for
young Europeans to be free? Where do teenagers from different countries face bondages
within their countries? Does a “Europe without Borders” truely exist? When do we
encounter invisible borders – at home, whilst daily interaction with our fellow men, within
an intercultural atmosphere and also concerning us personally?
The adolescents will exchange their thoughts by discussing, improvising, pantomiming,
dancing and activating their bodies – finally leading to a creative theatre presentation
juggling the topic of “crossing (in-)visible borders”. They may be finding new ways of
expressing themselves with instruments, costumes and conversions and will thereby actually
cross borders themselves. The particpants have the possibilty get to know the various
theatre-facets of direction, dramaturgy or stage design. As part of the programme everybody
will go on a journey from Oberau Castle nearby Dresden, where the workshop begins, to
Klein Dammerow Manor, located in the the Mecklenburg Lake District in Northern Germany.
Activated by this trip the particpants may gain new impressions and artistically work with
them for their common theatre project.
Young people from 18 years on, with enthusiasm for theatre and English language skills are
welcome. The course will be instructed by Karl Koch, who is drama educator, actor and
leader of the Berlin Ensemble Radiks.


General Information
Code           Dates
OH-P02         09/08 – 30/08


Type: ART (Theatre)


Accommodation:
Shared rooms, warm shower and toilets


Location:
Oberau Castle nearby Dresden, and
Klein Dammerow Manor, located in the the Mecklenburg Lake District (Northern Germany)


Age: at least 18


What to bring: sleeping bag; if possible: musical instruments and fancy dresses


Note: In cooperation with selected partners only. Motivation letter required.


The theatre camp starts in Oberau (Saxony) and finishes in Klein Dammerow
(Mecklenburg-Pomerania).




Mid-term volunteering
Chapel of Reconciliation – Guest Guiding


The Church of Reconciliation, an impressive neo gothic brick building, was built in Berlin in
1894. When the town was split into occupational zones in 1945 the parish got divided – the
church itself was located in the Soviet sector while most of the parishioners lived in the
neighbouring French sector. When the Berlin Wall was set up in 1961, it passed directly in
front of the church. Consequently, the church was no longer accessible from either East or
West Berlin and fell into disrepair.
In 1985, the church was blown up by the government of the German Democratic Republic in
order to “increase security, order and cleanliness at the state border of West Berlin” – as
officially declared. The Berlin came down less than five years later and the destruction of the
border facilities began in summer 1990. At this point of time, it was aimed to remove the
traces of the German division as quickly as possible, which also applies for the grounds of the
Church of Reconciliation, laying waste. The site was returned back into the hands of the
community and it quickly got clear that the Reconciliation parish carries a large responsibility
for the historical questions in Berlin. The parish decided to build a chapel on the foundations
of the old church. It was contemplated, that this chapel should be a modern building,
meeting the requirements of both the present and the future. It would be set up with simple
means and protect preserved traces without reconstructing the old church. Furthermore, the
parish intended to set ecological high standards, using resources sparingly.
Finally, the chapel has been designed as two concentric oval buildings with offset axes. The
outer oval, made of wooden slats, adapts to the alignment of the former Church of
Reconciliation, whereas the inner oval of rammed-loam is directed towards the usual
East-West axis.
The rammed-earth body was set up in 1999. Thereby, moist clay was poured into a
form-work in 30 centimetre thick layers and compacted to about eight centimetres. Open
Houses volunteers from fourteen different East and West European countries supported the
project with their man power and lots of idealistic enthusiasm. Their volunteering has
symbolically shown the growing together of East and West after the European continent has
been separated for too long.
On the 9th November 2000 the Chapel of Reconciliation was inaugurated. It is the first public
clay building in Germany built since more than 150 years and at the same time the first
German church made of rammed-earth.
The place unites and combines innovative approaches to architecture, ecology, culture of
remembrance and European communication. Open Houses is particularly concerned with
shaping the Chapel of Reconciliation as a meeting place for young people from different
nations.
To meet the special requirements of this place, Open Houses is looking for persons who are
highly motivated, open minded and willing to take responsibility for their own work inside
this historically important place. They should be able to work independently and to cope
with living in a big city like Berlin. Altough the parish is protestant the volunteers do not have
to be religious or Christian. However, they should be tolerant and open minded


General Information
Code           Dates
OH-M04             07/06 – 30/08
OH-M05             02/08 – 25/10


Type: CULT


Accommodation:
Furnished room in a shared flat, where mostly students and young people from Berlin are
living in. The flat has an equipped kitchen and a bathroom, which must be shared. It is
located relatively close to the chapel. For travelling to work and for leisure time the
volunteers can borrow a bicycle.


Location: Berlin


Age: at least 20


Language:
Either English or German fluently, basics in German; Spanish, French, Korean, Russian and
other languages are welcome.


Note: Motivation letter and CV with a photo required.


The ending date of OH-M05 is not fixed. So if the volunteers have to go back home one or
two weeks earlier for studies, this will be no problem.


Please note: For each project (OH-M04 / OH-M05) we invite three applicants to the
preliminary weeks at Lohra Castle. But only two out of this three applicants will go to Berlin.
For the one left over we can offer to participate in our workcamps or building weeks.


Specials:
No drugs, alcohol or cigarettes allowed during the working time.
The volunteer works inside the chapel, which might get a bit cold during September /
October. (For environmental sustainability reasons the chapel is not heated.)
S/he can borrow a bicycle from us, which would increase their mobility to work and for
leisure activities.
Per month the volunteers get € 100 pocket money and extra money for food.


Project Description
In 2009, Germany celebrates the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Berlin Wall with a lot
of different programs and places. The Chapel of Reconciliation will play more than usually an
important and frequent role during this year.
The volunteers we are looking for will be touristic guides at the chapel, showing the visitors
around and explaining the architecture, history and ecology of the building. The atmosphere
inside the chapel is intimate and private. For this reason it is very important that the
volunteers are aware of the significance of that historical site. Furthermore, they support the
visitors if they need advice as well as administrate the guest book.
Every noon there is a remembrance for one person killed at the Berlin wall. Every Sunday a
service is held.


Schedule
The volunteers will work five days per week with seven hours a day. They will have two days
off a week. However, this does not necessarily mean during the weekends or on two
consecutive days.
There will be two international young people volunteering in the chapel in summer. Their
working schedule will be alternating during the days.
Before the volunteers start working in the Chapel of Reconciliation in Berlin they will stay
two weeks at Lohra Castle in the middle of Germany in order to get to know our association
Open Houses. During summer time a lot of different workcamps and seminars will set the old
castle into an international atmosphere – please have a look in our camp description of Lohra
Castle. The volunteers will participate in some of the activities and mainly use the time to
prepare themselves for the work in the chapel. They will not be left alone with this and will
receive material about the Chapel of Reconciliation as well as active support by our staff.
Furthermore, it is important for us to get to know and assess the volunteers and their
individual motivation. After the two weeks at Lohra Castle both the volunteers and Open
Houses will decide, whether the applicants are ready for the work at the Chapel of
Reconciliation.
After arriving in Berlin the two volunteers will get to know the chapel. The staff will introduce
the volunteers to their tasks and assess their individual motivation.
The last week of the volunteers’ time in Germany will be free, which can be used for
exploring Berlin and the country (on her / his own cost).




Lohra Castle, Parum Rectory, Klein Dammerow Manor and other places – Camp Leading


Organising and leading an international workcamp is an interesting challenge for those who
enjoy working together with young people, are willing to take over responsibility and who
look forward to a great summer. The camp leader’s role lies in building a bridge between the
participants of the workcamp, the organisation as well as the project leader (who guides the
practical part of the camp). S/he supports the group of volunteers from a social point of view.
The main tasks are to coordinate the practical work of the volunteers (in accordance with the
practial instructor) as well as to organize the social life for all volunteers during the camp
period. The leader will welcome the volunteers and make them familiar with the camp site.
S/he will prepare a daily schedule, indicating the working and eating times including breaks
and will furthermore be responsible for organising the cleaning and cooking teams,
alternating within the group. The campleader will buy the food for the volunteers.
Additionally, s/he organises leisure activities after the working days and is welcome to
prepare campfires, barbecues, games or others. Usually, the volunteers do not have to work
during the weekends. For their recreation and fun the camp leader should be ready to plan
little trips to bigger cities or other activities.
The leader is also responsible for managing the deduction and finances of the camp.
Open Houses is looking for people who are highly motivated, open minded and already have
some experiences in handling with other people. They should be able to speak English
fluently and maybe a little bit of German.


General Information
Code             Dates
OH-M01            07/06 – 30/08
OH-M02            28/06 – 27/09
OH-M03            02/08 – 03/10



Type: SOCI


Duration: between six weeks and three months, in exceptional cases less. The beginning
dates are fixed because of the training course, but ending dates can be variable.
Accommodation:
It depends on the camp place.
Please have a look in the camp place description.


Age: at least 20


What to bring: alarm bell, calculator, purse, sleeping bag


Note: Motivation letter required, CV with a photo


Specials: Per working week the volunteer receives € 50 pocket money. This will be paid at the
end of the camp.


The camp leader has to be able to work independently as well as in a team since most of the
camps are organised by two camp leaders, working together.
All in all, leading a camp means a lot of work and empathy as well as a lot of fun. Open
Houses gives the camp leaders the opportunity to be creative and take over responsibilty for
their own work. Of course, they will not be left alone in their role. Before getting active as a
camp leader s/he has to attend our training course and will take part in one of our camps as
a volunteer at Lohra Castle. It will be a good exercise to work as a participant for one or two
weeks and to get to know the camp leader’s tasks. After experiencing the atmosphere of the
first camp s/he will lead one camp or more. If s/he leads more than one camp there will be a
break of one week in between. During the summer, Open Houses plans a lot of workcamps in
different places in Germany. Depending on the camp leader’s interests and abilities we will
decide together where s/he will lead a camp after the first week(s) at Lohra castle.
Concerning the camp leading, we offer two possibilities: The volunteers can lead several
sucessive camps in one place (Lohra Castle, Parum Rectory, Klein Dammerow Manor). Or,
they can lead different camps in various places.

				
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