The main work will be helping with the preparation of an Orthodox Christianity “Slava”, a celebration in honour of a saint, which is together with Easter and Christmas one of the most important celebrations. The “Slava” of Draganac Monastery is on 26th of July, in honour of St. Archangel Gabriel. Volunteers will be working with monks and novices on organizing, cooking and washing dishes, preparing rooms for guests, cleaning and with other everyday work. The volunteers will also help with agriculture related tasks, as the Monastery cultivates vegetables, has an orchard and takes care of chickens and goats.
Eventhough we will be mostly working within the Monastery, our living space will be in an old village called Stari Draganac, less than 2 km outside the monastery. Volunteers will sleep either in a renovated house, tents or hayloft and should bring their sleeping bags and mats. Simple toilets and outdoor solar shower will be used. There is no electricity nor running water, so connection with nature and other volunteers is guaranteed 😀 However, electricity will be available in the monastery. Food will be prepared by volunteers, but often the volunteers will eat in the monastery.
Draganac Monastery is between Gnjilane/Gjilan and Novo Brdo/Novobërda, famous for it’s medieval fort. The Monastery is surrounded by hills and forest, and today it is the centre of the spiritual and religious life and missionary work in the eastern part of Kosovo. Around 10ha of land and forest, between Stari Draganac and the Monastery itself, belongs to the Monastery. It is planned that this property becomes an ethno village, with gardens, orchards, animals and place for pilgrims.
The workcamps organized in cooperation with the Draganac Monastery became a tradition, where volunteers are given an opportunity to challenge themselves by living in simple conditions and to explore local religious customs. This is a workcamp where all good people are welcomed to be who they are. It is always beautiful to have Albanians, Bosniaks, Serbs, Croats, Turks and volunteers from many other countries in one place to share their cultures and promote the message of peace and mutual respect.
Good will and open-mindedness 🙂 Be prepared for a proper camp. Also flexibility is good to have when it comes to the work schedule, as sometimes we will have to wait for work and sometimes we will cook/clean for hours.