The participants will carry out maintenance and gardening works on the ground like cultivating the garden, clipping hedges, renewing and painting fences.
During this workcamp, a building Week will take place. In that context, some tasks as helping to carry material may appear.
shared rooms with 4 – 6 beds, limited warm shower and toilets
The meals will be prepared together as they are part of the community life, what means that every participant will be responsible for the meal at least once during its stay. So it would be very nice if the participants could bring typical recipes from home in order to introduce each other to the preparation of food from all over the world.
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 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 1880. During the past decades countless volunteers renovated and extended the mansion. Today it attracts visitors by different styles from sequential construction periods. The mansion is surrounded by a beautiful garden, an orchard and large rhododendrons. From there you have a fascinating view on rock formations.
The camp places are mostly situated in small villages in rural areas, so the participants should not expect busy places and normal city activities for the leisure time during the working days. Small trips in walking distance are possible in the afternoon. On the weekends it is possible to organise an excursion to nearby cities or to have other leisure activities.
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.