Stiftelsen Grobunn is an approved host organization for
EVS – European Volunteer Service – Erasmus+
Stiftelsen Grobunn is an ideal establishment that is based on the principles and philosophy Anthroposophy, the work of educator Dr
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The EVS-volunteers join in the responsibility of being an example for, and an instructor for our mentally handicapped youngsters who range in age from 17 to 25 years old. We have up to 9 students, and up to 11 youngsters we call “Grobunnlærlinger” who are finished with school, but still live within our community, and have a more work related day.
Our community offers both school and boarding for the school students, and work and boarding for our Grobunnlærlinger.
Some employees work here during school time and daytime in the different workshop. Other employees work in the residential areas during evenings, nights and every second weekend, in the houses where the students and Grobunnlærlinger live.
The tasks are varied for anyone that joins us. Everything we do is based on, and around the well-being and learning process of our students and Grobunnlærlinger.
Working on the farm with the animals and with the products produced on the farm, in the garden (vegetables, berries, flowers, and herbs), the main school kitchen, our shop (selling ecological products, products from our farm and homemade products etc.). The wood workshop (where different products are made, depending on the capacities of the students/Grobunnlærlinger) and in the felting workshop and the laundry.
In the residential area the main work is to support the students and Grobunnlærlinger in learning -personal hygiene, how to spend their free time constructively, make dinner, wash the house, take care of their clothes, and interact socially, feel safe and well.
We see great meaning in celebrating the different festivals of the year and therefor music and other creative classes for the students/Grobunnlærlinger are important for bringing cultural activities into our community.
We regularly host volunteers to give them the chance of sharing their lives with disabled young people. Also learning about Norwegian culture, disability and the methods used in care for the disabled in Norway. We have had EVS volunteers participating in our organization since 2004.
Many of the volunteers that have been with us say that working with the students/Grobunnlærlinger has been more rewarding than they thought. Not only did they learn a lot about people with different diagnoses and challenges, but also they learned very much about themselves and their own values. They also learned about bio-dynamic farming, a new language, and benefited greatly from learning how to live together in their own apartment, sharing tasks and social interaction with the other volunteers.
The volunteer should be interested in working with disabled people, and he/she has to be ready to face a new cultural environment.
The following criteria are important:
-motivation to work with people with disabilities openness to work and live in a small community readiness to share a flat with 4 other volunteers
-motivation to learn the Norwegian language
The volunteers should be ready to participate in all the tasks in relation to the daily life of our community and school/workshop (see below). They assist staff in regular daily routines with the students and they are obliged to be an example for the disabled young people. Living in community is both a gift and a challenge.
We have a no–drug policy and a restrictive alcohol policy.
We strive to take care of our students/Grobunnlærlinger, each other, the land, our animals and human values.
The EVS volunteers will take part in all the work and social life at Stiftelsen Grobunn. Every second weekend the students do not go home, but stay here at Grobunn. Together we participate in different activities during the weekend (example: visit museums, excursions into the nature, outdoor leisure, hiking, shopping, concerts etc.). The volunteers join the activities both to learn themselves and to be instructor and support for our students/Grobunnlærlinger. They are also together with the students/Grobunnlærlinger in the residential accommodation in the morning or evening. The volunteers have free one day a week and every second weekend. They are together with our students up to 35 hours pr. week.
Our students/Grobunnlærlinger are dependent on co-workers and volunteers being around them all the time. None of our students/Grobunnlærlinger is self-sufficient.
The volunteers participate in the shift work in the residential area with the students/Grobunnlærlinger 4-5 days a week. Helping/working in the workshops, guiding the disabled through various tasks such as cooking, woodworking, farming, gardening, cleaning, etc. includes a great opportunity for the volunteers own learning. No volunteer is ever alone with the students without available support.
The volunteers live together in an apartment in the Main house with their own sleeping rooms, and a bathroom, kitchen and living room that they share.
Living and working together for the betterment of how and what we offer to our students/Grobunnlærlinger asks for a certain amount of flexibility both in the day- and the week-schedule. The school for the students is not open all year round (school holidays), which means that at times there is more to do than the regular 9-4 job, at other times less.
Stiftelsen Grobunn has one car and 3 vans. The volunteers have the possibility of using the car if they have a valid driving license, and have done the necessary driving agreement together with our car responsible person.
Holidays/vacations that are taken/given to the volunteers are when the youngsters have school holidays (Christmas and Easter).
Example of a volunteer’s week:
Monday: 8:30 – 11:30 working in a school group (farm, housekeeping, woodwork)
17:00-21:00 working with the students in the residential area (making dinner, eating, activities, housekeeping)
Tuesday: 7:00-8:30 helping with breakfast 15:00- 21:00 working in the residential area
Wednesday: 7:00-8:30 Helping with breakfast, 8:30– 15:30 Working in a workshop Thursday: 8:30 – 11:30 working in school group.
Saturday: every second week 9:00 – 21:00 in the residential area.
Every second week free
We have values and rules, regulations and goals that we work for. The development of each individual and the community is important. Therefore, it is also important that volunteers wanting to come to our project are interested in what we are, and why we do what we do.
We have, through the last 13 years, had many volunteers that have learned and grown enormously through the year they have been here.
People wanting to volunteer with us should not have serious physical or mental problems. Our project is on a farm, and, for example, if someone has serious asthma or is allergic to animals of any kind, or hay etc., their stay here would not be particularly rewarding or healthy.
Risk prevention, protection and safety:
Our main approach to risk prevention and crisis management is having a close follow-up of the volunteer, on the activity level as well as the personal and social level. It is important to be able to discover potential problems before they escalate, and the mentor is a key person in this respect. The volunteers will have weekly meetings with the mentor. Individual conversations are also part of what the mentor offers. In every working situation, there is a teacher or an assistant who has the responsibility of supporting the volunteers in their work and learning. As we are a live-in community, there is someone available at any time that will be able to handle a crisis. Working with disabled people requires us by law to have a safe living and working environment.
EVS includes a good insurance, which covers all needed medical care.