May 26, 2020

Sustainable Development Changemaker - Sinai, Egypt

  • Margot
  • Sinai Peninsula, Nuweiba, Egypt
Volunteering/Community Service/Social Entreprenuership

Description

Discover Bedouin lifestyles, new desert agriculture techniques, give back to the community & exchange cultural experiences. Make a lasting impact in Nuweiba. 

Volunteering at the Organic Farm

The goal of this project is to help Bedouin organic farmers with their research and experimental farming projects. You will help them discover new desert agricultural techniques and exchange cultural experiences.

This is a unique opportunity for you to work with the Bedouin side-by-side, for you to learn to see the world through their eyes, and to give them a chance to do the same with you.

By participating in this project you will be empowering local Bedouin to create their own food security in an uncertain world, as well as to teach them not only to farm in the desert, but to conduct desert farming research to continue innovating on their own. Our metric for success is when one of our farmers can leave to create their own experimental farm elsewhere in the desert.

The recreational activities available in the Red Sea and the neighboring mountains and valleys are endless and breathtaking. The coast is dotted with popular snorkeling and diving sites, and nearby cities of Taba and Dahab offer many tourist activities. Weekly excursions to Dahab offer an opportunity to enjoy the "city" scene and easy transportation is available to Sharm el Sheikh, St Catherine, Cairo, and many other locations in Egypt.

Training

You will spend a few days at Habiba Organic Farm learning desert farming, water management techniques and waste management in order to be able to train the Bedouin community

About Habiba Community

Habiba Community is committed to transforming the lives of local Bedouin communities through promoting sustainable agriculture and permaculture. We do this by empowering the Bedouin we employ to experiment with organic farming, helping them to not only grow their own produce, but to conduct their own research into how best to make use of the resources around us. We also run programs for the economic and educational empowerment of women who have more restrictions on their lives. Our goal at the farm is to help the local Bedouin leave and create their own farms, thus creating employment, food security and a sense of commitment to the future of our shared environment. Our goal through the women empowerment program is to provide opportunities for the Bedouin women to improve their lives. Habiba aspires to set a successful example to be followed by locals across the Sinai Peninsula.

Habiba Community is based in Nuweiba, South Sinai with the Sinai Mountains on one side and sandy beaches with turquoise waters on the other. The farm is based on a plot of what was empty desert, and has transformed it into a production hub of locally grown organic vegetables, as well as a center for research in sustainable desert agriculture. We are a center for research and regularly collaborate and conduct knowledge transfer with the Desert Research Center as well agricultural research facilities around the world.

Habiba also aims to promote the importance of conservation. We teach the local communities the benefits of organic farming practices, showing that it not only benefits the individuals who consume the produce, but also the environment as a whole.

Habiba welcomes volunteers, students conducting research, and experts. This page is focused on volunteer opportunities. If you are a student looking for a friendly environment for agricultural research, or an expert who wishes to share your knowledge via speeches and workshops, please contact us via our website. We’d love to have you.

What should I bring?

Sun protection including lightweight clothing to cover your head, neck and shoulders, mosquito repellant, sturdy shoes, work gloves, beach gear, and a sense of adventure. Most of the above is available in shops around Dahab and Nuweiba, but its preferable to buy your quality shoes and cargo gear before arriving. Winter gets chilly, even in Sinai, especially in January and February, so bring warm clothes for the evenings.

Type of Opportunity

Extracurricular Activity

Age Range

18+

Participation Cost

Costs: Prices in USD

2 weeks (min. stay) $800

4 weeks $1,400

12 weeks (max. stay) $4,000

Average fees $367 /week

First of all your contribution is highly appreciated to enable us supporting our community towards food security.

you will have best 2 vegetarian meals plus some times you will participate in cooking and exchange precipices 

Airport Pickup at Sharm El Sheikh Airport: We can arrange taxi pickup from Sharm el Sheikh Airport, taxi fees are 1000 EGP

Accommodation: We provide volunteers with accommodation at the guest house in the farm or at Habiba Beach lodge on the sandy beaches of Nuweiba. Each room is equipped with beds, sheets, and views the Aqaba Gulf.  Habiba Beach lodge is in walking distance of the farm and the markets of Nuweiba. 

Food & Beverages

The meals are vegetarian and many components are from the organic farm. We also provide bottled water, hot drinks like tea or Nescafe (3 times per day)  and fruits (served 3 times per week) .

You can also get fresh fish, chicken or meat for an additional fee.

The chef at Habiba Beach Lodge can satisfy all of your culinary wishes, but any special requirements should be communicated prior to arrival. Traditional Egyptian cuisine is our standard. Volunteers are free to cook their own meals with the ingredients provided by the Lodge or any other ingredients they wish to buy from local markets. The meals provided are mainly vegetarian to rhyme with our concept of farming and self sustainability. Our organic veggies from the farm make superb salads, soups and sauces. 

Internet Access: Limited access at the project site

What's NOT included? Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

Flight Tickets The nearest airport is Sharm El Sheikh Airport (SSH) in Sharm el Sheikh. We assist you to find cheap flights to Egypt.

Travel Insurance Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Egypt provides security and is a plus to have.

Vaccines If you are intending to volunteer in Egypt you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Egypt

Minimum Technical Skill Needed

Training

You will spend a few days at Habiba Organic Farm learning desert farming, water management techniques and waste management in order to be able to train the Bedouin community.

Time Commitment

Duration 2 - 12 weeks

Typical day

You will interact with community members at the Habiba Organic Farm. You will spend time doing organic farming, helping with projects run by local community members and generally interacting with them.Work varies by season and the most critical time is autumn, starting mid-September.

A general day will start by going to the farm around daybreak. Work will begin at dawn, and will consist of

  • Helping local farmers with their agricultural research projects, with will involve planting, cleaning, harvesting and other general research farm work
  • Assisting in construction and maintenance of farm buildings and infrastructure
  • Plant maintenance, composting, sifting soil for the Sinai Palm Foundation
  • Interacting with members of the community and participating in knowledge exchange

Generally you will return to the Habiba Village around 11am for a late breakfast, followed by a couple of hours more work either at the farm or at the village.

Volunteers work six days a week, with excursions typically planned on the seventh day, unless of course you prefer to rest at the lodge.

After work, the afternoons are for you to relax at the beachside area. Dinner is served at 7pm, and usually is vegetarian, home-style food, made entirely with produce from the organic farm. Most people will never have tasted vegetables like these!

Free-time activities

Nuweiba has many affordable activities and excursions to offer. 

There are numerous dive centers around, which can both train you in diving and rent you gear. You can also arrange camel rides as day-trips and multi-day excursions. There are also yoga, meditation and craft centers around Nuweiba, boat trips and safaris.

Please communicate with your host if something you’re interested in will take more than a few hours and will interrupt with your volunteer work. We will discuss timing and possible adjustments to your daily accommodation rate.

Time Commitment Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 06:00 - 12:30

Application Process Includes

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents. 

Language Skills You need to speak English (basic level)

Nationality Restrictions No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.

Other Skills Knowledge of: farming, carpentering, composting, bio-dynamics, organic husbandry

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