Volounteer

We gladly host people who are willing to try their hand at Permaculture, natural farming, small group living, and most importantly, their own spiritual side!

Are you a person capable of experiencing deep ecology or someone who deeply desires to reconnect with Mother Nature?
Do you enjoy spending time in a natural environment filled with human beings rather than in cities filled with people in a hurry and pollution?
Can you see the Divine that generates, surrounds and continually changes the universe and lives in every creature?

Is it clear to you how social justice, environmental justice and ecological collapse are all interconnected and that supremacist colonialism, capitalism and wars are major contributors to the problems of the entire planet?

If you reflect yourself in these simple points, maybe it’s time to come to Saja!

Read this page carefully to make sure that the spiritual side we pursue matches your personal quest.

Interests

During the seasons shared here you might be LEARNING BY DOING on these and many more aspects:

Activities

Remember that you can work alone or in groups.

Year-round work:

Seasonal work:

We hope to find in you the desire to:

ACCOMMODATION

You will be housed in one of the two wooden cottages we have built. The bathroom and kitchen are shared spaces. There are 2 different compost toilets. There is no wifi but the 4G signal works well.

We don’t have washing machine, only hand washing; all water flows into the phytoremediation so please don’t bring soaps, toothpaste and chemicals that are not biodegradable.

We love our tranquility very much; if you know you feel uncomfortable in the silence and fear loneliness, we can suggest other friendly farms and projects around Sicily, no problem.

PEOPLE

Living in Saja are Salvatore (a linguist, social worker and permaculture farmer, who is passionate about meditation and world music), Nuri (Salvo’s son, loves growing succulents and succulents in pots, climbing trees, getting muddy, finding toads, playing with people he likes, and having his own space for relaxation and reflection) and Angelo (a music professor, part-time farmer and green building enthusiast). Find out more about us here!

ANIMALS

There are cats, chickens, fish and many wild animals (spiders, mice, snakes, geckos, lizards, frogs, foxes, rabbits). For their sake and respect, we cannot accommodate other pets.

ATTITUDE

Being a volunteer or contributor does not mean working for a certain number of hours in exchange for food and living room, but living in an environment where we try to keep the human within the boundaries of nature, where plants and animals share space and time, energy and life, with us and for us. The right attitude toward the activities we engage in is to take selfless political and spiritual action in this limited lifespan we are given.

After more than a decade of ups and downs, with moments of more than 100 people a year visiting, learning, building, transforming and restoring space for life so that Mother Nature can express her power, today a new wave, more in intimate reconnection, is flowing within the project.

Salvo is engaged in a path of worship of the “invisible” through the “visible,” and of veneration, meditation and devotion following the spiritual teachings of the Sufi master Shirdi Sai Baba and the manifestation of Nature in the visible aspect of Mother Kali through the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and the examples of many other saints and masters and teachers from different spiritual traditions.

In addition to farming as a way of life, the real goal is to experience the stillness and gentle energy of spiritual awareness and its practices in and with Nature. That is why the possession and consumption of alcohol and tobacco, and all intoxicating activities, practices and philosophies that can push us toward selfishness, materialism, violence, lust, anger and falsehood, cannot find a place here. It is not a taboo or a prohibitionist attitude, but rather a way to detoxify ourselves from the worldly dilemmas that slow down our specific paths toward Oneness of Self.

Be honest with yourself and with us and avoid contacting us if it is not in tune with the kind of experience you wish to have.

Opportunities

In our project you can learn:

FOOD

We eat mainly what our orchard-garden offers us: delicious, organic fruits, vegetables, and eggs. For everything that is not (yet) self-produced, we source directly from local and organic producers.
Sometimes we eat local meat, (pork and fish/seafood) but mostly plants, we respect and nurture them while they do the same keeping us alive and healthy.

Expenses

We encourage a weekly contribution of 25€ per person to cover common expenses such as externally provided goods (rice, pasta, cereals, legumes, coffee, sugar, toilet paper and soaps, gasoline to fetch drinking water in the city and so on, no industrial and low quality food, only the essentials because we try not to support when possible, inequitable systems in which we are immersed), electricity and gas.

In our experience of more than 10 years of hosting, this is the amount we have calculated as additional cost per person that we cannot cover alone. We are not a “business oriented” project, we do not work with tourism, so the help you give as volunteers does not directly cover extra expenses like these, nevertheless there is nothing mandatory because we can understand and support travelers with financial problems. Everyone can choose how and how much to contribute without any shame or fear, because only together we grow.

WHAT TO BRING

Flip-flops or similar: you will appreciate having a pair for the indoor common areas

Gloves and rain boots: we already have some available but some people prefer to use their own.

Sleeping bag: in winter (October – April) you may need to bring one, we provide blankets but you will appreciate the extra warmth. Even in Sicily winter is cold at night down to -4 C.

Seeds and plants: to increase the biodiversity of our place you can bring seeds or cuttings of your local vegetables and trees. We are especially looking for all kinds of avocados for a new project we are pursuing.

Transfers

Once your stay is confirmed we will send you by email or telegram/whatsapp message a pdf file with directions to reach us.

Saja is located in the town of Paternò (CT), a half-hour drive from Catania, 40 minutes by train or bus from Catania station. You are welcome with your own car or van, and if you come by public transportation we can pick you up in Paternò Monday through Friday. Keep in mind that on Sundays and Saturdays public transportation is limited or nonexistent and we cannot pick anyone up in Catania (neither airport nor city center).

VISA OR CITIZENSHIP PERMITS

Your documents must be in order for us to accommodate you; unfortunately, we are not in a position to help you with either your visa situation or your citizenship process. We cannot provide residency.

Outer boundaries unfortunately exist as a result of capitalism and contemporary human supremacism, let us keep that in mind and imagine alternatives.

SCHEDULE

All times can change according to season and weather, to adapt our time and body to the rhythm of the seasons.
In general, the day is composed as follows:

You can choose 2 days off whenever you want, as long as you can arrange for some of us to be on the farm, since the hens and gardens require our constant presence!

YOUR MOVE!

Take some time to introduce yourself, who you are, why you would like to come, what your experiences and projects are, and what skills and knowledge you would like to share.
Beyond the day-to-day work and our ongoing projects, you will be invited to contribute in your own way. We are open to new ideas and love to learn new skills (object building, self-production, art, wellness), we look forward to seeing you!

Please note

Please apply only if you are able to stay a minimum of 3 weeks to a maximum of 3 months and have some prior knowledge or at least a deep interest in the above fields! (minimum summer hours one month). Once you commit, we expect you to come: project management is based on people and it creates a lot of difficulties for us when someone at the last memento does not show up. So please be transparent and let us know if you are not sure.

We check emails about once a week, but we always respond! Thanks for reading, see you soon!