Who can become a WWOOF Romania volunteer?
Volunteers can be from anywhere, Romania or any other country. Generally, volunteers should be able to participate in physical labor and perform tasks such as harvesting, compost making, milking, fencing or feeding animals.
However, some farms also welcome WWOOFers who prefer doing non-farming tasks such as office work, childcare, website development and helping out at the farm shop.
Most importantly, WWOOFers should be comfortable adapting to new situations and environments. They should have experience with hard physical labor and travelling to new places or within foreign countries. WWOOFers under the age of 18 should be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
For Romanian volunteers (only Romanian citizens), the membership cost is 5 Euros. One of our goals is to maintain an interest in traditional and organic practices within Romania, as well as encourage volunteerism in our country. This lower cost supports that.
For Foreign / International volunteers (non-Romanian citizens), the membership cost is 20 Euros.
WWOOF Romania only offers ONE YEAR MEMBERSHIPS. Membership costs can only be donated through PayPal. Each volunteer membership cost gives you access to our online directory of farms for ONE YEAR. After one year, your account will automatically deactivate and you must renew your membership as well as donate the required amount. WWOOF Romania does not offer any refunds for donations.
Once you become a member, you will recieve a username and password that will allow you to see our WWOOF Farm List. Then you will be able to contact farmers at your convience and try to arrange a time to come and volunteer.
Being a WWOOFer means contributing to farm labor and experiencing a cultural exchange with the local community and surrounding areas.
The volunteer's daily program depends on the needs of the host farm, as well as the volunteer's personal interests and skills. In general, the volunteers will have from 4 to 8 hours of activity, at least 5 days a week, depending on the needs of the farm.
The volunteer will be treated as a guest by the host farm, they will have a place to sleep (such as a guest house, or an open meadow for camping), and food to eat. Volunteers are not expected to and should NEVER pay for food or accommodation, just earn it through work on the farm. Volunteers should never accept money either. You cannot participate in WWOOF if there is any exchange of money.
How to apply as a Volunteer
1. REGISTER ON THE WWOOF ROMANIA WEBSITE
You can do this by clicking on the REGISTER button on the right side of the website. The registration page will appear where you can create your WWOOF Romania member account. At NAME, enter your desired username (Ex. john.doe). Please provide a real name, not a nickname or other aliases. This username will be used to communicate with the farmers. At the TYPE, choose WWOOFER, then choose your country of residence and upload your application form (the document should be named WWOOF Romania Volunteer Application.doc, or another document format, please do not upload photos of you, only a document containing your personal information according to the model shown below). After introducing the viewed security codes (CAPTCHA CODES) your new unique volunteer account will be created (If you cannot read the codes, you can hit the reload button of the CAPTCHA CODE application, to generate a new code).
2. PAYPAL MEMBERSHIP DONATION
After you have registered and created your account you will be taken to the membership activation page. In order to activate your account and to view the detailed hosts list you must donate through PayPal only (either 20 Euros for International Volunteers OR 5 Euros for Romanian Volunteers).
This donation will grant you full access on the website, enables you to view, comment and send feedback on the hosts list and towards other WWOOF Romania volunteers. Also, periodically WWOOF Romania will send out a newsletter to all registered members which will contain a lot of interesting information about WWOOF Romania, its unique stories, impressions, updates and member comments.
If the activation of the account is not made 48 hours from the registration, the registered account will be automatically deleted. Activation is the final step of becoming a WWOOF Romania Member.
3. CHOOSE FARM(S)
Evert time you want to access your account just use your membership USERNAME and PASSWORD to access the members area. After you log in, two new links will appear on the top navigation bar (FARMS LIST - detailed information with contact information of the host farms and WWOOFER LIST - list of the registered WWOOF Romania Volunteers). Click on the FARMS LIST, check out the farms and choose which farm(s) you would like to contact for volunteering
4. EMAIL FARM(S)
Send an email to the farm(s), expressing your interest to volunteer for them. In that email:
While writing to hosts and filling out the application form, please keep in mind that the host families are people that voluntarily agree to share their homes and daily lives with complete strangers. It is therefore important to create a sense of openness and trust: write a bit more about yourself and your interests and add a picture. If you have other online profiles that tell more about yourself and interaction with other people, it makes a good impression to add these too (facebook, couchsurfing, linkedin).
Please send messages to farms well in advance of your stay. This will definitely increase your chances of finding a host farm.
5. A FARM CONTACTS YOU
If a farm is interested and has a place for you, they will contact you. Please be patient, farmers are very busy.
6. DISCUSS THE TERMS OF YOUR WORK AND STAY
Before you decide to leave for the farm, you and the farmer must agree on the details of your work and stay, including:
6.a. How long you will be staying
6.b. When you will arrive
6.c. How you will get to the farm (or deciding where your host will meet you)
6.d. Meals and Accommodation
6.e. What type of work you will be doing
6.f. How many hours/days you will be expected to work each week
7. OTHER CONSIDERATIONS
VISAS - WWOOF Romania CANNOT grant visas. DO NOT ask farmers to help arrange a visa.
INJURIES / INSURANCE - WWOOF Romania is NOT responsible for any injuries that occur on the farms. Volunteers are encouraged to take caution at the farms and to not perform work beyond their capabilities.
TRAVELERS INSURANCE - Volunteers should obtain some form of travellers insurance before arriving in Romania.
Physical Mailing Address:
Country of Residence:
What months of the year you would like to volunteer:
Desired Length of Stay (minimum and maximum)*:
Experience with farming or related work:
Any additional skills:
Special dietary considerations:
Are you traveling with children or pets:
Anything else we should be aware of (health issues, etc.):
A brief statement about why you would like to join WWOOF Romania:
* Average length of stay is 2 weeks to 1 month, but may vary depending on the farm.
Advice for WWOOFers
There are some 'common sense' guidelines that we would like to emphasize:
If contacting a host farm by phone, please contact the farmer at a reasonable time (not too early and not too late).
Please be respectful in your communication with the farmer and let them know your interests and the capabilities / skills you can offer on the farm.
Keep farms updated of your plans; if farmers respond to your email, but you are no longer interested in visiting them, or your plans have changed, please let them know.
Keep in mind that an average day of work for a WWOOFer on a farm is around 4-6 hours. But, this can vary.
Please respect the WWOOF Host Farms requests about minimum (and maximum) stays, unless the farmer says otherwise.
Please take note of the host farms' diet, since you will be eating what they eat or at least what they grow.
Depending on what you will be doing, consider bringing gloves, good work boots, clothes that can get dirty and a hat.
Once in contact with the host farm, ask whether you should bring your own sleeping bag (accommodation ranges from bedrooms inside a house to camping in the farm's yard)
Due to the busy schedule of the farmers, please try to sent your requests ONE MONTH in advance.
Here is some advice for traveling to Romania, and within the country:
Travelling to Romania from the US and Western Europe:
Since the majority of volunteers are from the US, UK, France and Germany, here is some useful travel information. This is not an exhaustive list, other options are available.
Buses and Trains: Budapest, Hungary has many buses, vans and trains going to Romanian cities. Arriving from Serbia and Ukraine are also possible, but not very easy.
Travelling Within Romania
Train Schedules in Romania: CFR is the Romanian train company, its website is www.infofer.ro.
The German train site www.bahn.de is recommended, it is available in a variety of languages and provides more accurate information about trains throughout Europe.
Bus Schedules in Romania: www.autogari.ro, not always accurate, call ahead of time.
Vans, Microbuses, and "Freelance" Drivers are also available, but make frequent trips only when they have enough passengers.
Hitchhiking / Auto-Stop (RO: "ocazie") is also a common method for travel. As with any hitchhiking, it is only as safe as the driver. Be careful and cautious, especially if you are alone and don't speak the language. In Romania, it is very common for people to pay the driver some amount of money when hitchhiking.
Become a Volunteer or Intern for Eco Ruralis
WWOOF Romania is a project of Eco Ruralis, an association in support of small organic and traditional farmers in Romania.
Eco Ruralis is always looking for volunteers to help with WWOOF Romania and many of our on-going projects. If you are interested in helping out, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you want to donate and support our work you can do so by checking out our donate page: http://www.ecoruralis.ro/web/en/Donate/.
If you are interested in becoming an intern for Eco Ruralis, please visit this page and check out the program.