Introduction to urban agriculture in Mali or Cuba

Wednesday 3 December 2008

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

This year, treat yourself to an alternative vacation!
Discover new cultures and support local development initiatives during a unique stay in Mali or Cuba.

Far from “all included” vacations, Alternatives offers you the opportunity to have an unforgettable experience as a volunteer with its partner organisation
in an urban agriculture project.

Beginners are welcome!! No gardening experience is necessary for your vacation project!

Transform your vacation into a solidarity volunteer experience, cultivate relationships within the community, improve local health standards
and create a better environment.

1- Urban agriculture

Alternatives’ innovative soilless gardening technologies creates greenery no only on surfaces otherwise unsuitable for cultivation, but also on insufficiently-used spaces adjacent to existing buildings. These green areas provide for simple and affordable food production that contributes to food sovereignty in impoverished urban contexts. For more information on urban agriculture, please go to

2- Partners

Réseau des radios libres et des clubs Kayira

The ‘Réseau des radios libres et des clubs Kayira’ is a democratic watch dog organization. Its mandate is to:
 Raise awareness and undertake popular education on local, national and international news, reporting impartially and independently
 Help bring together large numbers of citizens to undertake civic education training and to found the basis of participatory democracy
 Take an active part in informing the public on health, hygiene and environmental issues
-Give a voice to associations and all citizens who otherwise have no forum in which to express themselves
 Combat the dissemination of ideas and principles founded on intolerance, racism, exclusion and xenophobia

 Open the radio station to a diversity of cultural expression (artist presentations and musical presentations, theater and cinema) from Mali and elsewhere.

This network also aims at developing income-producing activities and it is in this context that the association launched, in partnership with Alternatives, an urban agriculture project.

Fondación Antoño Jimenez por la Naturaleza y el Hombre (FANJ)

The ’Fondation Antonio Nunez Jimenez de la Naturaleza y el Hombre’, created on May 16, 1994 is a scientific, cultural, civic non-governmental organization dedicated to the research on and promotion of environmental protection, using a socio-cultural approach. As part of its environmental education mandate, the foundation contributes to the creation of a social conscience concerned with environmental harmony and the creation of local solutions to environmental problems. As part of its sustained urban development program, the Foundation supports urban development projects such as permaculture gardens, an approach that encourages more diversity in organisms by replicating natural ecosystems, all while finding ways to reduce inputs and effort on the part of agriculturalists.

3- A solidarity stay with both preparation and follow-up

Pre-departure training will include:
 An introduction to urban agriculture with the Rooftop Garden Project in Montreal
 An introduction to the cultures of Mali and Cuba, and a briefing on the host organization

In Mali or Cuba:
 A four-day work week contributing to an urban agriculture project
 Three days for learning about the local culture (with opportunity for rest and recreation)

Back in Montreal:
 Opportunities to participate in the Rooftop Garden Project and/or participate in Alternatives’ other projects.

4- How does it work?

 Assembles the group and supplies a guide
 Offers you a package that includes pre-departure training, visa, insurance, flight, and expenses abroad (meals, travel in the country...)
 Coordinates local transportation and field-logistics
 Monitors the well-being and the security of the volunteers

Number of participants: 5-6 persons + a guide

Departure Dates: Departures are scheduled mid-August, for a period of two weeks.

Training before leaving: one weekend of training and two weekends in the Rooftop Garden Project in Montreal to discover urban agriculture.

Price: Solidarity Volunteering in Cuba costs 3500 CAD$, and in Mali, the cost is 5800 CAD$ (Possibility of paying in three installments or more).

Departures are scheduled from Montréal. For others cities, please contact us.

5- To submit your application

To submit your application, please send us the form below:

Apply by email to the following address:
message object line: 
 Introduction to urban agriculture + the name of the country

Deadline for submitting applications: March, 15th 2009,

You should note that the number of participant is limited: your registration will be validated once we receive the first deposit.

6- Dates and deadline

15th of March : deadline for submitting application

April: introduction to the Rooftop Garden Project (one weekend)

May: one weekend’s training

June: introduction to the Rooftop Garden Project (one weekend)

mid August : departure for Mali or Cuba

end of August : return to Québec

7- For more information:

Consult our FAQs., international internship, solidarity stay

3720, av. du Parc, bureau 300, Montréal (Québec) H2X2J1

Tel: 514-982-6606


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