About the local hosting organizationZinong, a sharing platform of natural and cultural living, enables participants to experience the culture, food and handicraft in different regions. Their main destinations are rural villages. Through deep excavation of village’s culture, history, handicraft and nature elements, Zinong combines education with tourism to develop various in-depth experiential learning programmes. Zinong’s vision: •Guide the city to know the village again; Help the villagers build the village together Zinong’s mission: •Discover, share, and build together the beautiful village together Zinong was awarded the First Prize in the Social Enterprise Venture Capital Competition organized by the British Embassy in 2015. In September 2016, Zinong has received the social enterprise certification in the 5th China Charity Fair organized by the Ministry of Civil Affairs in China, and has become the only organization in Fujian to be recognized as the “Good Social Enterprise in China” for their contribution to the poverty alleviation and development in rural areas. At the same time, Zinong’s projects have also been reported multiple times by the media including China Central Television (CCTV) and Fujian Daily. Their works are also highly valued by the government in Fujian Province.
About the volunteer workProject Needs: Tulous (土楼) are unique Chinese rural dwellings built between the 12th and 20th centuries by the mountainous Hakka people living in Fujian. In China, the Chinese traditional concept called “Feng-Shui” focuses on the relationship between human being and nature. Therefore, the Tulous were built with great consideration of the harmony with and respect for their surrounding nature in a very sustainable and energy efficient way, using local materials. They are interdependent with the mountains and rivers and form an ecological connection with nature over time. However, with globalization and the expansion of cities today, the environment is sometime ignored and new structures are being built around the Tulous. Moreover, a Tulou is usually inhabited by one family clan of several generations, and the enclosed structure allows for members to work together defending each other. Individual rooms provide privacy, but there are also communal areas, which provides for cultural gatherings and communication. Nowadays, the community dependence is weakening with young inhabitants moving out to the cities for work or for school. Emphasis on private property is growing and villagers prefer living in larger and more modern buildings. Work/Activities: •Learn why and how to renovate Tulou and assist in renovating and beautifying its surrounding environment •Share the World/Cultural Heritage of your country with the local people •Make a promotional video about Tulou together with other volunteers to share about its social background, history, local culture, and sustainable architecture •Interact with local villagers through cultural activities •Participate in discussion on changemaking stories or ideas on world heritage preservation and sustainable building structures whether they are from your country or from others
Local accommodationWorkcampers will be staying in an old village school dormitory with simple beddings. Basic local meals will be provided three times a day at a local villager’s home, with possibly a day where volunteers may cook and share their own country’s food.
About the project locationLongyan is seated in western Fujian Province. General terrain of Longyan descends from east and north to west and south. Mountains and hills zigzag northeast-southwest parallelly, occupying nearly eighty percent of the city's land area. This city belongs to the subtropical zone, enjoying an oceanic monsoon climate. Its weather is moderate all the year round. Without chilly winter and torrid summer, the annual average temperature falls between 18 and 20 degree centigrade. Special Local Products include Chanting dried bean curd, Liancheng dried sweet potato, Zhangping dried bamboo shoot, Xinluo rice noodle and peanut, Wanying tea, Xuan paper (Chinese calligraphic paper), Shuixian Cha Bing (cake-shaped compressed tea), Yongding persimmon. Besides the Tulou, local attractions include the Guanzyhai mountain, which is a scenic spot with mountains, lakes, rivers, caves, and temples.
RequirementsHigh motivation and openness to local culture