Already in vogue for a few years, wwoofing continues to seduce around the world. Far from classic expatriation, this concept nevertheless allows you to live an experience abroad. We tell you everything about this new way of traveling, meeting, learning and sharing.
What is it about ?
The World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (Wwoof) Global Network, “Global Opportunities on Organic Farms”, was established in the UK in 1971. The principle ? As a “wwoofer”, you go to an organic farm to lend a hand in exchange for room and board.
Planting, picking, caring for animals…: the tasks you may be required to perform are as diverse and numerous as there are different hosts. But they all have the same goal : offer the possibility to as many people as possible to acquire skills in organic farming, to experience rural life and to share the daily life of its host.
Thanks to national Wwoof organizations and Wwoof Independents for countries that do not have an antenna on site, we can do “wwoofing” in more than 130 countries, and there are 12,000 hosts and 100,000 wwoofers. Among the countries where wwoofing is a habit, we find australia with more than 2,600 hosts, France with more than 2,300 hosts, United States with nearly 1,500 or more New Zealand with nearly 1,000.
In addition to the savings this mode of travel allows you to achieve, it allows you to enter into total immersion in the culture and the way of life, and to return with a lot of new skills!
How it works ?
- First choose the country where you want to wwoofer: Chile, Canada or Togo? Once you have chosen your destination, you will need to join the corresponding local organization (you will find them all on the general website www.wwoof.net), or to Wwoof Independents for countries that do not have a national antenna. This membership has a cost that varies by country: 25 euros for Ireland, or 40 dollars for the United States. Once a member, you will receive the list of hosts available in the country in question.
- Choose your host: individual or professional farm, market gardener or cheese producer, find the host that meets your expectations. Once chosen, you will have to contact him to introduce yourself and explain why his activity interests you, at least one month before your departure according to the association. And you can do it regardless of your CV, your knowledge of organic farming or your nationality!
- Plan the stay: if he is also interested, you will then have to check your availability together to agree on the dates of the wwoofing and the terms. Indeed, if the rhythm is generally five hours of participation in activities per day with two free days in the week to visit the region, each guest is free to adapt his rhythm, in compliance with the Wwoof charter sure. He will also tell you if you have a room or if you will have to bring your tent, if meals are shared or if you will have your own kitchen area…
- Do not forget: remember to take out international insurance in case of a problem. Also, it is up to you to take the steps for a possible visa: find out before you start. Finally, remember to bring clothes adapted to work and the local climate, and above all your curiosity and open-mindedness!
If wwoofing is a great experience in most cases, it can happen to come across a host who does not respect the charter, who asks you too much work or who has a problematic behavior. In this case, you are free to leave, and it is important to inform the association to prevent this kind of problem from happening again.