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Israel Desert Eco-Construction Project

  • In Brief
  • The Project
  • What to Expect
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Mud Bed House
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Throughout the course of history, the captivating and mystical land of Israel has been the meeting point for cultures, civilisations and religions. Serving as the sacred centre and origin for many of the world’s monotheistic religions, the diversity of Israel is second to none.

The Negev desert region, covering the southern half of Israel, is so much more than just sand. Being the least populated region in Israel, means that it is home to a wide variety of people such as the nomadic desert people known as the Bedouin and an incredible mix of unique African wildlife. 

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Live and work in the stunning desert region of Israel 
  • Explore historically significant sites in Jerusalem 
  • Develop your hands-on practical construction skills
  • Promote sustainable community livelihoods 

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

  • Minimum age of 18 years
  • Conversational English or Hebrew
  • Good physical fitness and strong work ethic
Camping Community Emergency Physical Terrestrial Free Time
FAST FACTS
Location Arava Desert, Israel 
Activities

Earth & Mud Building 
Hosting Guests 

Maintanence Work 

Transport Taxi Transfer to Jerusalem (budget around $20) local transportation to and from project (budget around $40)
Accommodation  Bedouin Style Tents and Mud Huts

WHAT'S INCLUDED
Before you go Pre-departure support 
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Equipment advice
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
In-country Accommodation
Local orientation
Project training
In-country emergency support 
24-hour international HQ back-up

WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?

The project is based at our unique village resort in the desert built entirely from mud and local materials. It is an eco-lodge that was built by hand, from the ground up. It's a creative and gratifying experience that requires a lot of hard work. The use of eco-friendly materials in sustainable building is a really positive initiative as we look for ways to reduce our impact as humans on our planet.

Building with mud is extremely different to working with concrete, wood and  acrylic materials. Mud is a versatile material, which once dried the material can be re-worked and re-shaped over a period of time, and of course, you can enjoy getting your hands dirty as you work! This exciting project was the brain-child of a young family who set out to fulfill the principles of simplistic living and a close  relationship with the earth. The village hosts many international travelers who come to enjoy the magical setting and to learn about sustainable living. 

WHAT WILL I BE DOING?

The aim of the Frontier-Israel Desert Eco-Construction project is to give participants hands-on experience with earth building combined and sustainable living, whilst contributing towards hospitality work and living in the desert. 

Your adventure will begin in Jerusalem, where you will be given a comprehensive orientation to prepare you for the period of volunteer work in the desert. You will be provided with detailed travel advice and taken on a walking tour of the Old City and the famous Machane Yehuda market. We will even provide you with a discount card to experience Jerusalem’s vibrant night-life! The following day you will make your way down to the project site in the Arava desert by public transport. 

Once at the project, volunteers will mainly assist local staff with the construction and maintenance of the eco village using earth sourced from the surrounding area. Volunteers will learn different techniques to mould the Earth and sustainable materials to create the following:

  • Eco cabins
  • Benches
  • Sitting Areas
  • Decorative patterns
  • Renovation of structures when needed

There is also a hospitality component to the program that requires volunteers to be involved in general maintenance duties such as cleaning, gardening, repairs, cooking, and preparing huts for eco-tourist guests. During national holidays volunteers' duties will be focused mainly on hosting the guests at the eco village.

Volunteers are expected to work 6-7 hours per day, 5 days per week. The team is small, intimate and friendly. The work requires manual-labor and spending lots of hours outside in the Negev desert so it is important to bring along a sun hat and protective clothing.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE?

You will fly into Tel Aviv airport where you will then use our easy to follow instructions to make your way to the project meeting point in Jerusalem. We will provide you with all the information you need prior to your departure to enable you to plan your journey.  Upon arrival at the meeting point you will be met by a friendly Frontier representative and given a comprehensive orientation alongside your fellow volunteers!
 

WHERE WILL I BE STAYING?

Volunteers will stay in basic Bedouin style huts for 1 - 2 people with mattresses, linens, and wood burning heaters. Facilities include a communal living room, equipped kitchen, shared bathrooms with compost toilets and hot showers, and an outdoor fireplace
 

WHAT WILL I BE EATING?

Food is not provided as part of this programme. This is a fun element of travelling away from home as it gives you that added freedom and is a good opportunity to bond with fellow travellers when taking it in turns to prepare meals. There is an equipped kitchen on-site for volunteers to use.
 

I'll never forget this experience, it was a dream come true!  | 17 Jun 2018
I spent a month volunteering in Israel at the Desert Eco Construction program. It was the most am...

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ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

Either before the beginning or following the end of your Frontier project, why not explore more of Israel and see what this incredible country has to offer! Israel has a fantastic selection of historic landmarks, but other popular activities amongst travelers include sleeping in bedouin tents, climbing Mount Masada, floating in the Dead Sea and hiking through the Golan Heights to name just a few!
 
The international beach resort of Eilat, located within the Negev region is a stunning area where you can enjoy some snorkelling, or simply let your hair down and enjoy the vibrant night life.  It is also possible to travel around the country, or visit Israel’s neighbouring country Jordan, home to the historical city of Petra.  
 
If you are looking for more volunteering opportunities, why not check out Frontier’s other projects including our Desert Wildlife Reserve in Negev, interact with children at an Israeli Multicultural Summer Camp, or engage in construction work at the Desert Eco Building project.  Whatever you choose, you’re sure to have an incredible time!

COSTS

2 weeks US$ 745

3 weeks US$ 995

4 weeks US$ 1,295

Extra week US$ 68

DEPARTURE DATES

Please aim to arrive on the Sunday, as orientation will begin at 10am the following morning.
 
2016

19th December

2017 start dates:

23rd January

6th-20th February

6th March

3rd-30th April

1st-15th May

5th-19th June

3rd-17th-31st July

14th-28th August

11th September

16th-30th October

13th-27 November

11th December

DURATION

Minimum 2 weeks - Maximum 8 weeks

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Nearest airport(s): Tel Aviv (TLV)

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

Flights

Flights are not included in our project costs. However, Frontier have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with Frontier. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.

We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact Frontier’s dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email frontier@flightcentre.co.uk .

Visas

For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.

Insurance

You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.


LEGAL STATEMENT
Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.

To apply for this project, or to register your interest, just click on the orange "Apply Now!" button at the top of the menu. Fill out and submit a short application form and then one of our advisers will give you a call back to answer any questions and to progress your application if you wish to continue.

There is no obligation when making an application, and you do not need to pay anything at this point.