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Preserving the Serbian Wetlands

Location

Sremski Karlovci, Serbia

Group

Girlguiding

Length

10 Days

Project Work

Environmental, Manual Work

The Kovilj-Petrovaradin wetlands, a site of international botanical importance and a crucial area for the Danube Basin, played host to an inspiring group of volunteers this past summer. Since being declared an important bird area in 1989 and included in the protected area crucial for the Danube Basin in 2004, the wetlands have been a beacon of biodiversity conservation. This summer, a dedicated group from Concordia embarked on a transformative journey to contribute to the preservation of these wetlands and engage in meaningful cultural exchanges.

 

The Project

The project, aimed at preserving the Kovilj-Petrovaradin wetlands and raising public awareness, also provided the volunteers with opportunities for personal growth and intercultural interaction. The participants were involved in various tasks, from educational hikes to hands-on conservation efforts.

 

Volunteering Activities

The volunteers were based around Sremski Karlovci and the Kovilj-Petrovaradin Wetlands. Their activities included:

 

Educational Hikes: A 1-day hike with local children to Fruška Gora Mountain and the Danube River focused on biodiversity and forest ecosystems. Workshops on water protection were a key feature of these excursions.

 

Preservation Work: Tasks included removing invasive plants, creating pathways, repainting public benches and tables, and participating in workshops related to environmental conservation.

 

Raising Awareness: Volunteers helped increase visibility for the protected area by taking photographs for local exhibitions and online platforms.

 

A Typical Day

The structured days started early, with outdoor volunteering from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm, followed by a break during the hottest part of the day, and then educational workshops from 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm. Each day was balanced with cultural and leisure activities, promoting both productivity and relaxation.

 

Cultural and Leisure Activities

Cultural exchange was a cornerstone of the project. Activities included:

 

Exploring the Fruška Gora mountain and birdwatching in the wetlands.


Visits to notable sites such as Novi Sad, Petrovaradin Fortress, Belgrade Fortress, and local landmarks in Sremski Karlovci.


Workshops on the region’s botanic and endangered flora and fauna.


Intercultural evenings, cooking with locals, guided tours, and educational board games and movie nights.


These activities fostered intercultural understanding and provided a platform for volunteers to share their culture with local children, enhancing their English skills and global awareness.

 

Accommodation and Facilities

Volunteers were housed at the Eco Center Radulovački, a hub for environmental education. The centre’s blend of historical and sustainable modern buildings provided a comfortable stay with shared rooms, en-suite bathrooms, and communal areas. Meals were provided by a local restaurant, with options for various dietary needs, and volunteers also had access to a kitchen for intercultural dinners.

 

Reflecting on the Experience

The project schedule was meticulously planned but allowed flexibility to adapt to the needs of the group and weather conditions. Highlights included:

 

Team-building activities and workshops on local flora and fauna.

Volunteering efforts that directly impacted the conservation of the wetlands.

Full-day excursions to cultural and historical sites, enriching the volunteers’ understanding of Serbian heritage.

The project culminated in a leaving ceremony, celebrating the volunteers’ contributions and the friendships formed.

 

The Kovilj-Petrovaradin Wetlands volunteer project was more than just a conservation effort; it was a journey of learning, cultural exchange, and community building. The dedication of the volunteers, the support of local partners, and the beauty of the Serbian wetlands combined to create an unforgettable experience that highlighted the importance of environmental preservation and intercultural understanding.

Interested?

Enquire below and we'll connect you with one of our volunteering team to help you apply or answer any questions. We can help guide you through the process for a hassle free journey to your next project.

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