Traveling the world and working the land are the tenets behind WWOOF – World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Amanda Pearson, FoWO International Development Co-ordinator tells us more about the life-changing impact a WWOOFing experience can have for all involved.
What is your organization’s mission?
WWOOF links organic growers and farmers who need help with people who want to learn about sustainable living and life styles. WWOOF is an exchange – WWOOF hosts offer food, accommodation and learning opportunities to people who are interested in helping out. The Federation of WWOOF Organizations’ (FoWO) purpose is to unite, promote, protect and support the WWOOF movement around the world. It is the umbrella body for national WWOOF groups around the world; national WWOOF groups are independently owned and operated.
What makes you guys different from the rest?
We were first! When Sue Coppard founded WWOOF in 1971 the concept of non-monetary exchange was very new. A number of organizations offer similar deals these days – but we are the only one that specializes in organic growing and farming – and the only one with people on the ground in each of the countries where we have members.
Offices or open work space?
Spare room in own home! FoWO is a virtual organization.
What three words describe your organization?
Grassroots, Simple, Alternative
What inspires you?
The life changing stories I hear from our members – how they go WWOOFing for a weekend and decide to change their life direction completely. So many people talk of “coming home” and “finding the others.” We offer a network for like-minded people to connect. There have been WWOOF weddings, WWOOF babies – and a lot of abandoned “careers” as people chose to connect with where their food comes from and put the Earth first…
What is the best part about your job?
Talking with people from all over the world on a daily basis – it really makes you feel like you are part of a large village.
Does your team eat lunch together?
Hah! My immediate team is just me in the UK and a colleague in Italy. Then there is the FoWO Board scattered across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. I might be eating my lunch just as someone somewhere is finishing up their breakfast – or dinner. We get to meet up once every two to three years and then we eat breakfast, lunch and dinner together every day for 3-5 days.
Facebook or Twitter?
What do you want Goodnet users to know about your organization?
WWOOF shows people a different way to live their lives and encourages them to consider the possibility of non monetary exchange.
How can people get involved?
You can join WWOOF as a volunteer (WWOOFer) or a host. Volunteers need to think about where in the world they would like to WWOOF (we encourage local WWOOFing in particular) and join the relevant national WWOOF group. A one year membership of around $40 gives you unlimited access to our list of hosts in a particular country. Thereafter, the rest is up to you. WWOOFing is very flexible/adaptable and suits the independent traveler. For more information and to start an amazing adventure check out www.wwoof.net. Anyone who has some land on which they produce food following organic principles and who wants some help, can become a host. You need to register with WWOOF in the country in which your land can be found.