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Volunteer`s ABC

Registration

Concerning registration please have a look on the next page called "Join". But before filling in the questionnaire and making the payment, please read the advice and information below.

Choosing a farm

Having joined WWOOF Estonia as volunteer, you will get an access to Estonian Hosts list. Go through the list and based on the farm descriptions choose the farms that interest you. Try to choose farms that have at least one language in common with you.

Having selected your farms make an initial contact.

Contacting a farm

Always quote your WWOOF username.

Best and most direct way to contact a farm is calling. And please do not ignore farms without email address.

By Telephone:

  • Remember the time difference between countries - you may be waking someone up in the middle of the night! Try to telephone at the meal times - either from 12:30 - 13:30 or 19:30 - 20:30 local time.

  • Do not expect WWOOF hosts to speak your language, understand your accent, or expect to understand what they say to you! If your command of their language is poor, it is better to write.

By e-mail:

Please remember that email and internet are not perfect. E-mails sometimes go astray or get blocked by spam filters, and some hosts cannot check their email every day so if you do not get an answer within 5 days, send your message again.

  • Put WWOOF in the subject line. It will help avoid your email being deleted unread as spam.

  • Ask the recipient to acknowledge receipt even if they cannot reply instantly.

  • If you do not get an answer within 5 days, send your message again.

  • If your e-mails are still not being answered try another farm.

  • Remember that the host you are contacting may not be able to speak your language very well and may have difficulty understanding you. Try to write your essential message in the language of the host country.

By Post:

As above plus

  • Enclose an International Reply Coupon, otherwise you may not receive a reply.

  • An International Reply Coupon is a coupon that is accepted anywhere in the world as a means of payment for sending a 20 gram letter anywhere. They are available at post offices and cost slightly more than the cost of an international stamp.

  • Make sure the postal address for the host to reply to is clearly visible.

  •  

When contacting a farm try to observe these points

  • Give the host some information about yourself:
  • Name, gender, age, wwoofing/gardening/farming experience (if you have any) and perhaps your reasons for going wwoofing and for choosing their farm.

    Tell them of any skills you may have (carpentry, painting, mechanics, building, cooking etc.). Tell them what you would like to do and learn about while on their farm.

    • Specify the dates and length of stay you would like

    • Ask about :

    a) what it produces

    b) the type of work

    c) the hours that will be expected from you and whether you will be working alone or in company.

    d) what kind of accommodation will be provided and whether you need to bring a tent or sleeping bag.

    e) what kind of food will be provided. If you have any particular dietary requests (vegetarian/vegan) now is the time to say so

    f) exact location of the farm, so that it can be found on a map

    g) public transport information, both for arriving there and for using when you have time off

    h) nearest village/town, post office, shop, bar, cash machine

    i) Ask if you will be able use your hosts computer for e-mail or if there is a convenient internet facility.

    j) Ask about the area and possible activities for spare time and days off.

    From the replies to these questions you should be able to build up an accurate impression of the farms you have contacted.

    When you receive a positive reply, please answer immediately to accept or refuse their offer. Keep in touch with your host so that you both know what is agreed.

    If your plans change and you have to cancel make sure you inform your host in plenty of time.

    Do not arrive at a host's address without having arranged your visit with them beforehand.

    Arriving

    Contact the farm you are going to 1 week before your arrival date to confirm:

    • That you will definitely be coming

    • To finalise travel arrangements, pick up from train or bus station

    • To double check that you have the correct address and telephone numbers for your host so you can contact them or find their farm if you arrive late or miss a bus or train connection.

    At the start of your stay discuss and agree a framework with your hosts about the work being done, the hours expected of you and when the free time is.

    It is better to agree this in advance as it will allow you to plan excursions and free time and discover how flexible the farm is.

    Also discuss any food/dietary needs you may have, offer to cook an example of your national cuisine.

    Travelling safely

    When arranging to visit a WWOOF host, take all the precautions you would take when visiting someone you do not know. If you are travelling alone, make sure you can leave easily if things don't work out - don't get trapped, dependent on the host for transport.

    Travelling Internationally

    If you have not travelled abroad before, we suggest that you buy a travel guide and find out as much as possible about the countries you intend to visit. The following points may seem obvious, but it is surprising how many people don't realise that in other countries

    • Many people do not speak your language

    • Even if you do speak the language of the country, you may not speak it well enough to understand what people say to you, or for them to fully understand what you are saying to them

    • Telephones work differently and use different ringing sounds

    • Banks and post offices work differently, and there may not be money exchange or cash machines that will accept your bank cards

    • Cheques other than travellers cheques are not accepted, and cashing travellers cheques often involves a service charge.

    • Many countries have strict immigration laws and it is your responsibility to obtain any necessary visas and permits before making travel arrangements.

    WWOOF organisations and WWOOF hosts cannot assist with this. No letters of invitation can be sent. There is a section in each countries page on this site covering visa and permit needs.

    Obtaining a visa

    Who does not need a visa to visit Estonia? Nationals of the member states of EU and EEA - Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Finland, France, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, United Kingdom -and Switzerland are free to enter Estonia. The travel document required for them to enter Estonia is the personal ID card or passport.

    All other countries must check their visa regulations in Estonia. Information on our webpage of Ministry of Foreign Affairs www.vm.ee

    WWOOF Estonia nor our hosts can't help you obtaining the visa.

    Insurance

    Make sure you are insured for health, travel and liability. Volunteering is NOT necessarily covered by your host's insurance and is undertaken at YOUR OWN RISK. Be sensible and responsible and do not undertake activities that you consider to be dangerous or outside your competence to perform safely.

    If you live in Europe, make sure you obtain an E 111 form before you leave home. An E 111 form gives you a degree of medical coverage in an emergency.

    O V Europa is a registered non-profit association which provides it's members with a third party liability and personal accident, injury and illness insurance suited to volunteer work (http://www.oveuropa.com/gb/index.html).

    The cost of joining OV Europa is Euro 25.oo including the insurance premium.

    Take with you

    Don't forget to bring with you work clothes, gloves and boots suitable for the agriculture conditions. As well the common hygienic things, such are towel, toothbrush, soap, toothpaste...

    Complaints

    Please contact to WWOOF Estonia if your expectations are not fulfilled or if you have problems with the farm. We try to find the solution together. Farm will be given second chance (most cases there are smaller problems which farms dont even know about) to imrpove themselves. If the problem remains, we have right to remove the host from the hostlist.

    Same is with the complaints about volunteers. We will give a second cahnce also to the volunteer and we will remove WWOOfer from the list, if the complaints remain.

    Feedback

    We can imporove our system only with your remarks: we are waiting for proposals, comments, stories about your WWOOFing experience. Please write to us or call

    Karin, kilkkarin(at)gmail.com, +372 50 55 683

     

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