Each year La Giraudiere hosts #volunteers and #interns of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities. The accommodation fees we collect pay to finance the running of our culture exchange center which is totally staffed by volunteers.
This year we have lost April, May, June and maybe some more. Yesterday the primeminister in France annouced the start of the finish of the present lock down so maybe we will be osting volunteers and interns from July to October but we now it will be difficult for those to arrange transport and other logistics.
So although, for the moment, we have no wages to find this year we still have to pay loans, taxes, rates, insurance and maintain the center in readiness for when we can reopen. As a non profit association based in France we have always put back into the project any surplus achieved and therefore have never provided or produced funds for such a situation which we find ourselves in due to the #coronavirus or #Covid19.
We now look to friends and those who have either benefited from their time at La Giraudiere and feel they can help us get through thus difficult time. Maybe you were due to arrive this year as a first timer or maybe La Giraudiere was to be something for you later.
Please also share and like our various posts and comments on our social media concerning the fund raiser. Any help you can offer would be appreciated for those of you who have never been to La Giraudiere then you can read more about us at our website http://www.lagiraudiere.com/about_us.html
Following on from previous posts this is an update as to what is happening here at La Giraudiere. How we still hope to recover some of our 2020 season from the coronavirus epidemic.
As France slowly starts to come out of it’s confinement I am now able to travel up to 100 kilometres from La Giraudiere. I now no longer need to make and print an attestation for when going out shopping or othe vital reasons.
Some schools start to reopen, shops also start to reopen but still no news concerning restaurants, bars and cafes. There is talk of tourist events starting to happen and sporting events may restart but with no public audience.
The French prime minister said “French restaurants and cafes may be allowed to reopen from June 2, and pupils can start returning to school from May 11. This would be with strict rules. Public events of more than 5,000 people are outlawed until September. Working from home is encouraged for at least three more weeks”.
He further said “The tourism industry is likely to continue to suffer, as beaches will not reopen until at least June 1. Parks and gardens will be accessible only where virus infections are low, and inter-regional travel will be discouraged”.
Corona-virus vaccine needed
To date at La Giraudiere the April, May and June programs were cancelled and it may be inevitable that July, August, September and October may also be cancelled. Fingers crossed a vaccine is needed soon.
As a non-profit association resources at La Giraudiere are low and we have never created a fund, or treasury, to cover such an emergency. Anything gained was always put back into the project, with insight we should have created a reserve for such happenings.
So this year will be particularly difficult, as for many others, with no revenue from Erasmus projects, volunteers and interns fees. Many of you who had reserved a place for this year and paid your deposit have asked for it to be carried over to 2021 and some of you have donated that deposit towards helping the project get through these difficult times, for these gestures of solidarity I thank you all.
If you would like to help and can afford a small donation then please do so and thank you but, if times are difficult for you to, then you can still help simply by posting a link on your Facebook page to our blog or to one of our crowdfunds. If you have twitter then please tweet this blog post on you twitter account every little bit helps.
Following on from our previous post at the end of March concerning the 2020 volunteers and interns season at La Giraudiere.
In France we are still in a lock down but there is some light starting to appear in these dark times. During April the president of France addressed the nation and announcing the extension of the confinement in France until May 11. at which time a gradual relaxing of the lock down would start. This is providing the population continue to be civic, responsible, obey the rules and only if the spread of the virus has actually slowed down.
French President Emmanuel Macron further warned in April that the end of the national lock down on May 11 would only be a first step as France looks to pull out of the crisis created by the corona virus pandemic.
In a recent newspaper article French officials announced that Britons and those from European Union member states will not be placed in 14 days mandatory quarantine if they travel to France, as suggested by the country’s health minister.
The French embassy in London tweeted that the measure would not be imposed on those arriving in France from the UK or Schengen area.
Flights to and from France during coronavirus epidemic
Flights to and from France are still taking off, but airlines across the board are cancelling services due to a huge drop off in the demand, and the French government has announced that international flights are to be reduced, so it’s important to check before you make your way to the airport.
There are lots of restrictions as individual countries close their borders, and the EU has restricted all travel into the Schengen zone from non Schengen countries.
French President Emmanuel Macron had recently predicted that normal travel into France might not happen until at least September. But, the statement was criticized for being too optimistic and, at the same time, ignorant of the seriousness of the pandemic. Ministers of Italy and Spain have both expressed a realistic prediction that international travel wouldn’t likely return in 2020 at all. It is estimated that the European airline industry might recover by the second quarter of 2021.
When will La Giraudiere be accepting volunteers & interns?.
We will await the relaxing of the lock down on May 11th at which time we can decide if to prolong our closure or start opening up to volunteers and interns.
Our region Nouvelle Aquitaine and in particular our department of The Charente are in the green zone at present and for sure La Giraudiere is not keen to be the reception, or exchange point, of the coronavirus in south west France.
Rest assured that preparation and maintenance of La Giraudiere continues in preparation for our first volunteers and interns.
Travel Insurance claims & coronavirus in France
Remember to use your travel insurance to make good any losses you have incurred as regards accommodation, hotel and of course any deposit you paid to us to reserve your place.
All Balances of stay will be repaid and thank you to those of you who have donated to the La Giraudiere project.
In all probability deposit will not be repaid but remember our offer to use this deposit at a later date even next year is open and will continue to be so. Even if you accept this offer you should still include the deposit within your travel insurance claim.
Remember to keep all your travel invoices and receipts to help the claims process go smoothly, Insurers may take a different view on when you can put in a claim. Some will look at it within 28 days of your planned departure. But others will ask you to wait until 48 hours before, in case government advice on travel changes.
If you are offered a voucher, or a free rescheduled booking instead of cash, you can accept or refuse it. But if the airline later folds, the voucher will probably become invalid. And if you re-book but later decide against going on a flight that has not been cancelled, you will have lost your right to a refund and may not be covered by your travel insurance.
Ref: Corona Virus and La Giraudiere 2020/21 Season.
Usually, this time of year, I would be sending volunteers and interns the up to date version of La Giraudiere’s orientation guide which I have done today but, it is with a heavy heart I do so knowing that in all probability there may be no programs, volunteering or interning this season at La Giraudiere.
By reason of the corona virus many of you will be experiencing difficulties at home and may even have confinement and restricted travel regulations in place. At this present time here in France we are half way through an initial lock-down, or a period of confinement, which is likely to be extended.
Corona Virus could kill the 2020 Season for volunteers
Following confirmation regarding extending the initial lock-down period, a further decision will be made as regards the dates for 2020 at La Giraudiere. For the moment It certainly looks as though it will be difficult to travel to France in April and May of this year.
China, where the virus outbreak started, is showing signs of recovering after a period of 3 months lock-down on the basis of this news it may not be until June 2020 that France starts to recover.
For those of you who have a reserved place here at La Giraudiere for either April, May or early June 2020 then, in the event of cancellation, you will have the following options,
Option one, is to change your dates to later in the year, the 2020 program was due to end on the 7th October 2020, god willing, we now extend the closing date of the 2020 program until the end of October 2020.
Option two, Is to change your dates to next year 2021, the dates for 2021 program presently as follows 26th April to the 9th October 2021. (The 2021 dates may be extended in an attempt to recuperate the losses from 2020).
Those of you who decide to initial select option one can still later decide to change again to option two. The dates for 2022 are not known at this time but for sure you can change for 2022 and select your dates once they are decided.
For those of you who have decided that you will not becoming by reason of the virus and or travelling restrictions could you please tell me. If you have started a claim under your insurance policy, I can provide you with documentation such as letter of confirmation of acceptance, invoices and pay-pal receipts so please just ask.
We are going through difficult times of which we have never seen the like before and it is important that we all play our part and promote solidarity in order to see us through this global crises.
Bonjour, Je m’appelle Muriel, je suis Française et j’ai 58 ans . Je suis venue à La Giraudière (L G) dans l’objectif d’apprendre l’anglais. Ici j’ai rencontré des personnes de différentes nationalités qui sont venues pour apprendre le Français. Ainsi j’ai pu pratiquer l’Anglais du matin au soir, en particulier avec un Américain et une Australienne.
Je suis venue en tant que bénévole. Paul m’a proposé de faire du jardinage, balayer la cour et de ramasser les branches mortes. J’ai accompli ces tâches avec Shirley et nous avons appris le vocabulaire tel balayer /to sweep ; ramasser/ to pick ; brouette/ wheelbarrow, etc. Je pense que la meilleure méthode pour apprendre une langue étrangère est l’immersion totale dans ces conditions d’échange avec des personnes de différents pays.
Séjour Linguistique pour apprendre anglais en France
Chaque lundi Paul fait les courses pour la semaine. Il demande à chaque volontaire de préparer un dîner et lister des ingrédients. Nous réalisons ensemble le planning. Ce travail de groupe nous permet de connaître les habitudes alimentaires de chaque pays. Je suis allée avec tous les membres du groupe visiter Angoulême et Saintes. Au retour dans la voiture nous avons racontés notre journée, chacun avec son vocabulaire. C’était encore de riches échanges, d’explications et de gestes pour se faire comprendre. Chaque semaine 2 professeurs assurent des cours soit en Anglais soit en Français. Malgré la météo capricieuse je n’ai pas vu le temps passer. Ici il y a une bonne ambiance grâce à Paul et tout le groupe. Je ne suis restée que 2 semaines et j’ai trouvé ça trop court. Je souhaite revenir l’année prochaine. A LG , on respire le bon air, on mange bien et on rigole aussi beaucoup dans une ambiance très familiale
Vous souhaitez apprendre ou perfectionner votre anglais, sans quitter l’Hexagone, tout en faisant partie d’un groupe de travail international ? Si la réponse est oui, adressez vous à La Giraudière où nous vous offrons l’occasion de le faire ! Visitez Séjour linguistique pour aprendre anglais
This Blog and it's content as been put together by the Volunteers who have participated and are now participating in the project at La Giraudiere.
For the second edition of la Giraudère we are working on the YERRF project, to have more information about it read: recherche de bénévoles
Located 1 km from the village of Brossac within the department of the Charente. This little unknown region of South West France is a jewel to be discovered.We are here participating in a volunteers working holiday. Come back often to see what we've been up to!
What would best describe the La Giraudiere project and it’s program
The whole idea of the La Giraudiere project is for people of all backgrounds, all ages, all nationalities to have the chance to live together learn about each others lifestyle exchange their knowledge, experiences and skills whilst living and working together in France and at the same time helping, improving and adding to the Project for those to come in the future.
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School Trips to France website now live
You can now get a preview of the School Trips to France website which is in construction