Volunteers Info / Apply
Im Dorfe 11 — 29490 Sammatz
Phone: +49 5858 970 30
Google Maps: 53.1923613, 10.8982792
Train station: Göhrde (5 km)
Bus stops: Pommoissel (4 km),
Leitstade (4 km)
Airport: Hamburg (HAM, 80 km)
We’ll be happy to pick you up at the train station or at the bus stops.
We are a colourful community of about 200 people – employees, children, volunteers from all over the world, children & young people with special-needs, guests … We live in a small village near the Elbe in a nature reserve with large gardens, agriculture, a children’s home, a bakery, a dairy and much more. A construction team is always active, currently we are currently building several eco-houses made of wood. We look forward to your help in all areas.
There is almost always a lot going on at our place – there is a colourful life with a good mix of hard work and lots of fun. In the other pages of the Volunteers Area you will find a lot of information that will give you a clearer picture of our community.
You’ll enjoy the benefits of a community – for your 37.5 hours of work per week you get a personal mentor, organic food, accommodation, gardens, volleyball court & Co., participation in seminars and much more.
Meet people from all over the world, learn how a community works and learn to work with your head and hands. You can support us in the following areas: Horticulture, Construction Site, Peronnik, Kitchen, Cleaning & Tidying.
Since we opened our doors to volunteers in 2016, Sammatz has been a place that offers experiences you wouldn’t expect before – see for yourself and dive into our world! Come by and spend an important summer (or winter) of your life with us.
Minimum period: 2 weeks, free places vary depending on the season.
FAQs – Our rules
Working hours: The working hours for volunteers are from Monday to Friday, from 8.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 2.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m. Common lunch and break are from 12.30 pm to 2.00 pm. Some work areas have working hours that may differ.
Weekend: Since we also have a lot to do on the weekends, we ask all volunteers to work three hours on weekends. In return, there is an afternoon free during the week. In this way, we have a better basis for planning, and you can also arrange a fixed afternoon for activities with your friends.
If you feel like working even more on the weekends, you are welcome to do so! For all additional hours, you can take just as many off during your stay. Just talk to your mentor a day in advance by noon.
What we offer you: We offer further advantages to food and lodging such as: high-quality organic food with all three meals; a free drink & a piece of cake after work in our ‹volunteer café›; a wide variety of work opportunities where you can learn a lot of new things; we have cars and can make them available to experienced drivers by arrangement; 20 bicycles that you can use freely inside and outside the village; if necessary doctor’s appointments with translation assistance, also help in case you should get sick; in addition to participation in seminars and events in the House of Nature as well as in concerts and festivals, and what ever else is going on in our community.
In order to be able to offer all these things, we depend on you to work more with us than in some other places. But because the work is almost always done in groups with other volunteers and staff, it’s usually a lot of fun, and you learn a lot.
Possible areas of work are: gardening; ecological building and renovation; Peronnik (our child and youth welfare institution); other such as transport services, childcare, etc. There is a limited number of volunteering places in each area, so there is no guarantee for a specific work area.
Stay: When applying, you usually provide arrival and departure dates. This information is the basis for our planning. If you wish to leave earlier, please let us know three days in advance. We also ask you to talk to us in advance if you would like to extend your stay. After two weeks, we will meet with you for a feedback meeting. This allows us to reflect together on your stay, your overall well-being here and your contribution to the community and to shape our time together with you.
Living: Since January 2018 our Youth Hostel is at your disposal, which we have built with the help of many helpers from all over the world. With its shared rooms, it offers enough space and is built to enable as many volunteers as possible to stay with us. There are two common areas, a very large one (Living Room) and a smaller one (Little Lounge). So you don’t have to “live” in your bedroom. There is also a large kitchen. This means that we cannot offer you single or twin rooms. The single and double rooms in other buildings are inhabited by volunteers who have been living and working in Sammatz for a long time. You don’t need to bring a sleeping bag or bed linen, but it’s good if you have a towel with you.
Meals: We provide three meals a day. We offer you a delicious lunch in our kitchen from Monday to Saturday. For all other meals, the refrigerators in the Blue House are filled three times a week. The kitchens are super equipped, and you can prepare your own food there with everything that is there – vegetarian & vegan options included.
Clothing: Bring rain cover, clothes for good and bad weather and sturdy shoes for the field. In winter there can be temperatures from -10° to -15° C, so you definitely need warm things (like sweaters, warm jacket). In summer it gets nice and warm up to 40°. We have washing machines and dryers which you can use for free.
Internet: You always have Internet access via WLAN (it is sometimes a bit slow due to heavy use). In the Little Lounge there is a computer with a printer that you can use.
Excursions: If you want to do sightseeing tours to Lüneburg, Hamburg, Berlin or other places, we always try to help you with the planning and the trips to the train station (the same goes for shopping).
Sustainability – we are a large, colourful ecovillage. This means that it is important to us to live the connection between man and animal, man and nature in the best way. We look out for each other, work together and grow together – join in! When you come to us, we expect you to handle resources such as electricity, water, heat and food responsibly. For us, sustainability also has to do with people themselves. We see our responsibility in confronting ourselves with the unpleasant things in the personality – and thus becoming more authentic in dealing with other people and nature. Then it will also be easier to see nature as a friend that needs to be protected.
Cleaning and care: With so many people, cleaning is very important. During your time here you will have a regular cleaning job, for which there is a schedule. It is crucial for living together that everyone keeps the house clean – even if some may have to learn how to clean here first. Please be clear: If you don’t want to clean, you can’t live here. Those who do not clean themselves force others to clean for them, and this is not good for the social climate. We therefore reserve the right to ask stubborn non-cleaners after multiple admonitions to look for another place to volunteer.
Alcohol, other drugs: We have found that working with completely sober people who are simply themselves is by far the most fruitful way to work together in a community. Therefore, the consumption of alcohol and other drugs both inside and outside our homes is strictly prohibited. Consuming drugs or alcohol within the village could lead to immediate expulsion. If you consume so much alcohol or other drugs outside our community that, in our view, your behavior on site is more or less impaired, the same applies as stated above.
Remember: you are volunteering here. There are many other great places in the world that are not as strict with alcohol and drugs as we are. If you do not agree with our terms and conditions and cannot or do not want to comply with them, you should simply choose another host.
Smoking: Smoking is also strictly prohibited in the houses and on our premises except in the two designated smoking areas.
Music, another topic: We are convinced that listening to music hinders a fully awake experience of one’s own environment. Of course, this is especially true at work, where it is often forbidden to listen to music for safety reasons. That’s why we ask you not to mix working with listening to music (headphones and Co.) – no matter what work it is. Be 100% present in what you do and enjoy good conversations and fun with your team. Listening to music from loudspeakers is only allowed in your bedroom (if your roommates agree) and at a tolerable volume. In the common areas you can only listen to music with headphones. This also applies to the entire grounds of the Michaelshof. Anything else inevitably leads to disturbances of your roommates.
Mental health – If you have any mental health issues, we ask you to inform us about them now. That doesn’t mean we don’t want you at Michaelshof; for many, a safe place like this can be very healing. Sometimes, however, the situation is such that we cannot and do not want to tackle it together, because it is not always possible without professional therapy and/or medical help. In such cases, we would recommend that you look for another place. If you come to us in such a case and we see that it is not possible for now, we simply say goodbye to each other and see if you can come back when you feel better.
Everyday life: Respect for the dignity of people, animals, plants and the earth is a basis for us to live together. With us, any violence, both against other people and against animals and things, is excluded. In other words, aggressive behavior with threatened or actual use of force leads to immediate expulsion.
We are a place of encounter between people of different cultures, ethnic origin, sexual orientation and lifestyles. Anyone who comes to Michaelshof accepts and respects this diversity in every respect! We demand a climate of understanding and learning in all areas of life. This includes respecting vulnerability and making an effort not to hurt others with words and never with deeds.
Thank you for your understanding of our way of living together!