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4 volunteers will be selected for our LIRA ESC project to spend 12 months (long term) here in The Netherlands. Due to our accreditation for ESC, we can host EU member countries only. Should you apply from a non EU country, we will assume that you did not read the information and reject the application.

Current possibility to start now until September 2024

What is LIRA about?

Lira, Life in Rural Areas, the name says it all, aims on improving the countryside region of Drenthe through manual and practical work by creating and maintaining natural landscapes destined for the community. Drenthe also tends to be xenophobic about foreigners, and with Lira we would like to show them that foreigners can even improve the areas where they live. Manual tasks help creating this connection as well, since it is always connected to an immediate result. 

The project focuses on gardening and contact with natural environment promoting wellbeing to others, so not only making a nice garden for locals to look at, also a useful one, that can teach people how to eat healthy, how to create other products from self-grown plants, how beneficial gardening can be for the mind and so on. 

front part of the house

front part of the house



common kitchen

common kitchen

common dining area

common dining area

common bathroom

common bathroom

common toilet

common toilet

one of the 4 bedrooms

one of the 4 bedrooms

Cherry center

Cherry center

Cherry center

Cherry center

Cherry center

Cherry center

Park behind Cherry center

Park behind Cherry center


The project and its activities will take place in the Dutch region of Drenthe, located in the North Eastern part of The Netherlands. Your housing/living will be in the town of Emmen. The Cherry centre/office is in the village of Dalen (16,5km from Emmen. You need to take the train to reach it, which we pay for).

​In the pictures, you can see the Cherry centre, our headquarters and the house you will be living in (unless it changes due to other arrangements).

​Emmen is a town of 108.000 inhabitants, it has all kinds of entertainment that a city can offer, including a cinema and one of Netherland's most famous zoos, Wildlands, which more than a zoo, it is an adventure park. Shops, restaurants, bars, pubs, and much more, can be easily found in Emmen. 

Dalen instead, is a typical Dutch village (3.470 inhabitants), surrounded by green fields and parks. Dalen has a few shops, a supermarket and a few restaurants. It also has a train station which is located at 10 minutes walk from the Cherry centre. 

​You and your fellow ESC's will be housed in the same house, with common areas. Each of you will have your own room though. 


​We like to see ESC as your personal experience. ESC can truly be an opportunity to build your life as you wish to live it, pursuing your goals and building up skills in the field that you like. Through your application form and the online meeting we will have with you, we will try to understand what are your interests, and see if we can find one or more matching working places in which you will realise your volunteering experience. 

​This is an example of a possible working week:

​- 1 day at the Cherry centre

- 2 days in urban gardens 

- 2 days at working places by your choice

- Weekends: free

What will be done in which day of the week can vary. Also, weekends are normally free, but, it could be that some activities or working places might require your presence during a Saturday, a Sunday, or both. However, in general, there are 5 working days, and 2 free days. Also, each month you have the right for 2 extra days free, which you can accumulate throughout your ESC. 

​The activities can be very different. But expect them to be mainly practical. Office work related to gardening (organising evenets, preparing an activity plan, informative material and so on) and social media are certainly appreciated and possible.

​The program doesn't offer language courses anymore, there is the possibility, however, to have access to their online courses platforms, in which you can also choose to learn different languages. As Cherry, we believe that learning even if a little bit of the local language could support you throughout your year in The Netherlands and perhaps even after. Learning the local language (for free), is always an extra bonus, it also helps with breaking cultural barriers and making contact with locals.


We are looking for 4 participants between the age of 18 and 30 years old.


  • Like to take initiative (and if you've been in our projects, you know how much we care about it).

  • Are an entrepreneur, don't wait and hope for something to happen.

  • Come with alternative solutions for a problem.

  • Have not participated in another ESC project before (also not the short one, LIRA is a long term project).

  • Are open to cultural differences and even in case of cultural shock, willing to give it another shot.

  • Are willing to realise practical work or to learn about it.

  • Are willing to cooperate and work with the Dutch community.

  • Speak and understand basic English (diploma is not necessary).

  • Are aware that you will be living in a Dutch town and village.

  • Can be accountable for your actions.

  • Are aware that a bicycle will be your mean of transportation even at -20 degrees (tricycle is also an option).

  • ​Have a driving license could be handy. Not mandatory though.

How much?

​The project is subsidised by the European program European Solidarity Corps. The subsidy covers:

  • Travel (arrival + departure, calculated with the subsidy's distance calculator)

  • Housing

  • Excellent health insurance

  • Living costs (153 Euro pocket money + 210 Euro living money = 363 Euro per month)


Check with your sending organisation if they ask for any kind of (participation) fee.

Trips that are project related are covered by us (i.e. going to the Cherry center). You will also receive a bicycle from us which will be your main transportation within a 10-kilometer route.  


Out of the 4 volunteers, we would like the following tasks and number of volunteers to work on these tasks besides gardening, which is the focus of the project:

  • 1 person in charge of our social media channels 

Creating content, social media posts, taking pictures, making videos, promoting projects etc.

  • 1 person to support with office work

Assist with emails, assist with the design of informational documents, documenting the Cherry related activities and events

NOTE: all 4 volunteers will be involved with gardening, these are extra tasks that we would like to include in a Cherry office working day So, If you decide to apply and also have these kills besides the love for gardening, let us know. If you only want to focus on gardening, let us know as well.

LIRA includes

  • Housing

  • Pocket money

  • Insurance

  • Personalised mentoring

  • Cultural trips

  • Dutch lessons (in person, with native speaker)

  • Bonus: small farm and therapy animals around  the office)

Application status: Open.

Duration: until September 2024

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