WWOOF Nigeria connects you with registered organic farmers & growers in Nigeria for knowledge sharing and Promotion of sustainable ecological farming system.WWOOF Nigeria is part of the Federation of WWOOF Organizations , a worldwide community that promotes awareness of ecological farming practices by providing visitors with the opportunity to live and learn on organic properties.
WWOOF™ was founded in 1971 in the UK by Sue Coppad and is one of the world’s first voluntourism and ecotourism organizations. WWOOF now exists in 132 countries (and growing) around the world, WWOOF was born out of Sue’s desire to periodically escape her life as a London secretary and spend time in the countryside.
WWOOF today is much more than that. The benefits go beyond the positive experience of the “WWOOFer” to the host receiving sometimes much needed assistance, together with the capacity for sharing and promoting the fundamentals of organic and sustainable practices. A partnership in its purest sense, hosts often invite the WWOOFer into their homes and family lives, providing board and food in EXCHANGE for the volunteers’ contribution to the working development of the farm. Consequently, WWOOF has become, as well as a pathway for volunteer initiatives, a cultural and educational EXCHANGE .
WWOOF Nigeria, founded by Olatilo Benjamin in 2010 after WWOOFing experience in Germany and France, As an organic advocate he takes this exchange a step further, recognizing the danger of conventional farming techniques being introduced to rural Nigerian farmers, Mr. Ben Olatilo is raising awareness of the need to maintain traditional methods while incorporating alternative practices, in order to promote sustainability of the land and lifestyle of the indigenous Nigeria people. In this respect, WWOOF Nigeria is unique in its objective to help and support rural farmers in developing ecologically sustainable agriculture in the face of poverty, political and economic instability, and lack of internal infrastructure.
Hence, WWOOF Nigeria vision extends far beyond the simple partnership initiated by Federation of WWOOF Organization. The nature of Nigeria rural populations being one of extreme poverty, still scarred by the ravages of crisis and amidst the turmoil of corruption, makes it all the more vulnerable to inappropriate applications of Western aid, and all the more in need of alternative solutions. The fostering of organic agriculture has the potential to provide the means for Nigeria agricultural economy and society to transition into a sustainable condition capable of supporting the proliferation of education and adequate JOBS . This in turn supports the Nigerians as they strive to better their living standards, while preserving the beauty and health of the natural environment.
As a not-for-profit organization, WWOOF Nigeria is operating under the aim of creating a network of farmers, communities, volunteers and organizations, dedicated to actively promoting ecological agriculture, and essentially working towards an “Organic Nigeria”. The organization is enthusiastic about meeting groups and individuals who share the passion and objectives of the program in order to further support the movement towards organic, sustainable agriculture and promote future possibilities. The goal of creating of a “Role Model farm” exemplifies the commitment to this objective. While providing a location for development of cultivation and herding techniques, and the training and/or meetings of WWOOF participants, the farm will foster the intercultural knowledge exchange that is fundamental to the success of the program. Meanwhile, the global WWOOF aims continue to allow both volunteers and farmers to broaden their knowledge of organic farming techniques, gain competency and confidence in self-sufficiency and experience different ways of life.
How You Can Get Involved
Upon joining WWOOF Nigeria and completing payment of the membership fee, you are provided with a list of farmers (Hosts)who are working towards the WWOOF objectives and who appreciate volunteer help. This fee is a significant donation towards the functioning of WWOOF Nigeria in its non-profit capacity, allowing the costs of administration and COMMUNICATION to be supported together with complying with new tax regulations. Using the contact details included in the provided list, it is then your responsibility to contact the farms that interest you and make your arrangements. WWOOF Nigeria is available to help facilitate this initial contact due to communication limitations of the rural population. Additional support such as airport pick up and advice on travel to your chosen farm is also available.
Your Volunteer Experience
Upon arriving at your host’s farm, you will have left behind the daily conveniences and luxuries of your home country to instead become part of a simplistic and natural existence, rich with Nigerian culture and traditions. A degree of “culture shock” is to be expected. However, the experience of adapting to this lifestyle and learning to appreciate the beauty of life in its most sincere form is for many people, an enlightening, if not life changing one. Certain characteristics will allow you to get the most from your experience. For example, appreciating the meditation and rhythm that simple work can provide, appreciating the refreshingly remote nature of the mountain or hillside setting, being comfortable with working alone or in the company of others, and appreciating the wholesome nature of a life without many modern day amenities such as HOT WATER or internet. Furthermore, being conscientious in your partnership with your hosts who often will have taken you into their home as family is fundamental. For example, identifying with your host’s visions and goals, viewing your position as contributing to the outcome, and understanding that you are not there to “change” or “save” the local people. Rather, to share with them your energy and time and in turn broaden your mind and increase your self-awareness. Nigerians are renowned for their hospitality and kind, honest nature. With an open mind, big heart and enthusiastic interest in the lives of the farmers and their families, your volunteer experience will undoubtedly be a rewarding one.
Conclusively, WWOOFing in Nigeria is a lifetime experience that is incomparable base on unique cultural values and norms.