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2014 Year of the unMonastery

unMonastery embeds committed, skilled individuals within communities that could benefit from them, by opening a space within that locality as a base for those individuals  – an unMonastery site. The intent is to reproduce the best of the social functions of the traditional monastery: giving its members a greater purpose, a chance to develop deep relationships with one another through living and working together, and a degree of freedom from the need to generate personal income in order to live for the duration of their stay. Most of all, it exists to serve the community, providing what would benefit it most.

Communities with a prospective site can contact the project, sharing the details of the physical location itself, the needs and assets of the community, and what support can be offered. The location must accommodate at least 10 individuals and be minimally liveable, electricity, shelter, water and internet; but may be in need of work to improve it. Potential members are then matched to that offer based on availability and fit to the conditions, and the site can begin to become a reality.

Members commit to up to 18 months involvement, and each new unMonastery site begins by gaining an understanding of what the community needs. The running and conduct of internal and external activities is guided by best practice accrued by the unMonastery project network, but is ultimately autonomous, selected by the members in that location. Members can expect to work hard, experience long days and face many challenges in the course of their stay.

Activities are contingent on the location. They could include

  • Advice and support on repurposing community spaces
  • Building an Urban Garden and Permaculture Development
  • Community Mediation
  • Developing different methods of local exchange
  • Work Shopping technical skills based on skillsets of unMonastery residents

At the end of the run of the unMonastery, the local community is consulted as to what should happen next. Perhaps the activities begun will be continued in the hands of the local people alone, or new ideas have begun to develop for a new wave of activities.

More to learn @ http://unmonastery.eu/

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