ESC (AR France)

A Rocha France – European Volunteer – ESC

Activity description:

From 9 January 2023 for a year

Les Courmettes is a natural site of 600ha in a Natura 2000 area. Located nearby Nice, scientific studies and monitorings are implemented along side actions to raise awereness and train people. The European volunteers, under the direction of the nature activities manager, will participate in protecting this rich site by reconciling both nature conservation and welcoming the public. Volunteers will develop competences in environmental education, scientific studies and natural site management.

LOCATION: Domaine des Courmettes 06140 Tourrettes-sur-Loup, France

DATE: From the 9th of January 2023, 12 months

ORGANISATION: 35h/week, 1week-end over 2 and public holidays

POSITIONS TO BE FILLLED: open to young European citizens from outside France

Send resume and motivation (with two references) to Coline Raillon, Nature Projects manager at Les Courmettes : [email protected]

Domaine des Courmettes
The ocellated Lizard, threatened
Orchids monitoring


Volunteers will take part in :

  • raising awareness with the public through different media (panels, discussion, educational tools etc.)
  • species and habitat studies (fieldwork, data analysis etc.)
  • maintenance and management actions (trail marking, site defence etc.)
  • learning French (10% of the time) and communicating about the ESC through different media (10% – video, stands, articles)
  • tasks related to the proper functioning of the Les Courmettes centre: welcoming visitors, maintenance of the estate and its park, various tasks related to community life, cooking, etc. (30%)

Accommodation, food and transport arrangements

Volunteers are housed at the Courmettes centre, which is also the logistical base for the projects, A Rocha France’s head office and the hub for running the life of the team. Rooms are shared (1 to 2 people of the same sex per room). Lunch and supper, prepared by a cook, are eaten together at fixed times during the week with the team and any other participants. When the cook is absent, team members take turns to prepare meals. Breakfasts are self-service. Vegetarian diets can be offered. Cars are available (with a fee) to get around. The modus vivendi ‘rules of life’ may be adapted due to the COVID situation.

Participant profile:

  • real interest in raising awareness and protecting the environment 
  • enjoying rural life, contact with people and flora and fauna. Meaning sometimes putting up with difficult weather conditions and being ready to welcome visitors at Les Courmettes and talk about the site’s regulations.
  • taking initiative in the tasks they undertake and following them through to completion
  • basic knowledge of French and a driving license are an advantage for the volunteers

To the rescue of the Mangrove Horseshoe Crab

On 17 September, Friends of A Rocha in Singapore joined in with the A Rocha family for International Coastal Cleanup Day and World Cleanup Day! 16 volunteers gathered at the beach of Sembawang Park – one of the few natural beaches remaining on the island – located in the north of Singapore, facing the Straits of Johor and overlooking Malaysia. The A Rocha team was encouraged to see several other groups already cleaning the beach, so they walked to a more secluded part of the beach at Eagles Point and piqued the interest of Long-tailed Macaques Macaca fascicularis! The team stood on the sandflats covered with sand balls of Sand Bubbler Crabs Dotillidae and began the day with the 2022 Season of Creation Prayer, adapted to include ocean ecology. 

As they started cleaning up, they found food wrappers, single-use food containers, plastic bags and films, clothes, glass, polystyrene, a fluorescent tube and diapers still intact – in less than an hour, the team collected 29 kg / 64 lbs of rubbish. But the highlight of the day was freeing a foot-long Mangrove Horseshoe Crab Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda caught in a giant knot of fishing nets! Alongside a second individual that was already dead, the crab was covered in barnacles and was probably stuck for a long time. Using scissors, the team worked on disentangling the trapped crab and finally, it was free! They released it back into the sea with a great sense of relief and joy. Even though beach cleanups do not solve the systemic issue of plastic pollution, they can save lives! What an encouragement to continue working in faithful hope that creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God (Romans 8:21). 

You can see a video of the Mangrove Horseshoe Crab rescue on Instagram here 


Elephant traffic lights, India

In 2021, A Rocha India developed an early warning detection device to alert motorists of elephant movement on public thoroughfares and installed ‘smart’ laser fences at three points along the Kaggalipura Road within a protected area of Bannerghatta National Park. When an elephant crosses the road and triggers the laser, signal boards begin to flash to indicate the presence of elephants – an innovative traffic light!   

Due to the system’s success in Bannerghatta, the Kodagu Circle (Karnataka Forest Department – about four hours away) asked A Rocha India for a demonstration of the fences. With 80% of its land covered by trees, Kodagu is one of India’s most densely forested districts and the smallest of all Karnataka State districts. Humans accidentally encountering elephants in the area is a significant issue, often resulting in human and elephant casualties. A Rocha India was able to share with Kodagu forest staff about the importance of addressing elephant-vehicle collisions and how this can contribute to the conservation of Asian elephants in South India.  

There is further interest from other parts of the state to use the system. A Rocha India welcomes the opportunity to promote elephant conservation work and replicate it in other Indian landscapes.  

Want to support elephant conservation for Christmas? Through Gifts with a Difference, you can purchase an Elephant Crossing to help ensure the safety of people commuting on these roads and of elephants as they move between their habitats. 

Nigeria Eden - Berom Community Secondary

Save the date: the Big Give Christmas Challenge is coming!


We’re excited to announce that we’ll be taking part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2022! This means that from noon (GMT) on #GivingTuesday 29 November until noon on 6 December any donation you make through our campaign page on the Christmas Challenge website* will be doubled (while match funds last).

Your gifts to support A Rocha’s environmental education (EE) through last year’s Big Give made a difference: thanks to your generosity, teachers, church leaders and A Rocha staff gathered in May at Kira Farm in Uganda for an A Rocha EE conference and workshops. Together we strengthened capacity for EE and built on the excellent work already being carried out by A Rocha organizations across Africa. Participants explored the role of EE to reconnect people and nature and inspire action for a sustainable world. Teachers and church leaders went home enthused and equipped with new ideas and a stronger commitment to caring for creation in their work and communities.

This year, A Rocha International hopes to raise £34,000 to continue supporting and coordinating A Rocha’s global EE – ensuring they operate effectively to meet local needs. In 2023, this will include training webinars and a week-long EE conference, contextual material and digital resources, and facilitating EE officers to visit other A Rocha organizations to learn best practices and generate new ideas to apply in their local contexts.

With donations doubled, your gift will have twice the impact. Thank you for joining in with us!

* Please note that only donations made through our campaign page on the Christmas Challenge website between 29 November and 6 December are eligible to be doubled.