All Year: Yes
Category: Backpacker Hostel
Host ID: 23051
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Last Updated: January 23, 2020
Need volunteers and funding.
This place is not only a hostel but hopefully much of a social and cultural centre. The space was created due to the need to have a place where people could stay and hopefully contribute to the villages in some way.
The Nubian villages are a semi protected part of Aswan but due to political history have been left behind in terms of infrastructure and resources. The population had been moved from their original homes from what today is known as Lake Nasser. This move and subsequent marginalisation has left the population scarred with many of the young leaving the villages to find employment and abode elsewhere.
We are looking for volunteers who want to stay and help start and run any projects that they deem fit. One of the more immediate and important requirements is someone to be the internet person and respond to emails from helpers and travellers and then coordinate with Salato or other people that are staying at the hostel.
You will be staying at the hostel which by western standards is rustic. It is has 1 dormitory for short term volunteers and guests and 2 independent rooms for long term volunteers. There are other spaces that could be used for sleeping. There is a kitchen and bathroom. Volunteers are expected to take care of the spaces as necessary. At time of writing there is no wifi at the location but is available around. The 4G phone signal is good. Volunteers are generally expected to provide their own food (there are various shops in the villages) but you can expect to get invited to eat at people houses or at the hostel. Salato's mum is a good cook! (Meat tends to be served for guests). Bring a mosquito net if you have one. Winter months are hot during the day and cold at night so bring some warm clothes. Travel insurance advisable.
Getting here: If you arrive at Aswan train station, you need to walk 150 metres directly to the Nile. From the Nile there is a ferry that would take you across. 5EGP for foreigners. Once across, go up a little way and there will various pickups etc that serve as taxis. If you donít speak arabic, ask at the coffee shop with the camels for help. Nubian people are friendly and will happily help you either by calling Salato or someone to come get you or taking you to the hostel. If you take the pickup, it will be 2 EGP to get dropped off at the football pitch. You will then have to walk a little. From here it is a little more complicated to explain, if you have Google maps, maybe the map will help. Having said all that, it would be easier for you to call and get met at exit of Aswan train station.
You could just come and stay as guest and enjoy being here. Sitting by the Nile. Sitting in the desert. Sitting under the deep shadow of mango trees.
It is very different to noise and pollution of the cities. If, however you want to do something else then read on!
Potential projects that would be great:
English classes: This is something that anybody can really do. Informal classes at the hostel could be done very easily. It would be great to have some classes for women.
Planting trees and protecting green areas. One of the big challenges but also the most satisfying. Plants and trees would help the villages in so many ways. There are areas that need someone to take care of daily while they are here. You could help with the plants in the hostel and try to expand this. Watering plants is a daily job.
Grey water system: This would be a fantastic project and solve so many problems that the villagers have. Ideally, if we could demonstrate how to make a system with a minimum of cost with the advantages that are obvious if done right this could potentially change the villages in so many ways.
River Nile Walk: If someone has the desire, you could create a lovely walk along the river. There are many birds in the winter to see. It is going to be difficult to do well, but you could make some signs simply painted in Nubian colours like you have in the mountains. Some clearing of the rubbish would be useful.
Current and past projects:
Waste management: This is a difficult and almost an impossible task but some progress was made in how some people see this issue. Rubbish and plastic are everywhere and unless the villagers act together there is not much one can do.
Plastic bags: To reduce the sheer quantity of plastic bags used daily, an idea was to promote the creation and use of cloth bags for shopping and other things. This was independently funded by buying a sewing machine to be able to produce the bags. Anybody interested in creating, promoting, selling or whatever the bags can help with this.
Clearing the football pitch: This was done with some success and participation of the villagers but needs work again.
Having said all that; if you have an idea that you would like to explore you could certainly try to see if it works.
If all else fails, ART. Make art, whatever else there is, art has its place.
If you managed to read all of that, then, here is the real deal.
Real travellers, know what it takes. Look before you act. Observe. Think. Research. Lasting change takes small steps. Be generous, where you can. Money is fluid. Take care of yourself. Take care of what you can.