Village de Pourgues is based on Sudbury democratic schools' values and structure. It offers an environment of liberty, equality and respect in which everyone can blossom.
In this project, each individual enjoys individual liberty, whatever his age.
Nothing is compulsory, each individual makes his own choices, spends his days as he wants, get committed to what he is interested in without program or time constraint, and fully assumes the responsability for what he undertakes.
The community trusts each member and does not expect anything in return.
Each inhabitant is responsible for his actions and for the atmosphere. His actions contribute to preserve an atmosphere of liberty, respect, justice and trust.
Individual liberty is preserved thanks to our governance which is reshaped as often as needed according to situations that appear.
How does the community works
Values of liberty and responsability are embodied through a horizontal organization based on direct democracy.
The Village Council (Covi)
The Village Council (Covi) is the place where all decisions about community organisation are taken : regulations for daily life which are compiled in the village rules, management procedures which are gathered in the guidebook, and any decision which impacts the community in its daily life, in the mid and long term.
The Covi takes place every week and works democratically. It is led by a member responsible for the framework and a secretary. They are both elected for 6 months. Inside the Covi, one individual = one vote. Most decisions are taken by a majority vote. Others, which have a bigger impact require a 2/3 majority vote.
In practice, decisions are the result of fruitful discussions, and are often taken unanimously and it happens, often, that people with strong views change their mind along the way.
Proposals which do not reach majority are often sent back to workshops in order to be worked out and obtain a larger agreement afterwards.
A decision is never irrevocable and can be reassessed in a following Covi. This way of doing things allows to adapt to the needs of the community which are always evolving.
Investigation and arbitration Committee or "CEA" (comparable to the "judicial commitee" in schools)
It is a Covi’s delegation of authority whose mission is to regulate community life. Any member can call on the CEA if he thinks that a limit has not been respected. Based on concrete facts, elected members and volunteers hold a meeting with those concerned, discuss and identify if rules have been broken and eventually give an arbitration. CEA ensures everyone’s liberty and security. It allows to build the culture of our village because over time it defines the limits of our life framework.
An horizontal organization
Our organization is horizontal and there is no hierarchy.
We are here to experiment entrepreneurial liberty of what we wish, in accordance with the values of the project. If someone wants to put forward a project, event or any activity… he is free to act. Regarding the extent of the project he can either do it by "advice solicitation" or a proposal in the Covi. He is then responsible of its execution. We try as much as possible to facilitate initiatives.
An ecological village
We draw our inspiration from permaculture principles in different areas of our project : eco construction, food self sufficiency, design of the place...
We want our homes and constructions to be as ecological as possible : bioclimatic design, self sufficient in energy, healthy materials, both in their components and in the grey energy having served for its manufacture. We also favor the use of local materials : our argillaceous ground, the straw off the nearby fields, wood from the area, etc…
Organic and local food
We grow our own food and we buy exclusively organic products with a particular attention to local producers.
We go to the Montbrun-Bocage market every Sunday! You might bump into us there!
Reforesting the land and achieving food self-sufficiency
We are reforesting our land to recreate biodiversity and reach wood autonomy for future generations. We are aiming to reach food self sufficiency at different levels: by using the concept of forest gardening or edible forest, we are replanting hedgerows massively. We are also creating a large vegetable garden to feed the community.
We re-use our productions as well as those of our local network in favour of our project: compost, dry toilets, recycling, manure and straw from our neighbours, shredded wood from the neighboring towns which are scattered at the foot of small tree plants.
Unite our energies
We decided to live together to explore a community way of life.
In Village de Pourgues, we share a common culture and governance as well as a living space: land and habitats. The spaces belong to the community. We consider ourselves as "users" of the place. Nobody owns ... and everyone is the owner! Thus everyone, equally, takes part in all decisions impacting the place.
We are convinced that regrouping our energies and sharing living spaces (workshops, kitchen, dining room, etc.), activities, equipment and vehicles benefits us all. We help each other with our different needs in everyday life (shopping, time with children, cleaning...).
Our activities can be individual, in smalll groups or sometimes all together, and we take care to preserve spaces and moments of privacy.
Everyone's financial participation is left up to each individual financial capacity and what they feel is right. We share finances in order to cover our food and current expenses, as well as our projects for developing the place (constructions, plantations, etc.).
Our goal is to achieve financial autonomy through economic activities on the site (reception, events, crafts ...).