As I am writing this, I realize what the word SEEDS implies.
From my own experience and talking to other volunteers, it seems like you planted something special in all of us! I don t know how to put it in words, a fascination maybe, a curiosity, magic… thank you so much for the opportunity to be part of this great adventure, for the people I have met and the many wonderful memories I have now!
Keep on inspiring each other. I wish you all the best!
Daniel from Germany.
I guess there is magic here which will never end!
I’m so glad that I made a decision to come join SEEDS 48 this summer. Our awesome workcamp was in the south of Iceland. We were working with a great family, everyday surrounded with beautiful landscapes, cows, horses, dogs, lovely pupils and of course hammers and nails!
Deconstructing the old barn, making beds for cows, cleaning farms, making fences… we made it. Sonja, Libe, Jasmine, Babsi, Mohammed, Abel and Maurici, the adventure wouldn’t have had magic power without you all. Everyone of you is so unique, miss you all already.
Thanks for making me feel like home.
LOVE from SEEDS 48, Yu-fang ten from Taiwan.
Hi dear SEEDS team!
I really enjoyed my workcamp in the West fjords what a wonderful place!
Thanks for the great time, all the laugh and fun we had.
Cool, nice people and have in Reykjavík a perfect place to stay.
Unfortunately I have to leave this amazing country. I love Iceland and now even more.
For sure the most beautiful country in the world. Love it so much and you made a great tribute to make me even falling in love deeper with Iceland. I’m crying that my time is over now. But I will come back for sure. Love all,
Alexandra from Austria.
Hey everyone! Greetings from Mexico!
SEEDS is a wonderful organization and Vesturgata a great place, hope everyone has as much fun as we did, though we do hope they can take showers every day! Saemi, Nozomi, Alba and Kelly, we were really glad we had the chance to me you all, you are all very nice, kind and warm. Alba and Kelly, thanks for being such great leaders and friends, you are awesome! Keep the hard work, there is still a lot of turf to work with gardening to be alone!
Mikus we really love what you are doing with Vesturgata, you are really working this house!
Best wishes to everyone, thanks for being so fun and making Vesturgata feel like home.
Have a great time and Viva Mexico!!
Antonio and Rita from Mexico.
I have loved to see an organization so active, creative, and alive with a huge diversity in work camps. I have enjoyed the fact that SEEDS 40 had two different and both very interesting activities. I will try and find the herbs we have seen in Laugavartn at home as well and promise I will let the lupine live this time.
Janis and Ana, it was a great pleasure to be in the secret group of very diverse people, we were actually picked out to serve as an exam for you and I say you passed it wonderfully well.
I will come back to Iceland for sure!
To all volunteers, have a good time and spread the good “SEEDS-spirit” all over the world.
With love, Joris from the Netherlands.
I m Amy (Kyung-ah In), from South Korea.
I was a member, of SEEDS in Egilsstaðir!
I made unforgettable memories there and it helped me to grow up.
I can’t forget horseback riding with my members and game time (card game, go stop, why are you late?) with Kelly, Tuija, Camille & Priska.
Tomorrow I have to leave here, so sad but! I m sure we can meet again!!
Anyway, I gotta go now to look around here in Reykjavík.
I love you everyone and good luck in your camps J
Amy from South Korea.
SEEDS, you are so awesome you never fail me!
Leaving tomorrow so this is sad but I have enjoyed my 3months hanging with all, you make me so happy. I will write words when I get home.
Love, Adam Neufeld from Canada.
It was short but intense! You are very great and nice people! Good continuation for your life and don’t stop travelling!! And now, someone get the pen to continue writing in this book!
“Nourrie ton ame de tes voyages et celle des autres par tes histoires".
Justine from France.
Dear SEEDS Friends,
This is Fulvia & Sabrina from Italy.
We would like to thank everybody we met in this adventure and to tell you that our time here was great! These two weeks were so fast and we are already packing… you are gonna miss our Italian food! We say hello again to our campmates, Lisa, Ina, Janis and Xavier and hope that next “meet us don’t eat us” camps will be successful in saving the whales… good luck!
Fulvia & Sabrina from Italy.
Thank you SEEDS that I could go on the workcamp to Skaftafell and Laugarvatn with such amazing and wonderful people. I had a big experience. I love Iceland and I hope I will come back soon, see you!!
Karolina from Poland.
Oh my SEEDS,
I feel like here is my real house and also our museum...
I don’t want to say goodbye, just I can say “see you”. I will come back to see our turf museum when it is completed. I already miss everything and everyone in Iceland, especially the atmosphere in our turf house, our perfect host and the splendid food.
And… you guys Alba, Kelly, Rita, Antonio, Nozomi… you are so sweet I really, really hope to see you again.
Let s meet at our turf museum in the near future. Miss you, everything in Iceland. Love you everyone who I met in Iceland.
Thanks a million!!! Kim Sae Mi from South Korea.
Special, Awesome, magic, great sont les seuls mots que je peux ecrire pour decrireces quelques jours bien trop vite passes en Islande. Je suis eblouie par ce pays que j aimerai visiter quelques semaines de plus.. avec les personnes absolument geniales que j ai rencontre. Cette organisation est simplement superbe.
Merci. SEEDS 56 building a playground.
Kahena Kali from France.
Okay, simply, I loved it here and I really enjoyed working for SEEDS.
All the people, short term, long term volunteers, I have met here, are just amazing. So thanks to you all, I have had an awesome light time in Iceland. We also killed the lupines!
Hopefully, see you again, sometime in the future.
Tereza from Prague, Czech Republic.
Dear SEEDS 53!
That was amazing! You are all great! It was you who made this cold country really warm to me! It s quite sad to say good bye! But the world is not as big as it seems to be.
Special thanks to our great leader Gosia. You are the best organizer.
Daria from Russia.
Hey SEEDS people!
It was so great to meet all you and to spend two amazing weeks in Iceland! It was my first time in Iceland and first time volunteering too. Thank you so much for everything, I will never forget you, I will never forget Johann, his great and so nice family. I’m gonna miss you!!! Bea, Yulia, Remi, Ina, Janis, Dustin, Mix… I m so happy that I know all of you!!! I m leaving soon, but I can’t believe it! I will be back someday, I should! Thanks also for all your stuff and everything!!!
With love, Sasha from Russia.
Now it's time to say goodbye to everybody and everything.
Thank you very much for those very, very… nice and beautiful and crazy 2 weeks in the middle of nowhere. It was such a funny work camp with the crazy guys. Thank you for everything! I will never forget my time in Iceland with you!! I hope we will see us soon!!! Maybe in another workcamp!
Love you, Anna from Germany.
I have just finished my project cycling around the circle. During our stay we had lots of adventures. I am very happy to have such exciting experience and I want to say thanks to my group leaders, Andy and Dzintis my cycling group that survived and reached our destination through the rain and hills. Thanks, guys! Hope to see you again!
Olga Semenova, Ukraine.
When I signed up for a workcamp in Iceland I didn’t really know why I chose Iceland; it was like an impulse, a very spontaneous decision. At that moment I didn’t know that this spontaneous decision was one of the best I have ever made.
My best friend and I went there for two weeks and we signed up for two workcamps with SEEDS. We went to Iceland four days before the first workcamp started. We could live very cheap in a nice house of SEEDS. I recommend to everyone to appreciate this option because it’s a nice why to get to now the capital of Iceland and you get to now some people before the camp starts.
Our first workcamp was a “Winter Photo Marathon”. The accommodation of this workcamp, was outside of Reykjavik, in the hills of Mountain of Wolfs. It is a little bit isolated from the city but very beautiful, you can enjoy the nature and the fresh air. In the group there were guys of South Korea, Germany, France, Israel, Italy and our camp leaders came from Scotland and England.
We didn’t need a long time to become a very close group, we played games, cooked together, and we simply spent the whole day together, so we became friends very quickly. In this camp we learned a lot about photography. A professional photographer showed us different functions of our cameras and taught us very interesting methods to take pictures. At the end of the workcamp we had an exhibition of our best photos. It was very hard, to say goodbye to our new friends. So the days between the two workcamps were very sad, but my friend and I looked forward to the next camp.
As we expected, the second workcamp was as good as the first. We got to know a new mixed group, guys from Korea, France, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Poland, Japan, China, and Russia. Also this group got close very quickly. This camp was called “Advent and Christmas in Reykjavik”. On the weekends we worked together with the Red Cross, we gave out hot chocolate in the streets of Reykjavik and tried to raise money for families who need help. It was very cold, but together with our new friends it was just a lot of fun and it made a special Christmassy atmosphere.
During the week we worked together with another organisation, we gave out Christmas food and presents to families in need and we helped them to carry their bags. It was hard work but I loved it, you get to know so many Icelandic people, which were very grateful and it was a great feeling to make Christmas possible for them. At Christmas we made a big “Volunteer Christmas Party” which was a lot of fun. But with the end of the camp we got very sad again, it was nearly too hard to say goodbye to all of our new friends.
In these 6 weeks, I spend in Iceland I learned much about the Icelandic culture and nature. I got to know so many great people which I’ll never forget and still miss. We had a funny but also touching work (but also a lot of free time). We made exciting excursions and we had pretty cool leaders. And Damn - We partied a lot! This experience was one of the best I’ve ever made! I am back in Austria now, but with the absolute will to visit this country again!
Big thanks to SEEDS and our leaders for this unforgettable stay in Iceland.
Magdalena Gigler, Austria
Coming to Iceland to volunteer wiith SEEDS was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life!
I decided to come to Iceland for five months only, and ended up volunteering with SEEDS for twelve months. The sense of family and community that you can get while sharing your experience with the other SEEDS volunteers and staff is very fulfilling. As is the feeling that you can somewhat contribute to a more understanding and tolerant society by sharing your knowledge and experiences with people from around the worl!
Through my time with SEEDS I have learnt so much about Iceland and its culture; current environmental issues, and many, many possible options to make our planet a better place for us and future generations!
My Erasmus+ volunteering at SEEDS Iceland
I’m Dario, 26 years old, from Sicily, Italy. Last year I had just finished my studies and I did not know exactly what to do with my life so I decided to go volunteering in Iceland. I wanted to experience Iceland for a long period and I thought that giving my help to an NGO was a great way to do it. Even better, the main topics of the project were something I really care about: environmental protection and intercultural understanding. My application to this Erasmus+ volunteering project was successful; SEEDS had chosen me and I went to Iceland!
I landed at Keflavik airport on the 14th of September and for the following 5 months, that are the best months if you like harsh winters and northern lights dancing in the sky, I would have lived in Iceland, meeting a huge number of people from every corner of the world and sharing my time with them.
When I arrived in Reykjavík, first I got to know my new home, a cosy house full of people with so many shoes at the entrance that I barely could reach the front door of the flat! With some efforts to remember the names of everyone, I started to know the other volunteers and talking with these really nice people I immediately felt very comfortable there. After the first week that I spent acclimating myself to the new place and having the first taste of Icelandic nature and landscapes around Reykjavík, my work started.
As a camp leader, my role in SEEDS was to lead camps where groups of short-term volunteers (usually between 5 and 10 people) from all around the world live and work together for two weeks learning and exchanging perspectives about environment and photography. In each camp, there was always at least two leaders: one photomarathon coordinator that was leading all the photography related activities, and one environmental messenger for the environmental part.
As I was responsible for the environmental part, I was organizing activities such as workshops, group discussions and practical work oriented to raise awareness, exchange perspectives and knowledge and to encourage active citizenship. These activities were usually related to waste reduction, recycling, food waste, eco-friendly lifestyles, critical consumption, organic gardening and similar topics.
During these camps, we had also the opportunity to participate and volunteer to some local events such as music, cultural and film festivals. One of my favourites has been the Iceland Airwaves where we had the chance to volunteer with our camp participants as photographers and to attend plenty of fantastic concerts of Icelandic and international bands.
We also used to organize our own public events, sometimes in collaboration with other Icelandic associations, such as clean-ups in various parts of the city and near the coast, documentary screenings and workshops about good practice to live a more sustainable life.
In every camp, we made also some excursions to show to our short term volunteers the wonders of Icelandic nature but also to make them touch with their hands the effects of the human activities on it, such as the glaciers that are melting because of the global warming and the plastic trash on the beaches.
During my 5 months in Iceland, I had a lot of camps all different because of the different people I met in each of them. Some groups were really active and positive, other were more calm and quiet but it was always really interesting to work and live with the people in the camps, where everyone comes from different countries and have totally different cultures. We always had fun and shared a lot about our lives, our countries and our typical foods during the long dinners.
The best about it was the variety and the understanding that meeting with different cultures bring in your life. But also feeling that my work was being useful and more people were learning about the importance of having a sustainable way of living, because our resources will not last forever and the planet is suffering the consequences of our actions.
However, during my time in Iceland I did not only led camps. Indeed I had also a lot of free time in between them. I really enjoyed this free time because I had the chance to go around on my own and with the other volunteers discovering people, places and the endless Icelandic landscapes.
Iceland is one of the wildest and more complex places in Europe. It is a land of continuous changes in time and in the space that inspired all type of travellers. The nature in Iceland is astonishing; between immense spaces, black beaches, geysers, glaciers, waterfalls, hot rivers, mountains, volcanoes with unrepeatable names and mystical northern lights it makes you feel like on another planet and you just want to discover his inscrutable soul.
This whole experience was very open minding. It was a great way to meet people, build connections, hear different stories, gain a new perspective and learn to appreciate things I used to take for granted. I got in return a lot more than the time and energy I invested in this volunteering experience. It was a fun new way to discover a beautiful little piece of world that made me a more active and involved person.
My name is Valeria and I was born in a small town in Sardinia, Italy.
At the moment I am in Iceland for an environment-related volunteer experience with SEEDS Iceland, thanks to the ESC project. I arrived in the Land of Fire and Ice on July 3, when it never got dark, and my project will end on December 21, the shortest day of the year with only 4 hours of daylight.
Iceland is an enchanting land and has been on the list of countries I dreamed of visiting for years, one of those places that attract you and make you feel at home, without knowing why. Well, in the case of Iceland you can imagine why it is a dream destination: glaciers ending in icy and immaculate beaches, giant mountains that hide villages immersed in fjords, dramatic landscapes, steep and rugged cliffs, majestic volcanoes, magnificent and massive canyons, amazing waterfalls and much more.
I love nature, I cannot imagine my life without access to it: as long as I can remember I've always loved spending time in the middle of nature and now I try to find the time to re-charge myself enjoying long walks and excursions.
My personal goal is to make my contribution to protect the environment, compensate the damage caused to nature by humankind and to help people through communication and education to be more conscious about their behaviour. I think this is the key reason that motivated me becoming an ESC volunteer with SEEDS Iceland.
SEEDS' main activities are related to the promotion of environmental protection and awareness, intercultural understanding and peace through the work on social, cultural and environmental projects in Iceland.
My role here as a Camp leader and Environmental messenger is to lead workcamps where a group of volunteers live and work together generally between 9-14 days.
During summer I had the chance to lead some projects with local hosts. These outdoor camps include nature conservation, environment protection, renovation and restoration activities for local communities and mostly happen outside Reykjavik, so they are also a way to explore and visit beautiful places: the best reward after a lot of demanding physical work! I will never forget the days spent in the Icelandic highlands, one of the most remote areas in Iceland with unearthly landscapes and picturesque mountains, or the unique experience to descent into the magma chamber of a dormant volcano during my first workcamp!
Since October, due to the cold weather, the camps take place in Reykjavik. Even during the dark winter there are many activities that we can do, and my main task is to develop workshops, group discussions, games, presentations etc… The capital city is even more magical dressed up in its white winter coat, with countless Christmas lights and dancing Northern Lights across the sky!
The best part of being here is having the chance to make me useful for a common goal that can improve people’s lives and environmental conditions. I believe that the willingness to cooperate among people is the base of humanity: European Solidarity Corps aims to foster solidarity in European society, bringing young people together to build a more inclusive society.
After all I can say that travelling and volunteering are about people not places. I am living with a group of amazing volunteers from all over the world and I am meeting a lot of brilliant people of all ages and backgrounds. Although we are different, coming from different countries with disparate cultures, languages, habits, beliefs etc…I always find something in common and on the other hand diversity enriches my life.
If I had to sum up this experience in one sentence, I would choose this quote: “As a body everyone is single, as a soul never”.