WORK/PROJECT: SEEDS, SEE beyonD borderS, works closely with the community of Sólheimar since the beginning of SEEDS. Our first ever project took place in the Eco-Village and with the time we are developing a stronger relationship. Volunteers will have the opportunity to work in the Eco-village of Sólheimar in different sections as follows: Landscaping in the Eco-village, different tasks on the green and landscape areas; renovation and maintenance works in some of the buildings; and in two workshops: The forestry department of Ölur or in the vegetable organic-growing greenhouses of Sunna. At Ölur, the forestry, the work will range from taking care and transplanting trees to actual reforestation work in the surrounding area. While in Sunna, the work focuses on growing organically vegetables as harvesting tasks.
Volunteers with artistic skills are very welcome to join the activities and there will be time and venue for them to perform or present themselves if wished, the same goes if the group of volunteers decides during the workcamp to organize something together, which can then be presented for the community.
ACCOMMODATION: Volunteers will stay at the community’s sports centre and we will sleep on mattresses on the floor. A warm sleeping bag is strongly recommended. Volunteers will receive food provided and be in charge of breakfast and dinner, while lunch will be served at the local community restaurant.
LOCATION: At an hour’s drive from the Icelandic capital Reykjavik, lies the village of Sólheimar in a valley amidst hot springs. That in itself doesn’t make this town stand out, yet Sólheimar is a special place with special people.
Founded in 1930 in southern Iceland by an idealistic Icelandic woman, Sesselja Sigmundsdóttir, a follower of the anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner, Sólheimar may well be the first community where so-called able and disabled people live and work together, and also the first eco-village. The community is self sufficient, and has both worldly and spiritual aims. The core idea is to create a harmony of tradition with new technologies that responsibly utilise natural resources.
Today, Sólheimar is a charming village of about 100 inhabitants, renowned for its international, artistic and ecological atmosphere, and prides itself on its varied cultural, social and sporting activities.
It is pretty much self-supporting and also home to the Jurtagull Herbal Soap Factory, producing handmade soaps and shampoos from Icelandic plants, a Candle factory, a Weaving Workshop, an Art Workshop, and a Carpentry Workshop, which creates items hand-crafted from wood, including children's toys and musical instruments. There is a small farm with calves and chickens, Ölur, the only organic reforestation centre in Iceland, and Sunna, an organic cultivation centre.
STUDY THEME: Environmental messenger in the project. S/he will be in charge of delivering ecological and global education messages to both, International volunteers and local hosts through organised activities as workshops, presentations, simulations, discussions, games on topics related to environment, nature protection and sustainability as use of resources, globalisation, millennium development goals, global warming, fair trade, recycling, consumption, etc. We intend to raise awareness and to encourage the participants to undertake simple but easy-to-implement actions which will affect the way we deal with the environment and the world we live in.
TERMINAL: Closest International Airport: Keflavík (Reykjavík), KEF. Closest bus stop is Minniborg.
* The name Sólheimar means “home of the sun”.