WORK/PROJECT: SEEDS volunteers will have the opportunity to work on the historical island of Viðey for the 18th year in a row with our host, the city of Reykjavík. Viðey is a popular destination during the summer among Icelandic and foreign visitors. Volunteers will help prepare the island for the summer season. Volunteers will beautify the surroundings by cleaning up the area, especially along the coastline, for instance by hand-picking garbage or collecting trash blown by the wind or brought by the sea to the shores and surroundings.
SEEDS volunteers may carry out some gardening activities as well and possibly make and maintain walking paths. Well maintained paths enable people to visit the island without damaging it and this important work also helps to improve safety for visitors. Depending on the advance of the project and weather conditions, volunteers may have other possible tasks such as checking up and repairing garden furniture.
The working day normally runs from 09:00 - 17:00 with breaks for lunch and coffee; however, please be prepared for some flexibility due to the nature of Iceland's changeable weather, as we may not be able to perform some of the tasks or activities planned. The temperature in May can drop during the evenings. Volunteers should have motivation to work outside and work in all kinds of weather, as it can get cold and rainy. The working plan is flexible and it will depend on the needs of our host. No previous experience is necessary.
The camp takes place around the summer solstice, when the sun hardly sets and the nights are almost as bright as the days. The bright nights are magical and staying awake and enjoying the beautiful surroundings is a unique experience. During the time of the camp participants will have the opportunity to experience the midnight sun as there are 24 hours of light even if the sun does set for short periods of time.
ACCOMMODATION: SEEDS volunteers will be lodged in a local house on Viðey Island, in shared rooms. The facilities are equipped with a kitchen, shower, and a washing machine. Everyone is expected to show consideration for their companions. Participants will sleep in shared rooms. Please bring your own sleeping bag.
Volunteers will receive food supplies and will be in charge of cooking and cleaning. Please note the food SEEDS provides will be vegetarian. Do not forget to bring some traditional/typical food, drinks, recipes, music, games or movies from your country for the intercultural evening. Please be aware some items or ingredients may be expensive in Iceland and you will need to buy them yourselves or bring them from your country.
LOCATION: Viðey or “Wood Island” is the largest (1.7 km²) island in the Kollafjörður Bay, just outside Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland. The island is covered by many species of plants and at least 30 species of breeding birds have been counted here. Viðey was inhabited soon after the settlement of Iceland in the 10th century. In the beginning of the 20th century, around 100 people lived there. Today the island is uninhabited.
There is a regular ferry connection between the island and the harbour of Reykjavík. The island is only a few hundred metres away from the city and the trip takes a few minutes. This makes Viðey so special; it is a peaceful place, very close to the busy city life of the capital. There are hiking and cycling paths around the island and there is no motor traffic allowed. It also features intriguing sculptural artwork, amongst them all nine pairs of basalt pillars that comprise Richard Serra’s work “Áfangar” and Yoko Ono’s “Imagine Peace” column, a tower of light, which is supported by the widow of John Lennon. Other places of interest on Viðey are related to archaeological research.
LANGUAGE: English will be the language in the camp; basic conversational skills are needed.
TERMINAL: Closest international airport: Keflavík/Reykjavík (KEF). Bus station: Central Reykjavík (BSÍ).
Meeting time is 15:00 (3:00 pm) on May 14, at SEEDS’ Office located at Grettisgata 3a, 101 Reykjavík.
EXTRAS / SPECIAL REMARKS: Participation fee EUR 350 (Euros). The fee can either be transferred in advance via bank transfer, or paid in cash on arrival. It includes transportation from the meeting point to the camp (on the first day) and a whale watching trip. We will have rides with the ferry during free time; subject to its schedule.
Other excursions (Golden Circle, South Shore, Hot River or Reykjanes Peninsula) can be arranged at discount fares for SEEDS participants in case there is additional free time after work or during the weekend.
It may be very cold and/or rainy, so we recommend bringing warm and waterproof clothes (underlayers, overcoats, scarves, gloves and hats) and good walking shoes, as most of the activities take place outdoors.