WORK/PROJECT: SEEDS volunteers will join the construction of a natural playground in the West fjords. The playground is being created in a forest and the work will be led by a landscape architect with great experience in this field, who has been working with SEEDS since 2009 in diverse projects around Iceland with great experiences for SEEDS volunteers! The aim of the project is to develop a stimulating and playful area for children and families. Only natural local Icelandic materials will be used for the construction: Woods, rope, turf, rocks and stones are the primary building materials. Some of the tasks are to build turf and rock walls, challenging play structures of forest wood and ropes, making paths and planting woods. We will build a stage, make a pond, create a place for campfires, make playground equipment etc. We will learn the crafts of the Viking days, using old day tools and techniques. With these projects we want to establish platforms for recreational use of the local surroundings, as to increase the outdoor use and improve the healthy lifestyle of the inhabitants. There is a strong aspect of learning during the process and of the social importance of the work. The project is initiated by a community group and sponsored by the municipality. The work brings together locals, young and grown-ups with SEEDS group for a cultural and learning exchange. SEEDS Volunteers will receive lessons in turf cutting and turf-walling, which is a traditional Icelandic craft, then produce turf material and at one point build a turf wall. Ideas will be put forth and volunteers will have some say in how constructions will look like.
ACCOMMODATION: SEEDS volunteers will be hosted in a local school; sleeping on mattresses on the floor in shared rooms. Please bring your own sleeping bag. Food ingredients will be provided and a kitchen will be available; volunteers will share the different duties of cooking and cleaning. Please do not forget some traditional/typical food from your home country for the international evening.
LOCATION: The work camp will take place in the West fjords at the north-western part of Iceland. The region accounts for 10% of the country's surface but only about 7200 people live there, so it is one of the least populated areas of Europe. The West fjords are very mountainous; the coastline is made by dozens of fjords surrounded by steep hills. The region is bounded by Breiðafjörður in the south, with Gilsfjörður cutting into the land from the west and Bitrufjörður from the east, the two almost severing the ragged peninsula from the main mass of Iceland. In the Westfjords you will be able to explore the whole range of Icelandic flora from the shore and meadows, through birch to mossy moors. On the shore, one can see birds and seals and then an occasional arctic fox around the sheep. Fishing is traditionally the main industry in the region but tourism started to be more and more important as local and foreign visitors are discovering this region in rising numbers. Hiking in this beautiful area is very impressive and an inspection of the coastline by walking or kayaking is an inspiring option. Landline phone connection is available, and the place provides a full variety of opportunities for volunteers and visitors.
LANGUAGE: English will be the official language in the camp, high proficiency is not required.
TERMINAL: Closest International Airport: Keflavík/Reykjavík (KEF).
EXTRAS / SPECIAL REMARKS: Participation fee EUR 140. SEEDS and the locals will organise excursions and free time activities in the area for the volunteers!