WORK / PROJECT: Volunteers will have the opportunity to work in the Eco-village of Sólheimar* in different sections as follows: Landscaping, different tasks on the green areas and landscape in the community; renovation and maintenance works in some of the buildings; and in two workshops: In 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 surroundings. While in Sunna, the work focuses on growing organically vegetables as harvesting tasks.
ACCOMMODATION: We 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 be in charge of breakfast and dinner, while lunch will be served at the local canteen.
LOCATION: Sólheimar, Sjálfbært samfélag (sustainable community) is located, around 100 Km away and an hour’s drive from the Icelandic capital Reykjavik, in a valley amidst hot springs. That in itself does not 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 German philosopher and 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. She spent her life creating a place for young children, which is now called Sólheimar; it is a home for people with special needs, there called “home people”.
Sesselja Hreindís Sigmundsdóttir was the first Icelander to be educated in the care of disabled; she studied in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Profoundly inspired by the ideology of Rudolf Steiner, Sesselja put great emphasis on wholesome nutrition, organic cultivation and artistic expression in her therapy and education of the disabled.
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.
LANGUAGE: English will be the official language in the camp, but high proficiency is not a requirement.
TERMINAL: Closest International Airport: Keflavík (Reykjavík), KEF. Closest bus stop is Minniborg.