Worldwide Friends

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Vopnafjordur

Project Location: 

Vopnafjordur was first settled by Vikings late in the 9th century. The name translates to ‘bay of weapons’ and was acquired from one of its settlers, Eyvindur Thorsteinsson, also known as Evyindur Vopni (with ‘Vopni’ referring to weapon).

The municipality is the location of one of the Icelandic Sagas, specifically the Vopnfirdinga saga, which tells stories of disputes between local chieftains of the area in the 10th century.

Centuries later, the surrounding highland farms of the area were the inspiration and main location for local author Halldor Laxness’s epic Independent People (Sjalfstaett folk), the novel that helped him land the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1955. The novel is based on the fact that in the late 19th century, farmers of poverty were forced to move out of the lowlands of Vopnafjordur into the mountains above, where hardships were extreme. During the same time and due to the hardships in relation to the colossal Askja volcanic eruptions in 1875, Vopnafjordur was also the largest port for Icelanders emigrating to America. Today, the municipality has a population of approximately 800 people. paths. You will explore the area during your stay in the east.

Work

Volunteers will have 6 hours of environmental work during weekdays for example cleaning the coastline and rivers, planting trees and flowers, taking down old fences, removing lupines or other plants and fixing hiking paths. The work depends in the need of the local community. We also have the option to do a little bit of renovation in the house or taking care of the garden if needed.

For two hours a day from Monday to Thursday we will give a special focus on global warming and the volunteers will have workshops about climate changes. The issue of global warming is well known all over the world. The humanity must act in a more environmentally friendly way. The main goal of this project is to improve the environmental education and consciousness of the projects’ participants. Within the project we will learn about green energy, sustainable householding, waste treatment, nutrition, the effects of consumption and lots more. If you want to change something, develop solutions or inspire others, you have to understand the issues and tasks first. In addition to the theoretical part we are going to practice sustainable work. For example, planting trees is one of the main exercises of the camps. Planting trees becomes a very useful action against climate change because trees absorb carbon dioxide, clean the air and prevent erosions. Take part in this promising project and spring into action against climate change!

Our work will also depend on weather conditions, which is why we must be flexible. You should be prepared for unfriendly weather, but hopefully, the weather will be nice most of the time. This is a perfect camp for people who like outdoor work and physical challenges. Working hours are about 5 hours a day, 5 days a week.

Leisure Time

WF Iceland will also organise weekend excursions to some of the most popular, beautiful areas and natural wonders that East Iceland has to offer. Excursions include unique Icelandic sights such as waterfalls, volcanic and geothermal areas, geysers, lava forests, hot-springs, rhyolite mountain ranges, steam-vents, or even icebergs. Look at http://wf.is/excursions/

We will also concentrate on intercultural learning and exchange. Every evening, volunteers from different countries will be in charge of presenting their country of origin and culture in an informal way. It can be a presentation, a game, theatre – the form of introduction is up to you! Therefore, we encourage you to bring along some food, photos or anything interesting related to your country for a fun and informative evening amongst other volunteers.

This project gives you the opportunity to spend an amazing time in Iceland with other international volunteers and to have an incredible experience where participants share their knowledge with each other while exploring creativity, environmental issues and intercultural learning.

Accomodation & Food

Worldwide Friends volunteers will be staying in the WF house which is an old school 5 km outside of the village of Vopnafjordur. They will share the house with 15 bedrooms, big living room fully equipped kitchens, showers, and toilets. Beds are provided; however, volunteers should bring their own warm sleeping bags or borrow one from WF if they don’t want to bring it. Wireless internet access is provided free of charge.

Food is included for the duration of the workcamp; however, everyone is expected to do their fair share of the cooking and cleaning. Since it is always nice to try new and different dishes, volunteers are encouraged to bring along their favourite recipes from home!

Additional Information

Iceland uses 240V, 50Hz AC electricity. Plugs have round pins with either two or three prongs; electrical appliances fitted with overseas plugs need an adaptor. If you need to use your mobile phone in Iceland, please ask your service provider, if they offer phone coverage in Iceland, and request to be upgraded to international roaming, if possible. You might also consider buying an

Icelandic SIM-card, if your service provider does not offer coverage in Iceland.

Terminal

Flights arrive at Keflavik International Airport (KEF), just south of Reykjavik. The meeting point is at 09:00 am at Reykjavik City Hall (Tjarnargata 11)on the first day of the camp.

Language

A basic knowledge of English is required for this workcamp. Requirements: No special requirements

Some insight from this workcamp