Volunteering at Christmas

Christmas and New Year in the House on the Hill
Reykjavik, Iceland       December 23, 2018 - January 2, 2019

Volunteer project: We will live together and create a cozy atmosphere in the House on the Hill by putting up lights and Christmas decorations. The main idea of this project is to celebrate Christmas together and to promote peace and friendship among the group through intercultural learning and exchange. We will create a Christmas postcard together. Although the House on the Hill is located on the outskirts of Reykjavik, the city centre is reachable by public transport (30-minute bus ride). It is a small but cozy house, where the group will cook and live together and enjoy a snowy time in Iceland. We have chickens, so volunteers will have to take care of them during the project. We will learn Christmas songs from each other and, if weather is good enough, we will sing on the streets of Reykjavik and other public places in town as a sign of peace and multiculturalism. On New Year’s Eve, we will organize a small party for the volunteers and we will enjoy Reykjavik´s spectacular fireworks in front of the cathedral.

Language: English

Leisure time: Reasonably-priced weekend excursions can be organised to some of the most popular, beautiful areas and natural wonders that Iceland has to offer. Excursions include unique Icelandic sights such as glacial lagoons, waterfalls, volcanic and geothermal areas, glaciers, geysirs, lava forests, hot-springs, rhyolite mountain ranges, steam-vents, or even icebergs.

Accommodation: The volunteers will be staying in a house in Sveinsstadir which is located on the outskirts of Reykjavik. This place is like a farm in the city so you can enjoy pure nature and at the same time the city life of the capital. Volunteers need to bring their own sleeping bag, but beds/mattresses and bed linens are provided. Wireless internet access is provided free of charge.

Location: Reykjavik is a city full of energy, just waiting for you to experience it. Powered by heat from the earth below, with ever-changing weather sweeping across the landscape, its natural features are matched by the energy of its residents. Think of the qualities of a great city - fun, culture, nature, clean air - and Reykjavik has them in spades. All the advantages of a modern, forward-looking society are complemented by the beautiful natural setting. In a country of only just over 300,000 people, the Reykjavik Capital Area has a population of about 200,000. However, since it’s the only major city in the country, Reykjavik has a lot of the amenities that you would only expect to find in a much larger center elsewhere in the world.

Reykjavik is the world’s northernmost capital city and is centered on the Seltjarnarnes Peninsula. Come at the right time of year, and in favourable conditions you will see the city’s skyline silhouetted against the glowing, shimmering curtain of the aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights. Reykjavik is framed by the majestic Mt. Esja and the blue waters of Faxafloi Bay to the north, while rugged lava-fields spread to the southeast. On a clear sunny day, the Snaefellsjokull glacier glitters on the western horizon like a crystal.

In this time of the year, when conditions are favourable, you can see the Northern lights' (Aurora borealis) glowing curtain of greenish yellow lights, dancing in the distance to a spectacular, multicolored fusion stretching across the sky.

Terminal: Flights arrive at Keflavik International Airport (KEF), just south of Reykjavik

Age range: 18 and over

Extra fee: 300 Euro
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project and is payable upon arrival.

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Renovating volunteer houses and chasing the Aurora in the East of Iceland
Fjardabyggd        December 23, 2018 - January 2, 2019

Volunteer project: In this project, volunteers will take on different tasks related to the renovation and maintenance of volunteer houses in the East of Iceland. The work depends on each volunteer's skills and knowledge, but focuses mainly on tasks such as painting, cleaning, fixing small things and basic carpentry and construction. This project is very important for the future volunteer programs in the East. If the weather conditions are good, we will also help the local community with various environmental works.

In addition, winter time in Iceland means Aurora Hunting. If you like photography, the Northern Lights and sharing an amazing time with friends from all over the world, this project is perfect for you. We will be on the lookout for Aurora Borealis at night throughout the whole project, so you will have the opportunity to take photos of this amazing and unique phenomenon. It is very important to bring your camera with you (only cameras that work in long exposure will catch those lights), so don’t forget your tripod and camera. You can also bring your laptop, as it can come in handy.

We will also concentrate on intercultural learning and exchange. Every evening, volunteers from different countries will be in charge of presenting their country and culture in an informal way. It can be a presentation, a game, theater - 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 with the 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.

Language: English

Leisure time: Reasonably-priced weekend excursions can be organised to some of the most popular, beautiful areas and natural wonders that Iceland has to offer. The area in the East is also good for hiking.

Accommodation: The group will be staying in the volunteer houses in Stodvarfjordur or Eskifjordur. Beds are provided, but volunteers should bring their own warm sleeping bags. Wireless internet access is provided free of charge.

Location: Scoured by Ice Age glaciers, the dramatic east coast boasts long, narrow fjords with steep sides and jagged peaks which contrast with inland fertile farmlands. Natural harbours, picture perfect fishing villages and seemingly never ending roads provide beautiful sweeping views. This is one of the best places in Iceland to see the Northern lights.
“Fjarðabyggð" is an association of villages in the Eastern fjords of Iceland. It includes the towns of Eskifjörður, Fáskrúðsfjörður, Mjóifjörður, Neskaupstaður, Reyðarfjörður and Stöðvarfjörður, all tiny fishing villages with steep mountains towering just behind the houses. In this area, you will see some of the features that make Iceland a unique place in the world: spectacular fjords with a rich sea life, a great variety of birdlife, and countless breathtaking hiking paths.

Terminal: Flights arrive at Keflavik International Airport (KEF), just south of Reykjavik. A minibus trip will be offered from Reykjavik to the Eastern fjords and back. On the way to the project site, we’ll travel through the south to the east of the island. On the way back, we’ll travel through the north and west to Reykjavik, if road conditions are favorable. The trip includes unique Icelandic sights such as glacial lagoons, waterfalls, volcanic and geothermal areas, glaciers, lava fields, hot-springs, rhyolite mountain ranges, steam-vents or even icebergs.

Age range: 18 and over

Extra fee: 250 Euro
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project and is payable upon arrival.

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Help a village with farming and education
Ywar Ngan, Shan, Myanmar       December 19, 2018 - January 1, 2019

Volunteer project: Before the beginning of the international volunteer projects in these villages, the local people had very little or no contact at all with foreigners. The local young people need to improve their knowledge on globalization, English proficiency and cultural exchange. There’s also a need to educate the communities about agriculture and environmental awareness.

The volunteers will take part in the life of a village by helping the community in their field work. There will be various farming tasks such as planting, paddy harvesting, picking fruit and coffee, digging, etc. The volunteers will also teach children and share knowledge with the local community.

Language: English

Accommodation: Homestay in a house in the village.

Location: The area is peaceful and calm, with mountains, farms and rice fields around. In Shan State, there are ancient caves, waterfalls and ancient pagodas nearby.

Terminal: Yangon

Age range: 18 and over

Extra fee: 250 USD
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project who does not have sufficient funds. It is due upon arrival.

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Forestry and gardening in the Rehabilitation and Health Clinic in Hveragerdi
Hveragerði, Iceland       December 27, 2018 - January 7, 2019

Volunteer project: Hveragerði is a small town of about 1,700 inhabitants that lies 45 km east of Reykjavík. This friendly little community sits on top of a highly active geothermal field which provides heat for hundreds of greenhouses where fruit, flowers and vegetables are produced throughout the year. Even bananas grow in these greenhouses! The name Hveragerði means "hot springs garden". Geothermal energy is Hveragerði’s lifeblood and you probably won’t find such a natural wonder in the middle of a populated area anywhere else in the world. Nearby you will find an even more geothermally active site: Gufudalur, the lovely "Steam Valley" behind the town. This whole valley is full of hot springs, geysers, mud pots, fumaroles and steaming vents.

Our host is the Rehabilitation and Health Clinic, which is a part of the Natural Health Association of Iceland. Every year, approximately 2,000 patients and other guests enjoy their diverse rehabilitation programs, which are focused on an approach that builds self-confidence and personal responsibility for the patients’ own health. The Clinic has earned a solid reputation, both in Iceland and internationally, since its foundation in 1955 for personal and effective care for patients. It is one of the two most important rehabilitation clinics in Iceland.

The Natural Health Association has a horticultural and environmental department, including forestry, gardening, and greenhouses, which is where the international volunteers work most of the time. The volunteers will help with growing tomatoes, cucumbers and making tea from Icelandic herbs. They will also do some environmental work around the property. The nature of the work depends largely on weather conditions, which can change quickly. Working hours are usually from 9am to 3pm with a one-hour lunch break.

Language: English

Leisure time: The volunteers have free access to the local geothermally-heated swimming pool. Traditionally, natural pools have played an important social role in Icelandic culture. Most Icelandic pools offer indoor and outdoor swimming, as well as hot tubs and saunas or steam rooms. Hveragerði is known for having great areas for hiking, including the hot river in Reykjadalur.
Reasonably-priced weekend excursions can be organised to some of the most popular, beautiful areas and natural wonders that Iceland can offer. Excursions include unique Icelandic sights such as glacial lagoons, waterfalls, volcanic and geothermal areas, glaciers, geysers, lava forests, hot-springs, rhyolite mountain ranges, steam-vents, or even icebergs.

Accommodation: The volunteers will be staying in a fully equipped bungalow consisting of several double bedrooms and a living room. Beds and sheets are provided, however volunteers need to bring their own sleeping bags. Wireless internet access is provided free of charge.
All meals are provided and cooked by our hosts, the Rehabilitation and Health Clinic. The menu for the project is primarily vegetarian, but two times a week it includes locally caught fish. The food at the Rehabilitation and Health Clinic is known throughout Iceland for its high quality.

Location: Hveragerði, 45 km east of Reykjavík

Terminal: Flights arrive at Keflavik International Airport (KEF), just south of Reykjavik.

Age range: 18 and over

Extra fee: 250 Euro
The extra fee is intended to support the local host of the project and is payable upon arrival.

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