ICYE in the World
|Brief description and main aims|
The Clinic, operated by the Nature Health Association of Iceland since 1955, is located in Hveragerdi, a 35-45 minutes’ drive from Reykjavik. The Clinic is a place of choice for all those who are in need of rehabilitation, building up strength or simply to rest. The basic philosophy of the Clinic is to build up the client‘s health and sense of well-being and let the individual realize that only he/she is responsible for his/her own health. The Clinic emphasizes the learning of preventive measures in order to avoid various possible illnesses and to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Consumption of alcohol or tobacco is not allowed on the premises.
The present horticultural and greenhouse town Hveragerdi, with about 2000 residents, started to develop in 1902, when a carding factory was built by the waterfall Reykjafoss. At that time it was a part of Olfus County. The natural thermal area in the centre of town was harnessed for the heating of greenhouses and dwellings. Nowhere else in the country are there more greenhouses in one spot than in Hveragerði. Many people living in the capital area make weekend trips to the town to buy flowers, tomatoes, cucumbers and other vegetables. The farmers have prolonged the growing period with artificial lighting and thus limited the need for import of these products during winter. Many foreign visitors are quite astonished to see the inhabitants walking around taking care of their daily chores with all this boiling hot water under their feet and the earth shaking every now and then. All services for tourists are rendered in the town and many recreational opportunities are offered. The town also boasts a very good hotel with a golf course, a health resort (HNLFÍ) and good trout and char rivers in the area. Many renowned artists and authors live in town. Hveragerði received its municipal rights in 1987.
The volunteer will be responsible for arranging his/her fares out of the village if he/she wishes to travel during weekends and days off. The people who work in HNLFÍ often go into the city and are sometimes willing to give the volunteers a lift. Hveragerði is quite a small place settlement where it can sometimes feel a bit isolated, particularly at the beginning of the stay and also during the winter. But at the same time Hveragerði is a good place to learn Icelandic, more than in the “big“ city where people prefer to speak English to foreigners.
In the Clinic the volunteer will work in gardening and greenhouse work from March to October, and help in the kitchen from November to February. If help is needed in the kitchen during the summer months, then the volunteer can expect to be asked to work there as well. One of the tasks where the volunteers are sometimes involved with the patients is when they are being driven around in a wheelchair and/or a car. Depending on the situation, the volunteer may also sometimes assist the staff in giving the patients hot baths and mud baths. The volunteer needs to be flexible and willing to do different kinds of work. The volunteer will always be in the role of an assistant at the Clinic. Apart from the local staff, three or more people from other nationalities work at the Clinic on a full time basis. This will give the volunteer the necessary intercultural dimension.
|Volunteer requirements / Skills|
- Be flexible and motivated to take part in different kind of activities.
|Hosting Situation (Board & Lodging)|
The volunteer will live in a flat in the Clinic, with the other people living there, and have his/her own room. The volunteer will have all food in the project, and get in addition to that food money for the weekends. The food in the clinic is vegetarian food, with fish twice a week.
Breaks will be given during Christmas, Easter and other holidays in accordance with Icelandic laws and customs. For each month of work, there are 2 days of holiday, so for 6 months voluntary exchange there are 12 days of holiday and for 12 months exchange there are 24 days of holiday.
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