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READY STEADY? Go in Reykjavik – ICELAND 1 year!  | Voluntar in Lume

READY STEADY? Go in Reykjavik – ICELAND 1 year!

Green Hostels – Grænt Farfuglaheimili – EVS project for romanian volunteers! 

The main aim of the project is to raise awareness about sustainability issues, among the international guests of HI Iceland, staff and local community

Please find more information in the InfoPack attached here http://otlas-project.salto-youth.net/3358   
Kindly send only fully applications (European CV, Motivation letter and quiz attached) at evs@hostel.is and sending.mc@gmail.com 

Period of 12 monts stage:  Start date: 15.03.2015 – End date: 14.03.2016 

Deadline: 18.09.2014 – 11 AM  

The aim within the leading team of HI-Iceland is to make the Reykjavík Hostels models of excellence in the field of quality management and leaders in environmental/sustainability management. For many years we have worked on constantly developing and implementing the Hostels’ own environmental Policy and methods into daily procedures. Our biggest challenge is to train and maintain the system for the long term, finding ways to promote our vision to guests in a diverse and colorful way in order to influence them as they travel within out beautiful and fragile environment.

The basic aim of the “GREEN HOSTELS” project is to raise awareness about sustainability issues, among Icelanders and international guests of the HI in Iceland, as well as among the in-house team. Our goals are:
1) Maintaining the already developed Sustainability Policy.
2) Development of means to make employees and guests (individuals and groups) aware of best sustainable practices that reduce their impact on nature and increase eco-consciousness in their daily life. We encourage volunteers to pass the environmental message to a wider audience.

Timeframe of the project

The scope of activities for the volunteers will change during their stay and can be chronologically divided in five (5) different stages:
1. On-arrival training and getting to know the life in the hostel;
2. Working towards practical sustainability at the Reykjavik Hostels and Reykjavik Campsite;
3. Developing a more sustainable environment in the Green Hostels and follow up from the previous stage;
4. Preparation of Swan Nordic Eco-label annual report;
5. Evaluation and planning stage for the upcoming volunteers

1. On-arrival training and getting to know the life in the hostel (4-6 weeks)

During the first days of the volunteer’s stay in Iceland, he/she will have several introduction and training meetings.

i. On-arrival training with the coordinating organization. Here volunteers will get to know more about the EVS project, Iceland and the Icelandic culture as well as getting to know other EVS volunteers doing their stage at the same time.
ii. Deeper insight in the hostels work and in their tasks from the previous participants of the Green Hostels project.
iii. On-arrival training organized by the Icelandic National-Agency.

After these steps have been completed, the volunteers will get training in all key areas of the hostels: reception, housekeeping, maintenance etc. She/he will be given enough information and resources as knowledge on the association, its aims, philosophy and Environmental policy. Part of the orientation should be to live in the Hostel, talk to the guests from their side, take part in the activities that are offered outside of the city and from the Hostel Team, getting to know the Reykjavik Hostels as the main work field.

From the beginning, the volunteers will take part in the weekly meetings with the reception and housekeeping staff members in order to follow up closely the development of tasks and the daily work at the hostel.

Due to these regular meetings, the volunteers will gain sufficient knowledge to understand how the hostels work in the different areas and will get to know the hostel’s team.

2. Working towards practical sustainability at the Reykjavik Hostels and Reykjavik Campsite (around 12 weeks)
During the summer time, the work will be more practical, in assisting and guiding staff members through different tasks related with the sustainability work, especially recycling management (like eg. Manual sorting, different statistics and keeping contact with the waste company) and auditing the key areas of the hostels.
In this period, the volunteers will actively engage in different activities in order to promote sustainability issues (especially environmental and social/cultural issues) by organizing weekly movie night followed by debates, workshops, presentations, trainings.

As the campsite is open only 4 months per year during the summer time (15th of May to 15th of September), the volunteers will be spending time in order to develop the activities mentioned above, in the description of the Reykjavik Campsite part of the project.

The volunteers will have the freedom to split their tasks and activities between the 3 hostels and the campsite.
Together with these activities, the volunteers will go more in depth into the organization’s sustainability applied policy and develop their background: knowledge and practical based.

Also, they will implement organized and structured discussions with both guests and staff about their awareness but also their willingness to learn and change. The volunteers will make an overview of topics and discuss these with individuals or groups of both guests and staff members. She/he will summarize the results and base his/her coming work on this.

The volunteers will here develop the activities mentioned in the a) Reykjavik Hostel part above, by organizing, compiling and producing information about environmental-friendly awareness, responsible travelling and promotion of cultural and social values in order to create positive change.

The volunteers will evaluate the information gathered and produce information compiling sets of best practices and actions to be undertaken by both staff members and guests in order to lower the impact we have on nature and environment in our daily life and while travelling. More information about this is above in the first 2 parts of the project a) Reykjavik Hostels and b) Reykjavik Campsite

3. Developing a more sustainable environment in the Green Hostels and follow up from the previous stage (12-16 weeks) – not always possible
If this part of the project is being carried out, the volunteers will visit the Green Hostels together with the HI Iceland’s Quality Manager and will bring suggestions in how they can develop better environmental practices as described above in part c) HI Iceland Green Hostels.
Once this project will be finished, the volunteers will more or less continue or finish tasks started in the previous stage (nr.2), and also develop ideas and suggestions mentioned in part a) The Reykjavik Hostels.

4. Preparation of Swan Nordic Eco-label annual report (4-8 weeks)
In this stage of the project, in the first 2 months of the year, the volunteers will gather all the information and will work in close collaboration with the maintenance and management team in order to create the Swan Eco-label annual report. This includes gathering of data during the previous year, creating statistics, add improvements and prepare the overall overview of the previous year.

5. Evaluation and planning stage for the upcoming volunteers. (4-6 weeks)
In the final period of the voluntary service, the volunteer will have the time to evaluate her/his whole experience and the results of the work. At the end of her/his stay in Iceland, they shall prepare a set of recommendations and/or suggestions to continue with the tasks by a new volunteer, as well as training them. Advice and guidance concerning the stages and possible sources of information, contacts and gathered data should be offered in order to smooth the transfer of responsibilities.

During all these stages, there will be specific tasks always on going like eg. the weekly suggestions for guests, weekly and monthly meetings, and ensure daily that the sustainability is respected in the locations. Also, the volunteers will have enough time to develop and implement their own ideas and projects.


Living and working in a foreign country for 12 months has of course a bigger impact upon people than travelling for a few weeks. The volunteers must be prepared to react to various interlocutors with different priorities, values, points of view about work, people and especially environmental issues.
A good and honest communication plus a dose of humour are needed tools in order to reach balance between different cultures. The volunteers must keep in mind that part of their role is to promote environmental education as a way to spread awareness and enhance knowledge. They will be engaged in different activities which promote cultural and social issues in order to create positive change and share values.
However, sustainable education cannot be limited to knowledge, it must also be action oriented, with observable and measurable results. Effective sustainable education and practices should be promoted through individual and collective participation and commitment. Hence, the volunteers schedule and work must be based on a basic methodology which requires participants to turn their knowledge and understanding into daily action steps.

The volunteer’s approach must be always voluntary, positive and constructive, and he or she should remember regularly that he/she can have a big impact upon those around them, contributing in this way to a more global purpose, the welfare of our beloved Earth. Their role in the project will have a positive impact on the Icelandic tourism and practices developed can be shared further to other nations, as the subject of sustainable tourism is common to all nations.

Volunteers profile

We would like volunteers applying for this project to have a strong motivation and dedication for working inside an international group on mostly environmental and responsible tourism educational and practical activities. Volunteer’s enthusiasm, creativity and interest in order to engage with people, to work in team but also willingness to accept personal responsibilities are highly appreciated. A readiness to work with flexibility in changing or developing situations is essential, as well as an ability to occasionally work in high-pressure situations.

Particular interest in environmental issues, in sustainability, culture and responsible travelling might be very useful when developing the activities and training staff members. English language skills are of a big advantage, while Icelandic is not a requirement. Artistic skills or digital competences (knowldege of Microsoft office, Photoshop or similar programms) are also highly appreciated but not mandatory.

Gender is of no importance, but volunteers have to be between 18 and 30 years old and ready to live one exciting year in Iceland, in a daily international environment.

Ethnic groups, religion, sexual orientation or political opinion are not taken into account.
There are no special or specific qualifications or practical skills needed, as training will be given and constant support offered.
As mentioned above, the volunteers will share indeed the project, but they have the freedom to distribute the tasks according to their interests starting the second phase of the project. Still, all tasks will be done in close cooperation with the other volunteer, so they can consult and support each other.

Recruitment process

Selection of candidates will be made according to the deadlines of the Youth in Action programme and the decision-making process will be mainly based on volunteers’ motivation to join the project and understanding of described tasks.
Candidates will be asked to send us a carefully prepared European Curriculum Vitae (CV), a motivation letter and the questionnaire attached.

HI Iceland conducts telephone and Skype interviews with the candidates, and make decisions based on the combination of materials presented and the aforementioned conversation.

Recruitment is done through existing contacts of sending organisations and through new applications which we receive regularly.

The work involved in this project:
1. Might be physically demanding and a reasonable level of physical fitness and health is required.
2. Can be intensive and very demanding so both commitment and patience are required.
3. Involves some outdoor activities and, as weather conditions in Iceland are variable and often cold, we recommend volunteers to be prepared for harsh situations.

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Ce cred altii despre EVS

"EVS in Bulgaria? Da, EVS in Bulgaria, EVS in Serbia, EVS in Turcia, EVS in orice alta tara pentru ca merita. Merita sa descoperi, merita sa te descoperi, merita sa traiesti momente unice, si mai ales, merita sa cunosti oameni diferiti dar totusi la fel ca tine. Pentru mine acest EVS a fost o experienta de care nu mai avusesem parte, o perioada cu totul noua, in care am invatat sa ma integrez in noi medii, sa fiu ”in pas” cu schimbarea. Pot spune ca intr-un proiect de acest gen fiecare zi iti aduce ceva nou, din care inevitabil ai de invatat. Fie ca este vorba despre arta de a gati a bulgarilor, interesul colegilor turci si sarbi de a ne invata cate ceva din limba turca si respectiv sarba, am castigat cunostiinte si informatii. Chiar si prieteni. Iar acesta cred ca este cel mai important lucru!" - (Andreea Galatanu - fost voluntar EVS in Bulgaria)

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