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International Workcamps Leaders / Environmental Messengers
Start date: Jun 20, 2014, End date: Feb 19, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

In this project 12 participants from European program countries volunteered as international workcamp leaders, leading groups of short-term volunteers in specific short-term workcamps. Most of the tasks in the workcamps are related to environmental protection, while others are focused on raising awareness about animal protection, and yet others were more culturally focused such as small town festivals. These projects are for the largest part organised in cooperation with local communities, such as municipalities, other NGOs and associations, as well as individuals. The projects are designed to be mutually beneficial to all involved: the individual volunteers, the local hosting communities and the greater society. The EVS project was divided in 4 parts: (1) project training & language orientation , (2) preparation for the work in the field, (3) field work and (4) evaluation & planning for next season. Volunteers stayed in Reykjavík during stage 1 and 4 but stages 2 and 3 took place in different locations around Iceland. Volunteers therefore had the unique opportunity to experience living in different sites of Iceland. As planned, the roles of EVS volunteers was divided in two; International Workcamp’s Leaders and Environmental messengers. The volunteers selected for the International Workcamp’s Leaders project were mainly in charge of leading the international workcamps, acting as a link between the Icelandic hosts and the international short term volunteers. The Environmental Messengers's role is more focused on raising awareness about environmental issues, especially with the international volunteers taking part in the projects. The Environmental Messengers led several environmental workcamps during their stay, and their tasks including preparing and facilitating workshops on relevant environmental topics (e.g. recycling, waste management, water or air pollution, soil erosion, reforestation, fish stocks depletion, climate change, healthy living, eco-tourism, etc.). On a larger scale this project strongly promotes intercultural understanding and European awareness within the local Icelandic communities and among the hundreds of volunteers participating in the camps. The project encourages people to challenge their stereotypes of other cultures. It promotes intercultural awareness on an international level, as the participants in our workcamps come from a broad international background.
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