Golden Circle, Iceland
Discrimination against people living with disabilities is a historical problem around the world, which has led to their exclusion from participation in society, and various human rights abuses. Solheimar Ecovillage, a purposeful community in Iceland, is addressing this issue by employing and empowering people living with disabilities. Founded in 1930, the community’s overall goal is the social inclusion of people from all backgrounds, and the organization is also dedicated to preservation of nature and promotion of self-sufficient and sustainable living. The whole community is based on a philosophy of eco-living and the residents support themselves through organic farming, sale of products made from recycled goods, and all activities take place within buildings with green features from construction materials, to energy and water efficiency, to green roofs.
Through our partnership with Solheimar, Planeterra provided the non-profit with €10,000 (approx. USD11,500), to assist with the renovation and creation of a cafe for visitors to the ecovillage. Upon completion of the cafe, Planeterra facilitated a partnership between Solheimar and G Adventures, which means more than 2,000 passengers will be receiving a tour of the community’s numerous workshops and green initiatives, and dining in the newly renovated coffee house.
Solheimar is a sustainable community and non-profit organization dedicated to assisting over 100 residents, mostly living with disabilities.The small village is home to various businesses including a coffee house, various art workshops, organic greenhouses, and guesthouses, giving all residents a sense of empowerment and purpose. Responsible, low-impact tourism to this community contributes to the financial sustainability of the non-profit and provides employment and livelihoods to village residents who otherwise might find it difficult to find economic opportunities.