Letís admit it, going to the VSS this year is exceptionally expensive but we donít want anyone to be discouraged from applying as we are spending a lot of effort to make the VSS more affordable for everyone. Here you will find information about what has been done so fare and what can still be done in order to lower the fees, including information for funding opportunities.
People might be shocked about the high fees of this yearís VSS. Two main factors contributed to this, and we could not have predicted that they would impact the VSS budget to the extent they have. Iceland has in the last years seen a tourism boom that has created a raise in prices making summer months especially expensive. On top of this a continuing negative trend in the exchange has made the event at least ľ more expensive compared to one year ago when Iceland was confirmed as host. To give an idea, the cost (not the fee) of the VSS for one person is now EUR 1200, only a year ago this would have been less than EUR 900 per person which would have allowed us to set fees at a price similar to those of the VSS in Italy. Unfortunately, this was already no longer a possibility when the fees where set in January. Nevertheless, EFIL and AFS Iceland are committed to make this event cheaper and we will not stop to tackle these challenges.
AFS Š Õslandi has been working extremely hard on finding ideas and solutions in order to make the VSS cheaper, the commitment and interest of volunteers in Iceland has been very visible and everyone is trying their very best to make this happen. So far we have applied for numerous funding possibilities like grants from Nordbuk, Landsvirkjun and Alcan but we are not done! February, March and April will be dedicated to even more funding applications, crowd funding, sending sponsorship requests to large companies, selling toilet paper and sweets (typical and effective Icelandic fundraising tricks) and more. The volunteers are eager to ensure the VSS in Iceland becomes reality, but there is no VSS without the participants so we are all extremely determined to make it as cheap as possible.
To have the participants benefit from these funding efforts right away, we looked for ways to make sure we could influence the fees right from the beginning, even before we collected all the money. To do so we first needed to decide how much we could realistically fundraise in the time before the VSS. After a lot of thought and calculations we came down to the number 4.000.000 ISK (circa 34.000 EUR), which is achievable and extremely beneficial to the participants since it lowers each fee by almost 200 EUR. In order for us to be able to already benefit from this we spoke to the national board of AFS Iceland that decided to believe in the fundraising efforts of the volunteers of AFS Iceland and guarantee this sum. This allowed us to set the fees at a cheaper price that they would have been otherwise and although we are of course hopeful to reach our goals (and hopefully even higher goals!), in case we donít manage AFS Iceland will cover the difference. We will continue in our effort as we want volunteers to be able to participate in the unique event that is the VSS but there are things everyone can do to help.
Everyone has a part to play in this yearís VSS success. Our efforts are concentrating on raising larger sums of money or sponsorships in order to make the overall event cheaper for everyone but there are ways individuals can help and make their own participation to the VSS more affordable.
Things everyone can do are:
Here weíll collect information and links for funding opportunities. Each volunteer will have to apply for these funds individually but we will be available to help with the application. For more information or assistance write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Weíll continue updating this page so keep checking it for funding opportunities.