IOGT Iceland: Towards A Brighter Future
On Iceland, traditional ceremonies of the IOGT movement are still present, but IOGT looks to the future with a new house and new activities.
It feels like we’ve made a new start: new house, new board and leadership, new activities and new staff,” explains Aðalsteinn Gunnarsson, Secretary-General of IOGT in Iceland.
Olga Pokrovskaya, the new employee, hails from Russia and has been a volunteer at IOGT in Iceland for more than a year before she got employed full time recently.
The new house is situated in a suburb east of Reykjavik. It’s big. It has big windows and a modern style. The new house is not as centrally placed as the old headquarters. But Aðalsteinn Gunnarsson is not worried.
Many young families are living in this part and it will be easier to find participants for our children activities,” says Aðalsteinn Gunnarsson.
Currently, IOGT has four local clubs with about 500 members, of which 100 are active members. IOGT has the ambition to grow and modernize. And the new house is going to be the hub for everything.
It’s important that we will have activities here every week,” says Aðalsteinn.
We will have discos, dance for senior citizens, café and much more, for all ages.”
For example the so called bicycle project. It’s about people donating old, broken or unused bicycles to IOGT. At IOGT, volunteers, both young and old, join hands in repairing the bikes and making them ready for the streets of Reykjavik. Two companies help delivering the bikes from several collection sites around town to the IOGT facility. Just within a few weeks since the beginning of the project, 260 bikes have been repaired.
The Social Board of the city accepts applications from parents who would like to receive a bike for their children. Once granted, the children visit IOGT with their parents to choose a bike they like. Every child also get a helmet, which had been donated to the project from a local shop.
Another focus of IOGT in Iceland is alcohol policy advocacy and IOGT works heart-driven to protect the current model of alcohol policy in the country.