name of organisation in native language
||MENNTASMIDA KVENNA AKUREYRI
organisation in English language
||The Learning Centre in
||Glerargata 28, 600 Akureyri
|Last and first
name of the contact person
||Bjarnadóttir, Valgerdur H.
position in the organisation
||Lady in Charge (director)
country and area codes)
||+354 462 7255 or +354 862 8722
country and area codes)
||+ 354 461 3634
Type of organisation (legal status, main areas and type of activity)
Menntasmi?jan ? Akureyri is still run by the municipal authorities in Akureyri, but
will become an NGO in June 2000. It was originally a school for unemployed women,
established in 1994 by the equal opportunities and education consultant of Akureyri. The
last two years it has developed to become a centre for informal adult learning, open to
both genders, but the gender perspective still being very clear. There are programs for
women only and men only, as well as mixed ones. The main emphasis is on life-competence,
or mobility training, as opposed to formal vocational competence.
Size of organisation, in terms of the total number of personnel (use full-time
At the moment there are four full time professional project managers and teachers,
including the Lady in Charge/director. In addition there are two assistants in full time
positions. For the many different seminars and work-shops there are six to eight part time
teachers forming a team for developing models for women’s learning, as well as around 50
other part time teachers, who teach off and on.
Evidence of experience of the organisation of the women’s employment issues and
experience in international co-operation
As mentioned above Menntasmi?jan ? Akureyri started as a school for unemployed women.
It is based on the Scandinavian Day-folk-high-school model, but developed according to the
situation in Akureyri, a town of 17.000 inhab. in the north of Iceland. It has been the
only one of its kind in the country, but is now working on spreading the model across the
country. From the beginning the school has included women who are without work for
different reasons, some formally unemployed, others not registered as such (housewifes,
physically disabled women etc.). Menntasmi?jan ? Akureyri and its staff has taken part in
many international and national projects on women’s education and employment issues.
V.H. Bjarnadóttir has been active in this work for over 15 years. She has also (with
Karól?na Stef?nsdóttir) developed a model for women’s self-empowerment, which has been
used throughout Iceland and abroad.
Name of the project: CEEWIT (Communication, Education and Employment
for Women through Information Technology)
Project duration 1999 - 2000
Participants: Ireland, Iceland, Norway and Slovakia