Should you be interested in a story behind Rökstólar, we encourage you to read further on.
The main founder of Rökstólar is Lenka, originally from Slovakia, who spent a year as a volunteer in a smal, 2000-inhabitant fishing village in the north of Iceland. It was a conscious decision to try living in a small village, as until then, she had only experienced small or big cities. Once this precious and very enriching experience was over, in the summer of 2006, Lenka had to leave Iceland, however, decided to keep many of her belongings at her friends´ place, saying: 'I will definitely come back and try to make a living in Iceland, once the right time comes.'
Then she left for Prague, where she succesfully started her private English teaching business and embarked upon her career as a professional freelance trainer in a non-formal education field in the frame of EU projects aimed at youth.
The 'right time for comeback' to Iceland came, when Lenka was asked in 2007 to work for a Czech company METROSTAV, a.s., on their tunnel construction project in Iceland. The company needed an English teacher and an intermediary towards some of the Icelandic offices and thus Lenka was offered a limited contract, which she gladly accepted.
Lenka was a part of the project between 2008 and summer of 2009 and coincidentally enough, her work location was only 30 minutes drive from a village where she volunteered during her first stay in Iceland. As the result of this, she kept on stregthening her contact network and involvement in community living in the north of Iceland, where she realized more and more potential for tourism development in the area. Funnily enough, the finished tunnel construction - that Lenka happened to be a part of - has opened even more opportunities for tourism field.
However, after Lenka´s contract expired in the summer of 2009, she found herself unemployed in the time of economic crisis. Settling down in the north of Iceland, she decided to use available support system offered by Icelandic state in order to create a job for her with a future vision of creating jobs for others too and contribute to life quality improvement.
Thanks to support schemes of Labour Office, as well as Innovation Center of Iceland, Lenka developed a business plan and founded Social Enterprise called Rökstólar Samvinnumiðstöð in 2010 with strong focus on community development and education.
On top of that, Rökstólar offers coaching and consulting services for various working groups, helping them find ways to build their own capacity to solve the problems, thus acting as development practitioner rather than an "expert advisor".
Thanks to Lenka´s strong contact network, literally all over the world, Rökstólar enjoy getting involved in international projects and contribute to exchange of good practices between countries.
You can check out Lenka´s CV here.