Where is it?
There are currently projects in the Aegean Islands of Lesvos and Samos, Greece. In Lesvos Refugees4Refugees is based in the city of Mytilene, where Moria Camp, the largest refugee camp in Greece is located. In Samos they are based in the city of Vathi, where Vathi Camp is located.
Samos Aristarchos Intl Airport, Samos
About the project
Every month hundreds of people attempt to cross from Turkey to Greece to escape violence and poverty. Refugee4Refugees helps those people as they make this perilous journey by watching the sea for boats that are in distress, offering humanitarian assistance and emergency support to those that arrive and to provide several activities in and outside the refugee camps and informal settlements.
What will I be doing?
The projects you will be working on will vary, depending on which island you decide to volunteer in. Currently, volunteers work on the following projects:
- “Free shopping experience” distribution shop: the distribution warehouse is set up like a “shop”, with hangers and shelves filled with clothes for refugees to come in and pick the clothes and hygiene items that they need. The volunteers help the families as “shopping assistants” by registering the “clients”, helping them choose the items and keeping the “shop” clean.
- Warehouse sorting and storage: Volunteers organise all of the donated clothing and hygiene items on a daily basis at the storage warehouse ready to restock the ‘shop’,
- Safe Space for Children: There are several educational and recreational activities for the children living in the refugee camps of the islands. Volunteers participate on a daily basis in running these activities with the help and leadership of project coordinators. Be ready to practise your jumping rope and hula hoop skills!
- Camp cleaning: due to the lack of appropriate and sufficient resources to tackle the vast volume of daily waste produced by the thousands of people living in the makeshift camps surrounding Moria and Vathi Camps, the tents are surrounded by mountains of garbage, especially plastic and organic waste. Volunteers clean the camps on a weekly basis in order to mitigate this problem.
- Beach cleaning: due to the numerous refugee arrivals by sea that have taken place over the last years, boat landing waste such as dinghy material and lifejackets have increasingly dominated the landscape of the Aegean shores. Furthermore, general daily waste from locals is also a persisting issue. Volunteers clean the local beaches on a weekly basis in order to mitigate this problem.
What impact would I have?
By becoming a volunteer with Refugee4Refugees, you would be taking an active role in improving the living conditions and experiences of the thousands of people living in the refugee camps of Lesvos and Samos. Through the distribution shop, you would be providing much-needed clothing and hygiene items in a dignified and respectful way. Through the children activities, you will bring fun and knowledge to contexts where these important elements are often lacking. Through the cleaning projects, you will help improve the living and health conditions of many and contribute to a better and more beautiful environment.
Who would I be working with?
As an international volunteer, you would work on a daily basis with fellow volunteers from different countries around the world, including community volunteers who live in the refugee camps of the islands and who were forced to flee their countries of origin in search for a better future.
It is worth noting that you will have direct contact with the beneficiaries of the projects. Through these interactions, you will not only learn more about the situation but also provide the refugees and asylum seekers living in the islands with valuable interactions that they will carry with them in the future.
You will be accompanied by a Volunteer & Project Coordinators during all activities.
The minimum age requirement to volunteer with Refugee4Refugees is 18 years old.
There are volunteer houses in both Lesvos and Samos, where you would live with the rest of the volunteers in the team. If you wish to stay in the volunteer house, you would need to pay a daily accommodation fee that would go exclusively towards paying for the rent of the house
(First month: 10€ / Second month: 5€ / Third month onwards: Negotiable).
You can also choose to rent your own place on the island.
There are volunteer vans in both Lesvos and Samos, where you would travel to the activities with the rest of the volunteers in the team. If you wish to use our transport service, you would need to pay a daily transport fee that would go exclusively towards paying for fuel costs (3.5€).
You can also choose to rent your own transport in the island.
You are required to organise your own travel to either Samos or Lesvos.
The minimum time requirement to volunteer with Refugee4Refugees is 2 weeks.
- Refugee4Refugees T-shirt to wear during shifts (15€). That way the team looks professional and people can recognize you easily.
- Food, leisure activities, etc.