Indigo currently has two active branches, supporting projects in two distinctive humanitarian subfields. Our Community Development programme supports organisations that work with local communities across the world to achieve sustainable solutions for chronic problems related to poverty and inequality. Our work with Refugees and Migrants centres around independent volunteer projects along the European refugee route, providing emergency relief and helping people cope with the immediate effects of displacement and migration.
This is where it all started for Indigo. Our Community Development programme currently consists of around 20 projects scattered across the globe, with a keen focus on healthcare and education. Local involvement and sustainability are key, as our partners are dealing with deep-seated socio-economic challenges that do not allow for quick fixes or one-sided solutions. Volunteers should expect to work closely with their host-communities to maintain the project’s services and improve standards. As we do not have the capacity to arrange regular project visits to these remote areas, Indigo only partners with well-established, experienced actors that have been thoroughly assessed and work responsibly in respect to both incoming volunteers and the communities and people that they serve.
We currently support projects in Africa (Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Somaliland, South Africa), Asia (India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Laos,Cambodia), the Americas (Honduras, Mexico, Haiti, USA) and Eastern Europe (Romania, Moldova) and are seeking additional funding to expand our programming in any feasible direction.
The refugee crisis of recent years sparked a surge of independent volunteer groups making their way to Europe’s southern edges to respond to the needs of those fleeing war, persecution and poverty. Indigo has been on the ground since 2016, working alongside our friends at Help Refugees to assist grassroots volunteer organisations in providing vital services ranging from shelter, basic aid and medical support, to education, activity programmes and legal assistance.
In comparison to our development programme, volunteering with refugees and migrants is a more immediate affair: the humanitarian nightmare on Europe’s doorstep might not make the headlines anymore, but the situation is arguably deteriorating, and the need for volunteer-powered NGOs to relieve the burden and fill urgent gaps remains as necessary as ever. Working with displaced people is not for the faint-hearted; volunteers should expect to work in a less established setting, with projects ranging from professional and organised to inexperienced and hectically improvising their way through an utterly unpredictable crisis.
We currently support over 50 projects, working on the Greek islands (Lesvos, Samos and Chios), in camps and community centres across the Greek mainland, and in smaller crisis areas such as Serbia, Bosnia and France.