Refugee Humanitarian Work Greece

IVI partner with local NGO's on the ground and locally organised teams of international volunteers dedicated to providing both immediate and long term support for refugees on Chios, Lesvos & Thessaloniki. You can participate in boat arrivals preperation and support, food distribution, humanitarian aid and general volunteering assistance.

WHY we need you in Greece

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HOW can you help?

WHAT you can do?

Why Involvement Volunteers International?

Greece Volunteering Khora House 1 - Refugee Humanitarian Work Greece






  MIN AGE: 16+




You’ll work alongside local organisations on the island of Chios to provide general volunteering support.   

Boat Arrivals
Responding to boat arrivals on the island by providing immediate care and alerting relevant medical/ rescue teams when necessary. Providing warm clothes, blankets and food. Running beach cleaning projects to assist the local community in maintaining the natural beauty of the island. Large amounts of boat material collected is then recycled to make bags.

Food & Humanitarian Aid Distribution
Food distribution and Tea service (bringing hot tea to the camps each afternoon in various areas. Responding to the needs of refugees on the island through distributions of necessary items including clothes, shoes, shampoo, washing powder and sun cream. Initiating and supporting long term projects: youth educational programs, activities for adults, distribution of milk and fruit to compliment the meals provided by volunteer run kitchens.


Due to constantly changing local dynamics it’s necessary for our local teams to be flexible in order to respond effectively to fluctuating and evolving situations. We work with several trustworthy local organisations who have an accute understanding of the needs and opportunities for volunteer assistance in the areas. The refugees are spread across refugee camps, housing projects, and squat settlements in various locations and we’ll connect you with programs located in either Chios, Thessaloniki, and Athens. At present, our support is based prodominently in Chios.

Chios, the 5th largest Greek island is bulging with character and culture. Chios is most famous for it’s medieval villages, ghost villages, castles and monasteries. Also with incredible beaches and clear blue waters, it’s a destination for tourists that want a unique Greek experience. Due it’s close location to Turkey, Chios has been inundated with refugee’s. This has taken a significant toll on tourism on the island and the economy is very weak with the local residents largely divided between helping the refugee’s or blocking them in order to sustain their livelyhoods. It’s a very difficult situation. 

Project Tasks

  • Assist in any way you can, providing vital supplies to the refugees
  • Help with boat arrivals and food distribution
  • Work on other ongoing projects, such as education in the camps

Food & Accommodation

Accommodation is included for the duration of your volunteer program. We’ve worked hard to ensure our volunteers have access to comfortable and safe accommodation within close proximity to the volunteer projects and local facilities such as cafe’s and grocery stores and other amenities. You’ll share a small apartment with 4 other volunteeers. The accommodations is basic, but clean, comfortable and safe. Please speak to us in advance with any questions or preferences. The hotels and/or volunteer houses are in close proximity to basic supermarkets, ATM, restaurants and food stalls.  

Please contact us for updated prices. 



Anyone can apply. This is a ‘raw’ experience with few luxuries and a very challenging set of local circumstances so those with an appreciation for this type of experience are necessary. 

Due to the volatility of the refugee crisis, please inquire here for further information on options and pricing. 

  • Accommodation
  • Arrival airport transfer (Sat/Sun arrivals)
  • Daily transportation to project
  • In country 24/7 support & emergency assistance
  • Fundraising support
  • University course credits (where applicable)
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Airfares
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tours, Souvenirs & spending money
  • Daily Meals

Due to the difficult nature of the refugee crisis, we require all volunteers to complete a pre-departure training kit. The training takes approx 3 hours and provides a full overview of the local challenges, customs and sensitivities that all volunteers must be aware of due to potentially dangerous and confronting situations. While in country, our local coordinators provide you an orientation on your first day which introduces you to all the local staff, township facilities, transportation as well as operational safety and emergency procedures.

An arrival airport transfer is included in the program fees. Local transportation will be via public transport for a small local fee paid directly. Car-pooling may be arranged locally for an an extra 33EUR p/week    

Basically each morning 9am you meet the team at the warehouse (there are anywhere between 20-40 volunteers at one time). You assign yourselves tasks for the day, so for example you can work 4 hours at the Children’s House 10-2pm (collect the children from camp and walk to children’s house – approx 1km), we made the proteins balls (tahini, dates, crushed nuts, coconut) and included in food packs for children, interacted with the kids by reading stories, playing, talking with their Mums who come along too, help provide hot showers for the children, Walk them back to camp. Instead you could work at the Women’s shelter.

At 3-4pm I would provide Tea Service (hot tea given to Refugees) and sometimes food distribution (taking to the family tent). One evening a week you could do boat arrivals, or be on call during the day to do also. You could switch the Children’s House to do food preparation for distribution or not do anything there at all. There are so many projects going on at one time it’s important to do what you feel most connected. You could spend the entire time on one thing or switch around. On your first day you will spend at the warehouse understanding the fundamentals and doing Hypothermia training and other operational considerations.

If you would like to explore some of the country before or after your volunteering, there are plenty of things to do and see in Greece. 

The number one attraction is probably a visit to the Acropolis. This is home to the Parthenon, as wel as many other spectacular ancient temples. Another popular spot is the whitewashed houses of Santorini, with it’s classic blue water backdrop.

Other things you can do are climb Mt Olympus, trek through the gorge at Samaria (on the island of Crete), check out the monasteries of Meteora, visit the stunning Balos beach, discover the Corinth Canal, Melissani Caves, or wander around the ruins at Corinth, Delphi or Hephaestus Temple. 

There are no further requirements for this program.

As the southernmost country in Europe, Greece enjoys the longest coastline in Europe and with over 6000 islands in total and around 3300 years of history it is a fascinating, diverse and unique cultural destination.  

Greece is considered the birth place of civilisation and highly influential in ancient times, is often called the cradle of Western civilization. Athens, the capital, features historic landmarks including the 5th-century B.C. Acropolis citadel with the Parthenon temple. Greece is also known for its beaches, from the black sands of Santorini to the party resorts of Mykonos.

Worldwide awareness of the refugee crisis grew following a sequence of events beginning with the record number of people who fled into Greece in June 2015 with now over a million refugees taken refuge in Greece.

These refugees are now stranded across Greece in Refugee camps, often with poor conditions, minimal access to information, support agencies or opportunities to improve the quality of life for their families.   These asylum seekers have undertaken perilous journeys from unberable conditions in their home countries through highly dangerous escape routes frought with conflict and risk. In most cases these people just want to go home, but simply cannot.  

Greece has gennerally sunny climate throughout the year but can get quite cold in the north during winter, with snow in some areas. 

Greece enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with its summer from June to August. Temperatures get go up to 40 degrees celsius in the summer, but may be cooler up north or by the coast. This is a popular time to visit.

March to May (Spring) and September to November (Autumn) are good times to travel when days are still warm.

Greece has a rich and vibrant culture and it’s people are very passionate about their traditions, language, food and music. The Greek people will often gather their large families to eat around the dinner table, where they love to socialise.

Around 98% of people in Greece are Orthodox Christians, so many traditons and festivals are celebrated around this faith. Greece is also the home of ancient civilizations, going back 5000 years. From the ancient ruins to modern day art galleries and museums, Greece is full of culture and history. 

33 Years Non Profit Experience

IVI is an Australian charity & non profit organisation founded in 1989 and is one of the pioneers of overseas volunteering successfully placing over 20,000 volunteers globally.

Affordable Volunteer Travel

We’re not motivated by shareholder profits.   Our fees are fully transparent to ensure maximum benefit where it is most needed. 

Safe & Responsible Projects

All projects include a dedicated 24/7 in-country management team, operational & risk assessment & overseas support contact.   All projects are personally inspected to ensure very high quality.

Work Experience & University Credits

We place thousands of Uni students and can assist you with course credits and in-field experience points.   Many of our project coordinators are qualified practitioners in their respective fields allowing unique in-field supervision and Uni accreditation options

GoGetFunding is a Crowd funding site which offers a simple and professional online fundraising solution to help fund a portion of your trip or even a donation toward your chosen project. Simply create a fundraising page to share your story via social media platforms such as facebook & twitter.

We encourage all our Greece volunteers to fundraise to supply as many resources as possible to the local people and also to cover volunteer travel costs where required.

Weekends & Extra Tours

Ready to Volunteer in Greece?

Some of Our Partners


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Lauren Lacey Recount of Refugee Crisis Greece, 2017

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Refugee Camps Greece – Medical Volunteer Team – Jules Galloway Blog

A massive thank-you to Jules Galloway a Naturopath from Australia providing an amazing online health service.   Jules took the leap into refugee volunteering in Greece with the medical team in 2017 and was an absolute inspiration to the volunteer team. Check out Jules’s full blog about here experience here: Jules Galloway Naturopath – Greece Refugee Volunteering Blog You can also visit …

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Refugee Camps Greece – Medical Volunteer Team 2017

“Greece update: one month in. I can’t believe I’ve been in this incredible country for a month already. While I’m missing everyone at home so much, I know I’m in the right place right now. A fortnight ago I came to a small island called Chios which is 7kms from the coast of Cesme, Turkey. Chios, along with Lesvos, Samos …

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