WHY we need you in Greece
HOW can you help?
WHAT you can do?
Why Involvement Volunteers International?
Syrian Refugee Medical Team Project 2017
Volunteer Manager, Lauren Lacey lead a team of 25 health professionals to volunteer on a Malnutrition & Medical project in February 2017 for Refugees stranded in Greece.
The passionate multi-disciplinary team including doctors, nurses, nutritionists and natural therapy practitioners provided free healthcare, nutritional supplements, food and general care and support to the many families affected by the crisis in Syria as well as other war torn nations.
IVI have partnered with local response teams and support networks in Athens, Chios & Thessaloniki to provide immediate crisis response, medical and nutrition support for vulnerable groups such as pregnant woman, breastfeeding mothers and children.
Our Goal is to help improve the conditions for both refugees and bring a sense of happiness and well being back into their lives.
PROJECT NAME: SYRIAN REFUGEE CRISIS VOLUNTEERING
LOCATION: CHIOS/LESVOS, ATHENS & THESSALONIKI
START DATES: PLEASE ENQUIRE
ACCOMMODATION: VOLUNTEER HOUSE (SHARED ROOMS)
MIN DURATION: 2 WEEKS
MIN AGE: 16+
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: N/A
PROJECT COSTS: From (Approx) US$360 + APPLICATION FEE
Work is based in both the Camps and Squats in Several locations around Thessaloniki, Athens and Chios/Lesvos.
The project work includes:
Malnutrition and Nutrition Support – Nutritionists and other Health care workers
Identifies high risk groups and offers support in the way of fresh nourishing food and supplementation. Works with local food co ops and provides recommendations on healthy meals to ensure daily requirements are met. IVI have received incredible and generous donations from various natural medicine companies in Australia. Bioceuticals donated 5 pallets of nutritional supplements including protein bars, protein powders and high quality nutritional powders. Biomedica donated boxes of vitamin supplements.
Reproductive Clinic and Medical work– Doctors, Nurses and other specialised Health care workers. Works with local NGO’s to identify, respond and advocate for better availability and access to quality sexual and reproductive services, information and advice in a confidential and non-stigmatised environment. We partnered with a medical organisation to provide gynaecological services onsite, as well as bolstering onsite obstetric care for pregnant women. Information workshops are offered on a range of health topics for women and girls from trained practitioners.
Infant feeding – ( Nurses, Midwives and Lactation Consultants)
This Project promotes, protects and supports breastfeeding through the Mother and Baby Areas in two Camps located near Athens. This is a calm and relaxing space only for pregnant and breastfeeding women along with their infants under 24 months.
Onsite volunteers and breastfeeding specialists support caregivers with information and services that increase maternal and infant access to nutrition to empower female caregivers on optimal infant feeding practices.
General Volunteering– Everyone can help! provide food, shelter, clothing a fresh food for the Refugees. Camp Management, Construction and clean up are also important roles where volunteers can assist.
Child and female friendly spaces – Working with a local NGO under the Child protection in Emergencies Programme, these spaces provides a safe place where children can learn, play, receive psychosocial support and gain a sense of normality after the difficulties they have faced. The Female friendly spaces are closed-off areas for women and adolescent girls that offers some rare privacy and creates a safe communal area. The FFS has leisure activities for women and social and cultural activities including language classes and women’s health workshops.
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.
- Assist in any way you can, providing vital supplies to the refugees
- Help with medical needs (if qualified) and making sure the diet and meals are adequate
- Assist in the women and childrens camp, educating and helping with infant feeding
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.
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.
- 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
- 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
Your help will be dependant on your prior skill set. For medical professionals you can use your knowledge to provide medical and nutritional care to the refugees. For those with no prior experience there is plenty to do, from cleaning, distributing vital supplies and educating the children. Work will vary and change depending on needs at the time.
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
Safe & Responsible Projects
Work Experience & University Credits
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.