As the southernmost country in Europe, Greece enjoys the longest coastline in Europe and with over 6000 islands in total and around 3000 years of history it is a fascinating, diverse and unique cultural destination.
The Greek economy continues to face major issues steming from unemployment and an inefficient public sector and chronic tax evasion culture leading to corruption and low global competitiveness. The current unemployment rate is believed to be around 50% with youth unemployment around 75%.
Volunteer Needs in Greece
Recently, Greece has become known as the landing spot for refugees fleeing war and persecution from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Africa to seek peace. 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.
Location of Volunteer Projects
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.
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.
Meals are not included in the cost of the program. Volunteers can purchase meals locally from the local cafes and restaurants or cook in the kitchen at the Volunteer accommodation. Due to the local economy, food costs are very reasonable. A good dinner meal would cost between 10-15EUR.
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 30EUR p/week.
24/7 Program Support
Throughout your volunteer placement you’ll have the support and guidance of our local ground operators and coordinators. We will also provide you with a 24 hour emergency telephone number so that you can always reach a member of our ground operator team in the event of an emergency.
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.
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.
Volunteer in Greece Program Fees
- Arrival airport transfer
- Accommodation (Shared apartment – 4 p/room)
– Single or Twin share rooms may be available for additional cost (please inquire)
- Refugee Camp Safety and Operational Training
- Use of necessary equipment incl program materials
- 24/7 emergency assistance, volunteer support, local guiding and advice
- Certificate of Completion
What’s Not Included
- Travel Insurance (Mandatory)
- Airfares & Visa fees
**Note – We do not recommend booking airfares prior to 6 weeks before arrival due to locally changing conditions.
- Tours, Souvenirs, Spending Money
- Some daily local transport
IVI is Non-profit organisation who is passionate about helping in the refugee crisis and does not profit from volunteer fees.
Current Projects: Boat Arrivals, Food Distribution, Woman & Childcare Support | Refugee Teaching | Group Volunteering