Volunteer in Greece

Greece is in the grip of a full scale humanitarian crisis under the wake of a relentless increase in refugee migrations from Turkey due to the conflicts in Syria and various other war torn areas such as Afghanastan, Africa, and the middle east.

About Greece

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%.

Greece 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.

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.  


chios map - Greece


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.  

Chios 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.  


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

What’s Included

  • 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.
  • Meals
  • 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.  

Standard Placements

Current Projects:  Boat Arrivals, Food Distribution, Woman & Childcare Support | Refugee Teaching | Group Volunteering

Apply Now!


Refugee Camp Volunteering Review Greece

  Greece was an incredible experience for me and it really opened up my eyes to everything that is happening in Chios and the overall Refugee Crisis. Toula is incredible and her team are amazing! I have actually found returning very difficult and I would love to go back to be honest haha. It was incredible! The highlights of the …

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Lauren Lacey Recount of Refugee Crisis Greece, 2017

“With my eyes I have seen, with my ears I have heard, with my heart I have felt” My 3 weeks in Greece was a confronting, emotional, frustrating and yet in other ways a heart warming experience. The horrific stories of war people have fled is heartbreaking. The trauma evident in many of the Refugees faces and yet the ability …

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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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