Helping Refugees in Greece Updated May, 2019!
The need for help for refugees in Greece is great, particularly on the island of Lesvos, one of the closest Greek islands in Greece to the Turkish mainland, and through which many refugees transit in the hopes of reaching Europe. Click here to read an overview of the refugee crisis in Lesvos.
The Peace Corps Community for Refugees’ overseas program identified over 10 NGOs on the island of Lesvos that are in desperate need of volunteer assistance. Here is the Map and a Complete list of the identified NGOs, the skills they are seeking, the application process, and the time commitment requested. Each NGO has a different application process. Some are on-line and some require submission of a resume directly to the NGO.
Additionally, there is a map of the island of Lesvos Map of Lesvos which includes a list of the length of service each NGO requires of volunteers.
NGOs are not able to offer their volunteers stipends or to help with their lodging or other expenses, i.e., medical insurance or overseas travel insurance. They are completely dependent on volunteers who can take care of these costs themselves. NPCA/PCC4Refugees is providing information to volunteers about NGOs seeking assistance, but cannot provide direct support or assurance that the NGOs will be suitable hosts for volunteers. Furthermore, in the event of an emergency or other serious issue, the volunteer must look to the NGO and his or her own resources. NPCA is not in a position to assist and is not responsible for any loss, damage or injury. Many volunteers currently working with these NGOs have had success with crowd funding, and we encourage volunteers to explore such resources if they decide to work with one of the NGOs.
The National Peace Corps Association hosted a webinar for RPCVs interested in learning more about volunteering their time with NGOs on the Greek island of Lesvos. Listen to the Webinar recording now.
Although this project was developed with RPCVs in mind, it is open to others. If you decide that you would like to support asylum seekers in Greece, submit your application with plenty of time prior to your desired start date. NGOs plan well in advance to fill their needs.
Please let us know if you decide to apply and when you plan to go. We would appreciate any feedback you can provide about the process and would welcome following you on a blog or receiving updates about your experience. Please send comments/questions to: Ellen Paquette.
We hope to learn from your experience and suggestions to make the process smoother for volunteers that follow.
In addition to the NGOs recommended in the NGO list above, Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and their contacts have recommended the following as well-organized and responsive:
- Together for Better Days: Greek-Swiss NGO. Write Colin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Drop in the Ocean: Norwegian NGO at https://www.drapenihovst.no/en:we-need-volunteers-immediately.
- KHORA, Athens-based Greek NGO at www.khora-athens.org.
Find the following three NGOs on Facebook:
View these comprehensive listings of volunteer opportunities:
- Information Point for Greece Volunteers offers good general information, serves as a community bulletin board, and has produced a useful handbook on volunteering. www.facebook.com/groups/greecevolinfopoint/
- For volunteering in northern Greece: http://www.facebook.com/groups/infopointfornortherngreecevolunteers
- For volunteering in Athens: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AthensVolunteerinformation/