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Q. WHAT VOLUNTEER POSITIONS ARE AVAILABLE?
A. There are a variety of roles that volunteers play. It all depends on your passion and skill-sets. For example: you can help with organizing warehouse donations, item distribution, cooking, translation, education, medical, construction, entertainment, sports, transportation and other helpful ventures. Being able to play with children is always a major bonus.
Q. WHICH City are you based in?
A. We are based in Athens, Greece.
Q. CAN I VOLUNTEER AT A CAMP?
A. We focus on refugees living in urban housing projects across the city.
Q. Which airport should I fly into?
A. The airport in Athens is Eleftherios Venizelos. We can arrange to pick you up from the airport.
Q. WHERE WILL I LIVE?
A. Athens is the main city to look for accommodation. You have your pick from private hotels to shared rooms depending on your standards. Ideally, we would like to have segregated volunteer houses that volunteers would pitch in for rent, and expectations of comfort shouldn't be too high (we're all long term volunteers after all). Keep in mind that this is Greece's largest city, so prices are a lot higher than other areas of the country, especially during winter because of heat and electric bills.
Q. what about transport?
A. Renting a car is always helpful, as there are a lot of items and people that need help with transportation. Our team has a van too. You could use public transport, but there are also a lot of strikes in Greece, so it might not be ideal somedays.
Q. What about food?
A. You can eat out at restaurants for an average of roughly €10 per meal, or you could also buy groceries for much less and cook at home. You could also grab a pastry to-go from a bakery. Some select camps have mini-markets and falafel stands run by refugees, so you can support their businesses too. Skipping meals is the most cost-effective but not highly-recommended.
Q. HOW SHOULD I DRESS?
A. It's best to be sensitive to the different cultures we encounter. Dressing casually and practically is recommended; t-shirt and pants to the knees will do during summer time. Greece gets very cold during winter months, and it snows and rains a lot too. We advise bringing a pair of comfortable walking shoes, waterproof footwear, a wind-breaker/rain coat, gloves and warm clothing.
Q. what does s a typical volunteering day look like?
A. We typically start our day in the morning, around 9am. We make or grab breakfast from somewhere depending on how much time we have. We spend the day getting all our errands done throughout the city and warehouses. We try our best to get lunch somewhere or cook some food at home if we get a chance to rest. Then we're back in the city knocking out errands and meeting with families. We end our days very late at night because refugees get progressively more active towards midnight. Ideally, we'd like to eat dinner at a decent time - but that's rare - and we usually grab a late dinner and sleep soon after. We don't normally have days off because our work on the ground is fast-paced and unpredictable - but you are always welcome to take a day off.
Q. HOW LONG SHOULD I STAY?
A. Stay for long as you want. Some people come out for a week to see the situation with their own eyes, and some are able to commit to a longer period of time to cover a variety of projects. It all depends on how long your boss will let you go, or how long you could financially support yourself.
Q. IS IT SAFE?
A. Keep in mind that Athens is a big city - but you'll probably be fine. We suggest always being with at least one member of the team, especially at night, and being cautious of your belongings.
Q. CAN i take photos and videos at the camps?
A. There are strict rules in place to not take images at the camps, unless you have permission from the camp authorities and the refugees themselves.
Q. DO i need a visa?
A. Please contact your local embassy to find out more about the Schengen Zone and whether the passport you hold has different requirements to apply for a visa or to get a stamp upon arrival. Sometimes this information is Googlable.