Where is it?
About the project
The We Are Here community centre is based inside the camp of Nea Kavala, in northern Greece. The centre runs a range of activities in the Nea Kavala and provides a place for children and adults to access education and recreation, and feel a sense of routine, security and validation. Everything is built around creating the opportunity to learn, create, socialise, share and build knowledge, confidence and connection.
What will I be doing?
We Are Here has 4 core programs:
- English lessons for adults: four hours a day (split between two volunteers), five days a week, divided by levels plus additional conversation class open to all.
Experience required: previous teaching experience or qualification (e.g. TEFL) is preferable.
- Women Space: The women’s space was requested by the women in the camp and facilitates women-only English language classes as well as a range of activities such as yoga, knitting, food-sharing, music, beauty sessions, art and dance.
Experience required: previous teaching experience or qualification (e.g. TEFL) is preferable but not obligatory. Music / Art / Drama / Dance / Sport skills are helpful. Please note, we only take female volunteers for these roles.
- Child-Friendly Space: on four mornings a week, WAH provide a safe space for the smallest camp residents, who are too young to attend either the local Greek school or the Ministry of Education kindergarten. The CFS welcomes children up until the age of three for three hours a day, to play, meet other children, explore and express themselves. During the summer when the ministry kindergarten is closed, the space is open to children aged 4 and 5. On the weekends, it is open to children of all ages.
Experience: previous experience working with children is strongly preferred but not necessarily obligatory, depending on the experience of the others who will be in the children’s team at the same time.
- Social Space: The Social Space, and the team who work there, play a really crucial role in the project. It’s the most freely accessible space and so can often be the first point of contact between the project and people in the camp, as well as helping to bridge the camp with the outside world. The main aim of this space is to provide a place for the residents of the camp to come hang out together, but alongside this, they run a cinema twice a week, music lessons, youth club and sports. In addition, the social space team also run the “Info Hub”, a session in which residents can look and ask for information regarding employment, CV writing and asylum housing. Then people are directed to the most suitable organisation that will be able to assist them.
Experience: People with volunteering or community-based experience required, best for people with energy, passion and a willingness to get stuck in.
What impact would I have?
Joining this small but impactful international team brings an opportunity to make a tangible difference to the lives of those in Nea Kavala camp, many of whom have been through extremely difficult experiences and are now faced with a lengthy wait in anonymous conditions.
Who would I be working with?
Volunteers from all over the world, with different experiences, skills and backgrounds creating a vibrant community. There are between 8 – 12 volunteers at any one time, including two coordinators.
The main volunteer house in the centre of Polykastro, which has a garden and office hosts the majority of the volunteers. Five minutes away there is also have a small flat with a couple of extra rooms, but the main house remains the main base for the whole team in terms of working, eating and socialising. Volunteers may have their own room (with priority given to volunteers staying several months) or will be sharing a room with one other person. There are two team cars for arranging transfers to and from camp and transporting goods, and, with prior arrangement, these can also be used for day trips during days off.
- As a grassroots project, every single team member contributes to helping keep the project running. Volunteers are asked to make a €250 contribution in their first month, which then drops to €150 for the second month and €100 a month after that. Alongside the actual rent, this money contributes towards bills, car rental, petrol and household supplies for the volunteer house. This contribution system helps keep the cost as low as possible for those who stay on long-term, which is invaluable for the project.
- Each person on the team also pays €20 a week for food, the team cooks and eats all of their meals together. It’s optional but highly recommended, not only because it is fun and less work but it’s also the most affordable solution.