What we do in the refugee crisis?
Indigo Volunteers is responding to the refugee crisis predominantly in Greece but also in Serbia, Bosnia, Calais, Turkey and Lebanon. We have a coordination team based in Greece, who are in contact with grassroots projects and the wider community. The projects we support are filling gaps in basic aid in camps, running community centres, mobile medical support, social support, education, goods distribution, providing legal advice and so much more.
The Indigo refugee and migrant team aims to understand the volunteer needs of these organisations and connects them with independent volunteers looking for ways to help. This means the grassroots projects can spend less time organising and looking for volunteers and more time helping people affected by the continued crisis.
The team also aims to support grass-root organisations by assessing their work and offering consultations to improve their volunteer experience. Due to being in the field since 2016, Indigo has gathered a great amount of knowledge and information on how to create a positive volunteer environment.
How can I get involved?
Once we receive your application and confirm your availability, we will be matching you with projects and you will be expected to volunteer. Whilst the work is voluntary, the commitment is real so please only apply if you are ready to make that commitment. The administration process is time-consuming so please help us help you 🙂
What are the basic requirements for volunteering through Indigo?
- 18 years old +
- Available to start within the next 16 weeks
- Available to volunteer for 2 weeks or more, or live locally and volunteer part-time
- Able to get a visa independently
What’s the minimum time for volunteering?
- Placements of 2 weeks are available, however to make the greatest impact on a project 1+ month is preferred. For the length of two weeks, volunteers would preferably have the following key skills:
- Chef / Cooking
- IT e.g. programming, tech support
- Manual / Skilled Labourer e.g electrician, construction, plumber
- Qualified Doctor
- Qualified Dentist
- Health Work e.g. nurse, paramedic, psychologist
- Translation (Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, Greek or German)
Are there any desired skills or requirements?
Projects are looking for volunteers that are reliable, flexible and enthusiastic about the cause. The following skills are especially high in demand, but not a necessity:
- Previous experience in the field
- Managers / Coordinators (logistics or people)
- Teachers (ideally TEFL qualified or similar)
- Workshop/lesson leaders (kids activities, cooking, yoga, music, art etc…)
- Health workers, qualified medics & dentists
- Translators (Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, Greek or German)
A key piece of trip preparation is informing yourself about the situation on the ground. Get background information and keep up-to-date with news and updates. Join our Facebook Group page for up dates on volunteer roles and Indigo in Greece.
We suggested you take a look at the ‘Volunteer Guidance’ for on how you will be expected to behave when working in the field & take a look at the following videos to ensure you have a good basic knowledge of the crisis.
Where can I find sources of information about the European refugee crisis?
Before volunteering, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the situation of the area you are travelling to. You do not need to become an expert, but we recommend you check out the sources below to get some information:
- UNHCR have a platform with up-to-date information of the refugee crisis around the world. Their database also provides an overview of the numbers of refugees across different countries.
- The Mobile Info Team provides information to refugees in Thessaloniki about their asylum process and supports them throughout the process. Their website is a useful sources to find out more about the complexities of the European asylum system.
- Info Migrants and Refugee Info are platforms aiming to distribute reliable information to migrants on their journey. On their website you can find a chronology of the refugee crisis, with all its important events that have taken place so far.
- Are You Syrious are an NGO providing daily news digest about the refugee crisis in Europe. Their information comes directly from their team out in the field and is meant for volunteers and refugees, but also journalists and other third parties.
- Help Refugees publish articles from writers on the front line in Greece, Italy and beyond. They also publish regular volunteer blogs written by volunteers that share their experience whilst volunteering.
What does it mean to be a refugee? – YouTube video 6 minutes long
The European Crisis & Syria explained – YouTube video 6 minutes long
If you are looking for more volunteer specific information, there are websites and Facebook groups where you can find up-to-date information for volunteers working within the area.