We joined the team of international volunteers in InterVolve, based in Larissa, in early January of 2018. Throughout our month’s placement we were particularly impressed by the professionalism, passion and inventiveness demonstrated by the people who worked there and their ability to engage and work alongside the people who lived in the community, despite the language and cultural differences and limited resources.
InterVolve makes a difference by working from a fundamental ethic of providing people in difficult circumstances with the support and relevant resources they require to manage and move on – in their own lives – with dignity .
In setting up their activities such as a youth activity club, an English Conversational Club, the Free Shop, a safe space for women and a tools rental initiative, InterVolve entered a process of consultation and information-sharing in order to elicit interest and to establish the appropriateness and relevance of such ventures.
As volunteers, we were involved in almost all aspects of the work, which for us as older volunteers, was physically quite tiring. However, this was more than compensated for by the fact that not only were we getting fitter, thinner and learning new skills but most importantly that what we were doing was supporting people adjust to their new circumstances.
InterVolve has the ability to attract an astonishing variety of serious, committed and dedicated international volunteers- attracted by the organisation’s values and philosophy actually being translated into action and a “can do ” approach. Many volunteers have extended their time there.
As a result of the combination of these factors being put into actual practice, this small NGO – InterVolve – is able to punch well above its weight in the life of the Koutsochero camp.
InterVolve, we have found, possesses the unusual ability of making its volunteers feel part of the team and of being uniquely valued. It achieves this through weekly volunteer meetings and an ability to take on board new suggestions and ideas.
Finally we were very impressed with the offer of debriefing and support at the end of our placement.
We would encourage people both old and young to consider working with this organisation which was for us both an unforgettable and humbling experience.