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We are a female-friendly wellness centre for women and their children currently living as Refugees on Moria Refugee Camp, Europe's largest Refugee camp. Our project is located away from the camp and aims to restore women's dignity, even temporarily, by giving them access to healthcare and the opportunity to shower in safety. We aim to provide a calm, healing and relaxed space where our visitors can have a break from camp conditions with some pampering, a cup of tea, and a chat. The living conditions in Moria have often been compared to prison and the centre provides a simple but much-needed relief.
We offer a system of six showers cubicles with a lockable door and a private changing area. After being driven to the centre, each guest receives toiletries donated by LUSH, a hotel-quality towel, new underwear, childcare, and time to relax in a female-friendly, safe space. We also provide clean clothing distribution when needed. The facility is next to the sea and equipped with a laundry room, showers, a bathroom, a small kitchen, a beauty station, and a play area for the children.
The vast majority of our guests live in the main Refugee camp at Moria. We also work with other organizations on the island as different needs arise. We welcome women from all nationalities and backgrounds. The majority of our guests come from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Cameroon, Congo and Kurdistan.
Our volunteers help with a variety of tasks, including organizing pickups from the camp, driving our van and car, preparing hot drinks, cleaning showers, watching over kids, supporting guests through talking and listening, organizing activities, keeping the center clean and beautiful, and generally ensuring that this remains a safe and calm place for showers, care and relaxation.
We are a female-friendly space, due to this, we can only accept female volunteers. Additionally, the work we do can be very emotionally charged and straining, in order to ensure our team is responsible and mature enough to navigate these often difficult situations, we will only accept volunteers over the age of 23. Priority is given to those who have a driving license, European or international if coming from outside of Europe, and can drive a manual 9-seater car. Please mention this in your application. Due to COVID19, we are no longer able to accept short term volunteers. It is not mandatory for all volunteers to stay a minimum of three months.
While it is not necessary, it is very beneficial if our volunteers have experience working with displaced and vulnerable persons, and/or have extensive knowledge of the political situation in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as knowledge of the European Refugee Crisis, and frameworks of migration, immigration, and refugee movements. Some of our past volunteers have worked with large humanitarian organizations, and for others, this is their first experience doing such work. What we have in common is a passionate belief in the importance of recognizing that refugees are people no different from ourselves, and who deserve to be treated with the same care and consideration that we give our friends and family.
Many of us live in a shared volunteer house, a 15-minute walk from the centre of Mytilene. It would help us greatly with team spirit and transport if you choose to live with us. You will be welcome to socialize, eat and go for drinks together.
We aim to give all our volunteers an interesting if sometimes challenging, experience. If you have particular skills that you think might be useful in making the centre a welcoming and exciting environment, please do tell us about them. We are a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization powered by a very small team of volunteers. Individuals who are independent, courageous, and able to see and take initiative will make great additions to our team.
The common language we speak is English, but this does change depending on who is currently volunteering at any given time. Priority for volunteering is given to women who speak Farsi, Arabic, and French as these are the main languages of our guests. Greek speakers are also given priority as they can help us with local translation.
If you would like to come to work with us, please send us a message. We will also require you to provide a resume or CV, a basic criminal record certificate/ police check, one reference, and proof of your identity (generally a copy of your passport). The reference can be written by a past employer, neighbour, landlord, etc. Someone who can speak for your work ethic and personality and give us insight into whether or not you will be a good addition to our team.
Due to COVID19, we are no longer able to accept short term volunteers. It is not mandatory for all volunteers to stay a minimum of three months.
Other things to note: the island has many feral cats and dogs and there are many that live in the area surrounding the bathhouse. While they are mostly quite friendly, some dogs can be frightening at times so if this is an issue for you please take it into consideration.
DIY and building projects
Babysitting and creative play
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
You will be able to work with women and children currently living as Refugees and gain valuable experience working with vulnerable people as well as a powerful, eye-opening, and for many; life-changing first-hand experience with the European Refugee Crisis. You will be working alongside a team of committed, international, professional, dynamic and empowering women volunteers from different paths of life.
You can spend your time on a beautiful Greek island, eat delicious food, enjoy the bars and clubs of Mytilini, go hiking in the mountains, swimming and fishing in the deep blue sea, walking in between the olive groves, drink some ouzo with the friendly local population, and relax in the local hot springs.
We would be particularly interested in receiving help from volunteers with Greek, Farsi, Arabic, and French translation skills. It is a great help if volunteers have a driver's license (manual) as we rely on picking visitors up from Moria, please let us know if you are comfortable with driving a manual 8-seater car. We can only accept volunteers over the age of 23 due to the difficult emotional nature of the work we do.
We especially welcome people who can come for several weeks.
We appreciate it if volunteers stay in our shared volunteer apartment.
Lesvos is a beautiful and wild Greek island that has a history of hosting refugees (during various conflicts with Turkey and now from Middle Eastern, African and Asian countries) due to its proximity to Turkey (you can see its land from the shore). Unfortunately, tourism and its reputation have gone down since 2015, but people are just as friendly and welcoming as ever before and the island deserves visitors to continue coming to it. There is so much more to it than Refugee Camps and boats arriving - old churches and villas, salt flats, flamingos, hiking trails, bars and clubs, beaches, olive groves, local produce such as feta, ouzo, olive oil, horses, boat tours, kitesurfing, the list goes on.
Like all of Greece, this island has a rich history with ancient Greek philosophers; after the death of Plato in 347 BC his student, Aristotle, left Athens and moved Lesbos, where he lived for two years. Another fun philosophy fact connected to the island; the word lesbian is derived from the name of the island of Lesbos, home to the 6th-century BCE female poet Sappho.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week
In developing countries (Where most hosts are involved in charity work or community development) some of our hosts may ask for a small donation to help the host family or charity (often less then 5 dollars per day) Workaway will allow this listing when the donation goes directly to the family or charity and is just to cover the cost of the volunteer‘s stay. (This will be clearly marked on the host listing).
We will strictly not allow listings posted by agents, “middle men” or projects who we feel are looking to profit from a volunteers stay.
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