WE HAVE HAD A LOT OF INTEREST IN OUR PROJECT, THANK YOU ALL. SINCE THE REFUGEE SITUATION IS CONSTANTLY CHANGING WE CAN NOT ANTICIPATE THE AMOUNT OF VOLUNTEERS WE NEED TOO FAR AHEAD OF TIME. WE THEREFORE RECRUIT NEW VOLUNTEERS ONLY 2 MONTHS AHEAD OF TIME. PLEASE DO NOT SEND A REQUEST BEFORE THEN OR FOR TIMES MARKED IN RED AS WE ARE UNABLE TO ANSWER SO MANY REQUESTS AND YOU WON'T GET A REPLY.
WE NEED AT LEAST 2 VOLUNTEERS WITH A MANUAL DRIVERS LICENSE AT ALL TIMES, SO WE NEED TO GIVE PRIORITY TO DRIVERS. THANK YOU FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING.
We are a modest group of independent volunteers from all over the world operating a small shelter for refugee families in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. In this shelter, we provide accommodation, 3 meals a day, hygiene items, clothing, medical assistance, and education. We normally have between 75-90 residents at the House, with half of them being children. Now that winter is in full swing, we are also focusing on providing daily activities for the residents of all ages to make sure they stay mentally stimulated and engaged throughout these dreary months. Our main priority is to make it a safe, warm, and comfortable space for families, single mothers and other particularly vulnerable people.
Babysitting / child care
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
This project is unique in the way that we provide the residents a space where they can have a sense of community, normalcy, and autonomy in their lives, which are all things that vulnerable people in transit generally do not have during their journeys. These things are so important and vital especially for their mental health and overall well-being.
We are not going to downplay it: this is hard work in a chaotic environment (as it should be with 80 people in one house!). It can be emotionally difficult at times, but we volunteers are all here for each other and are dedicated to creating a space to discuss our emotions and detox after a long day.
Volunteering here will test all your abilities, your patience, and most likely change you as a person. If you are just looking for a free place to stay, this work is not for you. But if you are willing to put the work in to helping these people, you will surely find a home here. There is a reason some of us volunteers have been here over three months :)
What we need from volunteers: to teach English, math, geography (other foreign languages, especially German, would be great too); work at the House Reception distributing hygiene and medical supplies; organize activities for the men, women, and children; help to organize and run a free clothing shop for refugees and local Bosnians; run weekly House meetings for residents—and so much more! We are super flexible in terms of what kind of activities/events you want to organize. Bring your creativity to the table!
What we look for in volunteers: someone with dedication, adaptability, flexibility, a can-do attitude, a willingness to engage with both adults and children, experience with children and/or vulnerable populations, cultural sensitivity, and native/proficient English skills.
Our current residents speak Farsi, Arabic, Kurdish, and Dari. It would be AMAZING if you spoke one of those languages!
Would also be very useful if you have a license and can drive a manual car.
Please note: Due to the nature of this project and the vulnerable population we work with, you must be AT LEAST 20 years old to volunteer with us!
English, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, French, Persian, Kurdish
For volunteers committed to staying at least one month, we can provide a bed free of charge in our volunteer house, which is a 5 minute walk from the shelter. It's a typical Bosnian home, very simple but comfortable. Our landlady Olga may come up at anytime to surprise us with homemade baklava!
Bosnia is an extremely affordable place to live; food here is very cheap and accessible. For example, for about 150USD per month, you can cook nutritious meals for yourself at home using fresh ingredients and have plenty of money to spend sightseeing around Sarajevo. We volunteers usually cook for ourselves at home or eat at the shelter, but if you are on a budget, you are welcome to share all your meals with the House residents. The food is cooked by the residents themselves and is quite tasty!
We give you two days off per week (usually we work three days in a row, and then get one day off), and you are free to do whatever you please during that time! There is easy access to Sarajevo's tram line which takes you right into the city center and the Old Town (Baščaršija). Sarajevo is a lovely city to explore: you can have a Bosnian coffee in the Old Town, sample a tasty burek pastry, and take a long walk in the hills to see some truly staggering views.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
5 hours/day, 5 days/week