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. 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 :)
Volunteer roles and responsibilities:
Kitchen— oversees the cooking of three meals per day for 80 people; schedules the cooking rotation for residents to cook meals; maintains stock and inventory of food; grocery shops twice weekly to maintain food stock; upholds rules/norms of kitchen.
Activities— leads activities with children in the house, ages 3-16; these include games, educational lessons, arts and crafts, and trips outside the house to the park, cinema, playground, sightseeing, etc.; also leading activities with adults; managing weekly schedule of activities, and generally being responsible for tending to the house’s children.
Most volunteers spend time in kitchen and activities. Some other tasks for these volunteers include: being at reception to service the needs of the house residents; organization and cleaning projects; driving; spending time with and connecting with the residents of the house.
Medical Coordinator— responds to the medical complaints of residents of the house; arranges appointments for residents to see doctors, dentist, specialists, and tracks the medical cases of the residents; leads the response to medical situations and emergencies; engages in the milieu of the house.
Project Coordinator— performs all administrative tasks of the house; recruits volunteers; oversees fundraising, scheduling, volunteer meetings, house meetings; maintains communication with other organizations that provide legal aid, psychosocial services, education, and other essential services within the house; leads response to emergencies and crises.
Mostly we are seeking volunteers for the kitchen/activities role. Sometimes we are seeking a project coordinator, and for that role we want people who can stay for 6 months (or more). It is also common, however, that kitchen/activities volunteers will take on some administrative tasks.
We are ALWAYS seeking medical volunteers— especially doctors and nurses— who can stay for a month or more.
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, and Kurdish. 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 21 years old to volunteer with us!
We are seeking volunteers who can commit to AT LEAST 6 weeks, with priority to applications who can stay for two months or longer. This project is entirely volunteer-run. For that reason we require people who are dedicated, committed, and have the time to learn how the house works, take on responsibilities, and become leaders for newer volunteers!
English, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, French, Persian, Kurdish
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!
Volunteers have 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
max 5 hours/day, 5 days/week
These are extra optional ratings when members leave feedback. The average rating left for each option is displayed.
Accuracy of profile: