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We are a registered NGO set up in early 2017 to provide a unified response to the humanitarian crisis in the Balkans. We work alongside a number of partners such as Help Refugees, Oxfam, and MSF to provide food, clothing and other essential services to refugees and migrants living in, and outside of, camps around Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Computers / internet
Not only is this a great opportunity to develop and share your skills but you can also really see the difference that your work makes to the lives of the people you are helping. There is also plenty of opportunity to meet and interact with our beneficiaries during distributions, many of whom are very happy to share their experiences, language and culture with you.
Based on the feedback we often get, volunteering with us can be a unique experience. You’ll quickly be part of the team as everybody involved deeply cares about the work we do and everybody works towards the same goal. This has not only allowed us to grow to a sizable endeavor running a variety of different projects but has also created a certain degree of responsibility. As we’re at the point where others rely on us, the work we do comes with a certain sense of urgency. There are tasks that need to be completed each day; e.g. the classes we provide have to be started by a certain time to cater for the dependencies we have created. Therefore, volunteers are expected to maintain a certain level of professionalism to complete work on time and do so in a way that is appropriate in the context of what it means to deliver humanitarian aid. You’ll be provided with various documents and briefings to ensure this level of professionalism can be upheld so there is no need to worry if you don’t have any previous experience working with vulnerable populations.
We ask for open minded and dedicated volunteers. Spending your time helping others is rewarding, and doing it alongside volunteers who share the values of solidarity and caring for people in need adds to the experience. We often work long hours and the work can be hard and is rarely glamorous, but at the end of the day there is an incredible feeling of accomplishment.
In your first message, please explain why you would like to come volunteer with us. If you have any kitchen related, community work or refugee aid experience or if you have any other special skills that you think might be relevant, please include that as well.
We currently support refugees in an all male camp about an hour outside of Belgrade. At the moment we have three areas of work that we are focusing on here in Serbia:
The Community Center
With the Serbian response to the refugee crisis being increasingly structured, we have recently handed over our kitchen project (cooking daily lunch for an all-male refugee camp) to a local organization employing local workers. As most of the basic physical needs of refugees and migrants are therefore accounted for, we are now shifting our focus towards the mental and emotional well being of those still stuck in Serbia. That’s why we opened the Community Center. With a big focus on welfare, we are running activities, classes and workshops aimed at meeting the psycho-social needs of camp residents. We need you to help plan, prepare and lead sessions, as well as help with the day-to-day running of the center.
We also run sports sessions inside the camp 4 days a week, taking a team to play informal basketball, cricket, badminton, card and football games with the residents. The beneficiaries really enjoy these sessions and its a great opportunity to socialise and promote healthy activities. Volunteers do not require any skills or experience to support these sessions, just enthusiasm and a positive attitude!
Non-Food Item Distribution
At various times of the year we also require short term support with distribution and sorting of non-food items in our warehouse. This would involve sorting our deliveries and coordinating items to distribute to where they are most need, keeping track of inventories and helping out with other tasks at the warehouse. If you have experience of warehouse distribution please let us know when you contact us!
We are looking for enthusiastic, self-motivated and compassionate volunteers, preferably with previous experience in teaching, leading activities or working with vulnerable populations. We would also be excited to find volunteers with an understanding of Pakistani, Afghan and Indian culture and language, who could act as cultural translators.
* We are particularly interested in hearing from male volunteers who can drive and/or speak German for October/November *
While these are our main points of focus, it is important to keep in mind that our work requires us to be flexible. The number and needs of refugees and migrants in Serbia can easily change at any time. As an organization of our size, our strength lies in being able to respond to that quickly. However, this means that we need our volunteers to keep a certain degree of flexibility. While we try to incorporate everybody’s strengths and establish dedicated roles for the work that needs to be done, spontaneous projects will at times require us to employ a rather “all hands on deck” approach.
If you have any other experience that you think might be relevant, please let us know. Please get in touch with us if you're interested in joining us!
We have two volunteer houses (the main one is a volunteer-run dorm) within walking distance of our warehouse and office space in a suburb of Belgrade, Serbia (the suburb is about a 20 minute bus journey into the city). Rooms are shared with up to eight other volunteers and can be mixed gendered; there is a shared kitchen, shared bathrooms and communal spaces to socialize in.
We ask for 5€ (or 600 Serbian Dinar) per night to stay in our accommodations. All revenue from this goes straight back into covering rent and funding the work we do.
Living and working so closely together creates somewhat of a family atmosphere and we usually share our evening meal together. This allows us to talk about the day’s work, explore thoughts and feelings about how things are going and therefore steadily improve our working atmosphere as well as our relationships with each other.
We provide one meal per day for volunteers which we take in turn to cook in pairs. For the rest of your time, the cost of living (particularly food) is relatively low in the Balkans so it doesn't take much to live comfortably here. You will need to cover your own breakfast and lunch as well as whatever spending money you need. There are supermarkets, bakeries, kiosks, bars and little restaurants within walking distance of where we live.
In your time off there are plenty of interesting cultural and natural places to visit around the city. Museums, cafes and shops are only a short bus ride away to explore on your days off.
Please download WhatsApp before coming to volunteer with us!
Please also note that if you are interested in volunteering at the center it is helpful to bring your own laptop for lesson planning.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
5 hours per 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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