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We are a U.S. based animal welfare charity organization with global campaigns. In Greece we are operating a cat sanctuary for which we are seeking volunteers to help with our daily operations. The sanctuary, which currently hosts more than 40 cats, is a modern, clean and comfortable 2 floor private house, surrounded by olive groves and situated in Kouvaras area, in the south part of Attika. The sanctuary is about 15 minutes by car from the Athens International Airport.
Types of help and learning opportunitiesGardeningAnimal CareCreating/ Cooking family mealsHelp around the houseGeneral Maintenance
Cultural exchange and learning opportunities
Travelers who will come to volunteer in our sanctuary will have a chance to: gain a valuable knowledge and work experience (if it is their professional field) about animal care and running the animal sanctuary, learn about the Greek animal welfare challenges, laws etc., get a sense of achievement, self-confidence and motivation, be part of our community and help to make a difference. Volunteers can obtain a volunteer certificate upon their request and they will receive lots of love from our furry friends while enjoying their company and bonding.
Those who will come to volunteer in our sanctuary will get the experience of living in Greece, have a chance to discover Athens, enjoy historical sites, and beaches very close to our sanctuary area as well as gain new friends & contacts.
We need MATURE, RELIABLE AND RESPONSIBLE volunteers to work in our animal sanctuary, carrying out tasks such as: feeding the cats, cleaning litter boxes, cleaning all indoor and outdoor areas of the shelter, taking care of our garden, playing with and petting our cats. One can be also asked to help with other tasks, including gardening and DIY. The majority of the work is cleaning so our cats and human guests are living in constant sanitary conditions, so volunteers who are clean, tidy and hardworking are needed. You will need a good attention to detail as we make sure the sanctuary is cleaned to a very high standard every day.
We are looking for people who already have a PRIOR EXPERIENCE IN THE ANIMAL CARE FIELD, working either as professionals (certified animal caretakers, animal behavior specialists, veterinarians, vet assistants, students of veterinary schools) or experienced volunteers (volunteers in animal rescue shelters and sanctuaries). We will give our preferences also to people who have hands on EXPERIENCE FROM ANIMAL CHARITY organizations and people with EXPERIENCE in GRANTS, raising DONATIONS and people skilled in PHOTOGRAPHY and SOCIAL MEDIA.
We expect our volunteers to help a minimum of 5 hours per day (5 days a week). There are two work ‘shifts’ during the day (with a briefing meeting after the initial clean). A working day runs like this:
9:00 am – 2:00 pm Morning shift (main house full & deep cleaning, daily tasks)
3:00 pm - 9:00 pm Afternoon shift (topping up food, checking water bowls, checking and cleaning litter trays)
* Shifts time can be a subject to change, depending number of volunteers and on the immediate needs
Volunteers can take turns in the shifts, which allow them to plan better for their free time. The shifts schedule is decided by the shelter manager (upon the discussion with volunteers).
Given the fact that help in the cat sanctuary has its own specifics and requires commitment to follow a specific help schedule and rules, we are looking for volunteers who are MATURE, have a sense of RESPONSIBILITY and who are GOOD TEAM PLAYERS and DEDICATED ANIMAL LOVERS. There are beautiful tourist places and beaches around our area, which we encourage our volunteers to enjoy in their free time, nevertheless we will only accept volunteers who are coming to our sanctuary to contribute with their help and learn about animals first and foremost. The cats are our priority so we need volunteers who will work wholeheartedly and provide out cats with the love and care they deserve.
We always try to make the experience pleasant and fun as well over all the hard work!
!! IMPORTANT: We would like to ask Workawayers who previously confirmed their stay for certain dates to give us at least 2 WEEKS prior notice if one must cancel.
PLEASE BEAR IN MIND THAT WE WORK WITH ANIMALS AND WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR SANCTUARY´S DAILY OPERATION IS WELL COVERED WITH ADEQUATE HELP. IF YOU LEAVE OUR PROJECT EARLIER THAN AGREED (except of serious personal reasons, of course) YOU MIGHT SERIOUSLY IMPACT OUR SHELTER OPERATIONS AND EVEN JEOPARDIZE OUR SHELTER CATS!!
We thank everybody in advance for their responsible approach and cooperation.
In order to make sure that the potential volunteer will be a good fit for our shelter, we would like to ORGANIZE AN ONLINE CHAT with one of our shelter managers prior to providing our final confirmation.
Accommodation is being provided in a modern, clean and very comfortable 2 floor family house. We have one small bedroom downstairs (with a private bathroom) and two bedrooms upstairs; one with a double bed and one with bunk beds. In both bedrooms we can accommodate 4 people in total. The visitors staying in the two bedrooms upstairs will have access to a shared bathroom. In case of need, there are 2 large round sofas downstairs to accommodate extra 2 people.
We have about 50 cats in our sanctuary and they live freely in the house. Please note that volunteers coming to stay with us will most likely have one or more kitties sleeping with them in their bedrooms. This also means that you will be likely to have litter trays, toys and lots of cuddles during the night. Also, some cats need to be isolated at times due to the health reasons and may be staying in the rooms for certain time periods.
There is also a laundry room where our visitors can do their laundry.
There is a fully equipped kitchen, sitting area at the balcony, internet access, TV in a living room and all bedrooms and parking.
Our shelter will provide select groceries so volunteers can prepare their own breakfast & lunch in accordance with their dietary preferences. Volunteers are encouraged to take turns in cooking for themselves and for the other volunteers (if they are interested and can master the cooking).
As we all share the house with the cats, we are very strict on cleanliness. All volunteers need to clean up after themselves, keep their bedrooms clean and respect the cats and the fact that it is their house. You will be expected to clean the kitchen, bathrooms and bedrooms daily in order to keep the cats safe and taken care of.
We have 3 bicycles and helmets in our shelter which our volunteers can use.
What else ...
In their time off the helpers can enjoy close by beaches such as Porto Rafti (abt. 12 km from the shelter) or Lagonisi (13 km), they can visit Sounio with the spectacular Temple of Poseidon (24,5 km) or Archaelogical site of Vravrona with the Temple of Artemis (18 km). The helpers can also enjoy the so called Athens Riviera stretching on the southern coastal area of the Attika region. From the nearby port of Lavrio (20 km) the helpers can take a boat to the Kea island.
The center of Athens is about 40 km from Kouvaras area. Volunteers can take either the local bus which runs every hour (please note that the route via bus to Athens city center takes about 1 and a half hours) or they can take a Suburban Railway (and than to change for metro - the route takes about 30 minutes to Athens city center) from a station which is about 10 minutes by car from the shelter.
Grocery stores are within walking or biking distance from the shelter (about 10 - 15 minutes walking).
Our shelter managers will provide free transport to and from the airport for your arrival and departure, plus a trip to the supermarket once per week. IMPORTANT! For arrivals/departures from 9 pm until 9 am the volunteers are responsible for their own transportation from/to the airport. Our shelter managers can coordinate ahead of time for them to book a taxi (taxi is being paid by the volunteer in this case).
Volunteers are responsible for organising their own transportation for personal activities in their free time and days off or they can contribute for gas if our shelter vehicle is available (this does not include group activities and outings). Reliable taxi's can be recommended by our shelter managers.
A little more information
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Space for parking camper vans
This host can provide space for campervans.
How many Workawayers can stay?
More than two
5 hours a day, 5 days a week
The shelter has two locations, I was
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The shelter has two locations, I was
I had such an amazing experience, learned so much about shelter work and always got time to pet and cuddle with the beautiful cats :)
I also got
The animals can teach us more stuff that we can imagine and that is priceless.
All the women behind this shelter are
This place is the perfect place for cat lovers and we were really surprised by how
The shelter is in a beautiful area surrounded by hills and beautiful views, very nice for taking walks or bikes! Even though it's a little far from the station, the shelter managers will gladly give you a ride when their schedule allows.
It's run very well and people are extremely kind
The work is a lot of cleaning which is understandable because of many cats. We did a lot of activites with other volunteers and with Amber, for example went to snorkeling, hiking and see rescue turtles. On
The cat’s house is really for cats, all things are with cats in mind, I was there with 2 other volunteers; Alex and Johana who sometimes spoke with me in Spanish because I have low level in English. Ellie (manager) came to pick me up in the airport. There was Amber (manager too).
I honestly don't have a bad word to say. This place is structured amazingly and the work is clear - we have a few hours of cleaning
I would recommend the shelter to everyone who loves animals, loves lots of cuddles and doesn't mind some cleaning. It's
From the moment you walk into the shelter your realize you are in cat heaven, not only for cats but also for humans. The energy is really good because of all the furry friends and wonderful Ellie and Amber who run the shelter with lots of love and passion, they
Julie has done an incredible job with this shelter. It's like a cat paradise. You can see that it's made with love and care.
The house is in super amazing condition and very comfy.
Variety, also, of ingredients in the kitchen, to cook your own meals.
I, also, want to thank Mickaela for her presence. I felt her
I have been staying in the cat sanctuary for a total of 7 weeks during the lockdown in November and December. I truly enjoyed my stay in the shelter, it was definitely the best place to be during a lockdown!
The work itself is pretty easy and consists mainly of cleaning tasks
The cats were extremly friendly, we met plenty of interesting people as well. Daily tasks were relaxing and everyone cooperated in the very friendly athmosphere. The house
Apart from helping with every day operations for taking care of our kitties, Sean did amazing work inside and outside our
Well, my experience in the cat's shelter was very very nice. The cats are amazing and very sweet, the manager Ellie is a very nice and polite girl, since the beggining she always helped me, and she picked me up in the airport; the house is
CATS - Any time you lay down on one of the couches, there will be at least two cats ready to cuddle up to you.
Amazing people - Everyone was fun and friendly and welcoming. It was like a wonderful family!
Beautiful scenery and perfect weather - I was
The communication and interaction with the staff was great, and they all do an admirable
The work is fair (on the light side), the house is well furnished and has an amazing sunny rooftop. You will have
The crew is so dedicated, so thank you Ellie, Mika and Gabriella for letting me be a small part of this great orginization.
Apart from doing the day to day cleaning and caring for the cats I was able to do a lot of maintenance on the grounds. So if you are someone who likes to
The daily works are not so difficult. Basic clean around ,clean cats toilets,take care of the cats.And you will have free time to explore the area.There is very nice beach nearby (15 minutes by car)And me and other
All the people in this charity give everything to the cats and care so much about them. Thank you so much to Mika, who showed me and other volunteers the sights of
The space itself is a pleasure—a clean, balconied building nestled in the olive groves wreathing the foothills of Athens.
The cats are a pleasure—alternately friendly and patient, gentle and playful, silly and proud.
The people are a pleasure—uncommonly conscientious and exceptionally
The shelter location is really nice, with beautiful nature around it. The work in the shelter isn't difficult at all. We clean the house everyday, change the litter, the food and the water all day. Some cats also need medication. When the work is finished, you can enjoy playing
We also enjoyed taking a lot of
It is a perfect place for the first workaway and I can just agree with all these things in the other recommendations.
All people of the sanctuary are doing great work and i am so thankful that I was a part of it!
It was an amazing experience that I'll never forget!
The major part of the work consists in cleaning the shelter, but we still have a lot of freetime to visit Athens and the beaches nearby, which are easy to access by bus!
I would highly recommend this place to any cat lover, who is ready
Communication from the host organisation was brilliant, seeing as it was my first workaway I had lots of questions before I left and found that the hosts answered the questions very promptly and kindly, this made me feel at ease with them before I had even arrived.
When I arrived at the sanctuary, I was given a brief
I hope I can go back some day :house_with_garden:❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
I recommend to anyone that loves cats, wants to do some
The house Is very clean and there’s so much space for them to run around and play. Our room was also a nice size and we enjoyed sharing it with 5 beautiful
The work itself is pretty easy and straightforward: it mostly consists of keeping the house clean and tidy (this
They helped with every day operations at our shelter with a great dedication and sense of responsibility. At the same time they took a loving care for our rescue cats, they bonded with them from a day one. Both Zuzana and Iva were were such a
I have been very well, the shelter is very big and comfortable.
I met fantastic people here, like Diana, Julie and Marketa.
My work consisted everyday for five days a week to cleaning one floor inside and outsider, give food and water at the cats and play
We were very lucky to have Renée on board, she brought to our shelter a positive, cheerful and creative
The home is an open, well ventilated, clean and contemporary space. They have bikes, yoga mats, board games, TV with Netflix, and good WiFi. The food selection was great and they made