A volunteer in DiH participates in the organization’s efforts to support those who fled their home countries and are currently staying where DiH operates – Greece, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Poland.
DiH is an organization with a high focus on volunteer support and participation; all the volunteers work closely with our dedicated and passionate field teams to help restore a sense of normality and dignity for refugees and migrants. Making a meaningful difference in people’s lives is a volunteer’s core task. This achievement is gained in our shared efforts for a deeper understanding of the refugee crisis in the general context and the challenges faced by individuals in the field. The volunteers work in a fast-paced and dynamic environment, allowing them to see the direct impact of their efforts. Volunteers come from different countries and the camp communities where we operate.
Volunteering with DiH involves training and active participation in programs directing DiH activities such as Community Empowerment Mobilisation; Integration; Non-formal Education; Humanitarian Aid. Therefore, the volunteers participate in activities related to providing humanitarian aid and support to refugees and migrants. This includes, but is not limited to, helping with the organization and distribution of aid, such as clothing and food; assisting with the running of activities in the refugee camps where we operate; providing language and cultural support to people; participating in advocacy and awareness-raising efforts to promote the rights of refugees and migrants, through their academic and professional networks. In 2022 more than 3000 volunteers worked in our different locations.
“There is beautiful connection with international and community volunteers in the team and camp residents. The people are very warm, welcoming, friendly, open – very nice exchanges, moments of sharing”Drop Volunteer in Nea Kavala
A day in the life of a volunteer in DiH includes the person being in charge of one or more daily activities or distributions in the respected location, always with the possibility to support other activities. The volunteer collaborates with other international and community volunteers from different countries, backgrounds, and ages. The duration of volunteering in the team depends on the location and activity; however, a 2-month working period is the most adequate for one to gain the experience they would like.
In each location, a Volunteer Coordinator supports the volunteers with their daily schedule, empowers them, and assists them with their work-related needs. The coordinators also help the volunteers cope with the emotional side of working with people who fled their home countries.
“There is diversity in the team (ages, languages, nationalities, genders, etc.). People can be themselves, support each other and learn from each other “Drop Volunteer in Nea Kavala
Volunteers are the heart of DiH. We rely on volunteers. They support our programs. And afterwards, they provide a better understanding of what is happening in Europe with the migration crisis. Our volunteers’ participation in our programs contributes as an essential drop in the ocean of Europe’s understanding and action towards support to people on the move.
DiH is thankful for all the past, present, and future volunteers. With you, we can provide proper assistance to the people.
As DiH, we believe that peoples’ voices should be heard; So, here are a few quotes from people who volunteered with us. Enjoy!
Rebecca Teclemariam-Mesbah, phD, Education Expert (55 years old), volunteering for 2 months in the Bosnia-Herzegovina operation:
“Do you want to be my friend?” is the first sentence the young people in the refugee camp of Ušivak near Sarajevo want to learn in English or French.
I have been volunteering there twice a week, giving IT, English and French language classes or simply playing games. Against the increasingly schizophrenic migration policies in Europe, in the middle of this dreary place, these youth have made me laugh more than I have in a long time and taught me lots of lessons through their wisdom and dignity.I can only encourage you to volunteer as well!”
Tara Fortier, Student (22 years old), volunteering for 2 months in the Bosnia-Herzegovina operation:
“Being aware of the millions of people fleeing war and persecution in hopes of finding safety and knowing the many challenges they systematically face along the way, I had long wanted to get involved in a humanitarian organization. However, I didn’t know where to get started or what to expect from the experience. When I came across Drop’s project in Bosnia, I instantly knew I wanted to be a part of it.
In the two months working here, I have been able to see the direct results of the work I am doing through the organization. I am grateful for the structure I’ve been given that has allowed me to learn tremendously and have the means to have an effective impact. It is very fulfilling knowing you are working, to the best of your abilities, towards making the world a more humane place.
Although there is no denying that volunteering in a refugee camp is emotionally challenging, being faced with the injustice and the cruelty of the world we live in on a daily basis can make you angry and hopeless at times, but I have also been surprised by the kindness, the moments of joy and the connections have had the opportunity to experience in this place.
I am leaving Sarajevo already with the thought of getting involved with Drop again as soon as possible. To anyone thinking of volunteering in a refugee camp, do it!”
Some short messages on Volunteers’ best experiences written for the Nea Kavala letter of appreciation project:
“Amazing team and great atmosphere in the team”
“I feel grateful, valued and appreciated”.
“The volunteers are in charge of the activities, they have responsibilities, sense of ownership”.
“The volunteers are learning a lot”.
“We see the participants of an activity being happy”.