Vathi Refugee Camp
With currently around 7448 people living in a camp that was originally designed for only 648, the Vathí hotspot on Samos is among the most overcrowded camps in Greece. The number of people present is 11 times over capacity. Living in dire conditions, people are lacking basic needs, such as washing facilities, nutritious food, shelter, or health care. Samos’ winters are particularly harsh and rainy and the cold season will further deteriorate the situation as a vast majority of people live in camping tents or makeshift huts. Given these inhumane camp conditions and sometimes year-long waits for the processing of people’s asylum application, frustrations and tensions are high. Therefore, A Drop in the Ocean focusses particularly on recreational activities to provide people with a safe, calm, and trusting environment – a distraction from the daily camp reality.
Activities outside the Refugee Camp
Since the beginning of September 2019, we started our new recreational projects, including sports and arts activities at the Stagona Centre. There, we provide two main activities to migrants and asylum-seekers:
- Moving: We provide movement classes such as yoga, dancing, fitness and running where migrants and asylum-seekers can find some normalcy and community, as well as creating shared, positive experiences through physical activity.
- Making: We want to ensure that everyone has a creative space in which to develop, create and make. Whether it be painting portraits, telling stories, sewing or getting handy with tools – we want everybody to use their innovative skills.
We welcome everyone to send an application. However, we encourage long-term field workers to apply, though people with relevant backgrounds will be considered for a period of 10 to 21 days. As we aim to provide female-friendly classes, female volunteers are especially encouraged to join us.
The camp is very close to the town of Vathi, where our centre is located. On Samos, you will be working with people from different parts of the world. At the Stagona Center you can supervise sports and arts activities, or you can join them to build a strong sense of community.
Staying in Vathí, Samos
Our Stagona Centre is located in Vathí (also sometimes called the city of Samos), where we recommend staying in a hotel or an Airbnb. Everything is located within walking distance, so car rental is not necessary. If you choose to live outside of the city, which can be a cheaper alternative (recommended in July and August, when it is peak season), volunteers have chosen to rent a car or bicycle.