A Drop in the Ocean is present in the island of Lesvos, Northern Greece and the Athens area. We work directly inside the refugee camps, run by Greek authorities.

 

Our main work tasks are to distribute food, clothes and non-food items. We are also involved in planning and organizing different activities for children and adults in the camps. Furthermore, we assist in teaching English as well as provide material and logistical support for bilingual education.

 

Our volunteers participate in distribution, warehouse duties and in organising activities for the refugees. Volunteers work long hours, both inside and outside of the camps. When volunteering, you are expected to contribute in a positive manner and accept different kind of tasks that are given to you by our local coordinators. We are completely dependent on volunteer assistance, and all volunteers must fully commit to the team they have been assigned to.

 

We are currently in need of more volunteers at all the locations.

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Athens

Skaramangas

In Athens, we are working in the Skaramangas refugee camp, a 40-minute drive from the city centre. There are currently around 2,200 residents in the camp.

Skaramangas is the largest refugee camp in Greece, and and A Drop in the Ocean organises a number of activities for the residents.

Warehouse
The warehouse is located Egaleo, a 20 minute drive from Skaramangas. This is where we receive donations and organise everything before distribution in the camp. The warehouse is also used for constructing different objects that we may need in the camp, like shelves and tables.

Mother and Baby Space
This place is established to give mothers a private and intimate time with their babies. Here, they can take care of their children, change clothes, get support and interact with other mothers. No men are allowed inside.

Community Centre
Our community centre has three rooms available for different activities. Here, we arrange activities designed to make a positive impact on the residents of the camp. We cooperate closely with the residents to come up with new activities.

At the moment, we offer the following activities:
1. Sewing rom and knitting/crochet lessons.
2. Kids activities: Drawing, arts and crafts, play area.
3. English lessons for adults.
4. Library

Drop Shop
At the Drop Shop, we “sell” clothing items, shoes and other necessities to refugees in the camp. At the Market, we use our own virtual currency – “Drops” – that makes it possible for the refugees to shop the same way as in a normal store. Read more about “Drops” and The Drop App here. 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION
To be able to volunteer with us in Athens, you must be able to work for a minimum of 10 days. You must be prepared for demanding conditions and tensions in the camp. Induction and training will take place every week on Mondays and Thursdays. You can not work in the camp if you have not gone through this induction. We recommend that you arrive to the area the evening before the induction. Volunteers have Sundays off.

 

Elefsina

In July 2018 we established activities for children in the Elefsina refugee camp, about 30 km outside Athens. Located in an old industrial building, the camp houses nearly 300 people. Approximately 30 % are below 12 years of age and most of them comes from Syria and Iraq.

Volunteers from A Drop in the Ocean are going to organize activities for children in different age groups, especially pre-school kids.

To Elefsina we seek in particular long-term volunteers with experience from working with children and that can stay a minimum of 4 weeks.

The camp is approximately 6 km outside of the center of Elefsina and we recommend you to stay in Elefsina or Mandra and that you have an EU/international driver’s license and are able to rent a car.

 
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Northern Greece

 

In Northern Greece we work in Nea Kavala refugee camp, an official camp situated about an hour from Thessaloniki. The camp has 350-400 residents, and we are responsible for the distribution of food, clothing items and other necessities.

Vegetable Distribution
The vegetables distribution takes place twice a week. All of the residents receive a bag filled with different fresh vegetables that helps to complement their diet. This is more than just a distribution point, the Food Hatch is also a place to meet friends and socialise.

Drop Shop
At the Drop Shop, we “sell” clothing items, shoes and other necessities to refugees in the camp. At the Market, we use our own virtual currency – “Drops” – that makes it possible for the refugees to shop the same way as in a normal store. Read more about “Drops” and The Drop App here.

Bike Rentals
We have established a bicycle rental service, to help provide easier access to the town asNea Kavala camp is located 5 km from the local town. With this we give our residents the opportunity to attend classes, go shopping, and access leisure facilities. After attending a short information session, residents receive a bike rental card, that allows them to hire a bicycle for 3 hours each day. We have over 100 bike riders in camp now, and also provide women with bike training.

Women’s Bike Training
After commencing the bicycle rental program, we were approached by many women saying they wanted to rent bikes, but didn’t know how to ride. A Drop in the Ocean sat up the women’s cycling school with classes to learn to bicycle. Twice a week we offer these lessons, and we have more than 20 women with bike rental cards.

Build and Repair
Our wood workshop provides the opportunity for people from throughout the camp to access an array of tools and equipment to build all kinds of items – furniture, toys, there is even a wooden sculpture on the way! Along with this, there is space for the repair of all sorts of things – including the Drop Rental Bikes. This project gives a space for residents already skilled in construction to use some of their expertise, along with helping others to develop new skills.

Laundry
We have opened a laundry where residents can use washing machines six days a week.The laundry provides residents the opportunity to regularly come and wash, dry, and iron their clothes, and it is also an important meeting point for the residents in the camp.

Sewing Project
In collaboration with We are Here, we have sewing project where residents can make whatever they want using new and recycled fabrics. The can also take knitting classes, weave or use sewing machines to create interior pieces or fix ruined clothes.

Running Club
Together with a very dedicated group of residents, we have a running club that explores the local towns and fields on foot. All sorts of fitness levels join in for some exercise and fun each week.

“Flea Market”
Many residents in the nearby villages of Polikastro and Axioupolis have low incomes, and we have therefore started a flee market in order to help. Here, villagers can pick out clothes and shoes that they need.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION
To be able to volunteer with us in Northern Greece you must be able to work for minimum 10 days. Induction and training will take place every week on Mondays and Thursdays. You can not attend the work in camp if you have not gone through this induction. We recommend that you arrive the area the evening before the induction. In Nea Kavala, volunteers have Sundays off.

We need minimum two weeks notice from volunteers to Northern Greece, in order to have them registered in camp before their arrival.

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Lesvos

 

On Lesvos we work in the area around Mytilini. Most of the boats come in at night, therefore we patrol the shoreline every night. In addition, we assist and participate in various activities in cooperation with Home for a Day, as well as contributing with activities at the recently opened Home 2 run by Katerina and Nikos Katsouris, who also own Home for a Day.

Boat spotting
On Lesvos, we boat spot from 23:00-07:00, divided into two shifts with two volunteers at each shift. Volunteers must be prepared for doing shifts at night.

Home For a Day
Katerina and Nikos Katsouris run Home for a Day where refugees from Moria can come daily for a nice, home made meal. Clothes and hygiene products are also available when needed. Volunteers from A Drop in the Ocean assist, among other things, with warehouse work at Home For a Day.

Home 2
On Lesvos, a Drop in the Ocean has cooperated with Katerina and Nikos Katsouris who own Home for a Day, in refurbishing new premises. These premises are being used for workshops, courses, cafe, reading and relaxing. The Timber Project has assisted with the refurbishing and the project is supported by our collaborator Nada-Nord.

Home 2 is situated in Mytilini, and will be available to people from Moria, Kara Tepe and Mytilini. We have english lessons, Open cafe, PC-training and movienights. We are also planning to open Womens Safe Space here.

Read more about how one of our former volunteers experienced being a volunteer on Lesvos, here.

Due to the need of flexibility and urgent needs that may occur on the island, we require that you have an EU/international driver’s license and are able to rent a car if you want to volunteer with us in this area. Please note that living costs and car rental in general are more expensive on the islands than on the mainland – especially in the summer period from mid June to September.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION
To be able to volunteer with us at Lesvos, you must be able to work for a minimum of 9 days. Induction and training will take place every week on Mondays and Fridays. You can not work with us in the camp if you have not completed this induction. We recommend that you arrive to the area the evening before the induction begins.

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