Northern Greece

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the closure of our work in Nea Kavala refugee camp after eight years. Demanding economic times and many crises that need support has forced us to make some difficult priorities.

In the heart of Nea Kavala camp A Drop in the Ocean support displaced persons by organizing various activities such as non-formal education for adults, activities for women, and youth. We also support integration efforts through our InfoHub. The team distributes clothes, food and other non-food items to meet the needs of the camp residents.
Since September 2022, A Drop in the Ocean has started operating in Alexandria camp, distributing food and non-food items. Our main goal is further to expand our support with the implementation of activities.

barn som skal gjøre lekeaktiviteter

Nea Kavala refugee camp 

Nea Kavala refugee camp is located in Northern Greece. The camp was originally built on the airstrip of a former military airport, but has since been rebuilt in close proximity to the previous site. The geographical location of the camp makes it prone to extreme weather conditions, like strong winds and cold temperatures during wintertime, and very high temperatures in the summer. Furthermore, the remoteness of the camp adds to the already challenging situation the residents face. 

Many camp residents have arrived in Greece over the mainland border or have been relocated from apartments, where they have been staying, under the EMany camp residents were transferred to Nea Kavala either from the mainland borderor from the islands, depending on where they first entered the country. Some of them were relocated from apartments, where they had been staying under the ESTIA housing project.Camp residents are either asylum seekers (with many of them waiting for their asylum application to be processed for long periods) or recognized refugees.

All residents live in Isobox containers consisting of two small rooms, a small kitchenette, and a bathroom. All containers are equipped with AC/heating.

What does A Drop in the Ocean do in Nea Kavala? 

A Drop in the Ocean organises various activities for the camp’s residents. In the heart of the camp lies our Drop Centre A Drop in the Ocean organises various activities for the camp’s residents. In the heart of the camp lies our Drop Centre which is open for everyone. This is where our organized activities take place, but it also serves as a safe space to hang out, chat, meet with other community members, play board games and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee (always on the house!). The Drop Centre provides a much-needed sense of normality and community through shared positive experiences of learning and empowerment.  

A Drop in the Ocean also distributes necessary items to the residents of the camp. Since only asylum seekers receive cash and food assistance by the Ministry/the Greek state, we support the rest of the camp’s population with food and non-food items (such as diapers and sanitary pads). We also make sure that all community members have access to clothes and hygiene products.

A Drop in the Ocean has a team on the ground consisting of experienced coordinators and volunteer field workers, both international and members of the community. One of the most significant achievements of A Drop in the Ocean is the establishment of a strong bond with resident volunteers, resistant to time and any other difficulties. Engaging in the daily activities of the team and providing a sense of belonging has proved to be quite beneficial for displaced people.

Our programme activities:  

1. Community Empowerment Mobilisation & Non-formal Education

The Drop Centre is where the majority of our non-formal education and recreational activities take place. Our main goal is to empower people and to provide them with a space equipped with tools and materials to be able to study, train, develop, express their creativity, socialise and relax.

Here are some of the different activities and projects our team supports are:

  • Language classes (English and Greek)
  • Language cafes (English, French, German and Greek)
  • Youth club
  • Kids’ clubMusic class
  • Tailoring & knitting
  • (Art class)
  • Sports activities (yoga classes & football club)
  • Women’s space
  • (Study space)

2. Integration Support 

  • InfoHub 

At our Drop Centre, we run an InfoHub where camp residents can find information about accommodation, transportation, and other and other  practical issues related to working and living in Greece. We also assist residents in creating CVs and cover letters, preparing for job interviews and connecting them with other employability actors. 

3. Humanitarian Aid 

  • Distributions 

A Drop in the Ocean distributes clothes, shoes, hygiene items, diapers to children under three year old and sanitary padsthrough our Drop Shops that operate in the camp. These spaces offer a shop-like experience to the residents, who can choose the items that best fit their needs, taste or preferences On an ad hoc basis, we also distribute newborn baby packs.

On a biweekly basis, A Drop in the Ocean distributes dry food packs to the community members that do not receive food from the camp.

As an international volunteer, you will work in the camp from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, under the supervision of coordinators and in collaboration with other volunteers. According to the skills shared on your CV and based on the interview with the HR recruitment coordinator, you will be asked to support operations in one or more of the aforementioned programs. Indicatively, tasks may include:

  • organising distributions (sourcing, sorting and restocking the Drop Shops)
  • preparing and teaching language classes
  • running children, youth or women activities (arts and craft, sport activities, language cafes)
  • welcoming residents in the Drop Centre  and ensuring engagement in the space
  • supporting the team in cleaning and organizing the spaces.

Due to the situation of Covid-19, changes to the activities might occur. We always ensure infection prevention by following various infection control measures, in accordance with the guidelines of the Greek authorities.