Being a Field Worker
A Drop in the Ocean’s purpose is to support displaced people, and share information about the livelihood of refugees and migrants. Where possible, our priority will be helping children and their mothers. Our volunteer field workers contribute in organising and running the activities we provide, such as language classes, spaces for women and children, and much more!
More than 6500 volunteers from more than 68 different countries have contributed in the field since 2015.
Will you help us next?
Children’s activities, Lesvos
Daily Tasks as a Voluntary Field Worker
A Drop in the Ocean is present in Athens, Northern Greece, on Samos, and on Lesvos. On the mainland we work directly in Skaramagas, Elefsina, and Nea Kavala refugee camps, which are all operated by the Greek authorities. On Lesvos, we work inside Moria camp, but we also have our own Drop Centre located 15 minutes walk from the camp, where most of our activities take place. On Samos, our activities mostly take place at Stagona Centre, in close proximity to the refugee camp in Vathy.
The tasks are constantly changing, depending on the needs of the different locations. Working hours and tasks vary from location to location. We encourage our field workers to be flexible and participate in the activities assigned by the field coordinator. The work can consist of distributing food and clothing, sorting and organising storage units, various activities for children and adults, such as crafts, sports, games, and teaching.
In the refugee camps, we cooperate with organisations such as the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), International Organization for Migration (IOM), and Danish Refugee Council (DRC).
Your Time as a Field Worker
The days can be long, with various tasks both inside and outside the camps. By contributing as a volunteer field worker for A Drop in the Ocean, you are expected to spend your time doing the tasks assigned by the coordinators.
We are dependent on all the help we can get. You will be working in a team, where everyone contributes with their knowledge and skills. The team will consist of international, local volunteers and resident volunteers. You will also be working alongside residents of the camps. Therefore, flexibility is key and mutual respect and tolerance is expected.
The Role of the Coordinator
When you arrive at your location, you will be met by a coordinator. Their job ensure that the activities run smoothly by giving you training, guidance and support. Your coordinator will follow you closely throughout your stay, and all the volunteers participate in weekly meetings in the field. The coordinators arrange joint dinners regularly and are responsible for debriefing if an evacuation or other incidents should occur. Read more about our coordinator roles here. Long-term volunteers have individual conversations regularly. All volunteers are offered a conversation when they end their stay. Read more about equipment and preparations for the journey here.
“For me being a coordinator is about inspiring others to do good and have fun at the same time. It is spreading the message that the most important mission we have is to give love and hope to those who need it the most.” – Cláudia Sabença, former project and logistic coordinator for A Drop in the Ocean. Read the interview here
A day in the field
Living Conditions and Transport
Field workers with A Drop in the Ocean travel at their own risk. You are responsible for covering the cost of travel, food, and accommodation. When you register as a voluntary field worker, you will be invited to a closed pre-arrival Facebook group, where you will get information about accommodation and transport for each location. The group is also where you can get in touch with other field workers travelling around the same time as you.
As a field worker, you choose the location you want to go to, but you can also apply with an «open» application where we will recommend a location based on your qualifications. The needs in the field will always sway where we focus our work. Therefore, if you possess specific skills, it may be that we request to send you to a different location. Read more about our locations and activities in the field here.
Below you will find general information regarding accommodation and transport at our different locations.
We recommend renting Airbnb or hotels that are in proximity to the blue metro line. Rental car is not necessary, the public transport system in Athens will easily take you to and from the camp.
You will stay in Polikastro, Axoupolis or Pigi. Rental car is essential, but can be shared with other volunteers.
Most volunteers stay in Mytilini. We recommend renting an Airbnb or hotel. Rental car is essential, but can be shared with other volunteers.
Our base on Samos is in the city of Vathy, where we recommend renting a hotel or an Airbnb. Everything is located within walking distance, so car is not necessary. You can also get around using public transportation. If you choose to stay outside of the city, which may be a cheaper alternative (especially during summer season), please be aware that depending on the distance, you may have to look into renting a bike or a car.