An estimated 11 million Syrians have fled their homes since the outbreak of the civil war in March 2011.
Since the Balkan route from Greece to northern Europe was shut down in March after the arrival of a million migrants and refugees, around 57,000 people have been stranded in Greece. In response to this humanitarian crisis, Cross-Cultural Solutions is operating a refugee volunteer program starting in 2017 to support vulnerable children, women, and residents of camps in Greece.
How can you support refugees?
Please note that you must travel in groups of at least 4 members to participate in the Support Refugees volunteer program in Greece - so start spreading the word on social media with friends, family, colleagues, or classmates! Volunteer leads will receive $100 off your program fee for each person that joins you in this experience. Individuals are, however, able to enroll in our July 1st or 15th start dates without forming a group of 4.
The majority of refugee families in Greece now live in one of 40+ ‘temporary’ camps. Each camp is different, with accommodations in tents or containers, and only some providing heat, hot water, and electricity. However, most, if not all camps, lack the adequate basic standard of living that every human deserves.
The camps CCS work with are situated 50 minutes north of Athens, and each houses approximately 800 residents, including 400 children (with approximately 40 still being breast/bottle fed) and around 20 women who are pregnant.
One of the challenges in the camps is simply a lack of activities and purpose for the residents. Children are keen to talk, play & learn, while adults are looking for ways to engage with their peers. The future is uncertain for these families and restoring dignity & purpose in their daily lives is an important goal of this program. Bringing a sense of normalcy and routine in a chaotic and foreign environment is so valuable.
CCS volunteers work alongside NGOs on the ground, many who have been with the camps since their inception.
We are pleased to be partnering with local NGO's that have been operating in Ritsona since the camp was opened. Our main partner is Lighthouse Relief. CCS volunteers will be working alongside the Lighthouse Relief staff in their Child Friendly Space, Female Friendly Space, Construction and Advocacy programs.
Create a nurturing environment through Work with Refugee Children by offering emotional and educational supports to meet developmental milestones.
Foster a sense of community and provide educational and health information to Support Vulnerable Women in female-friendly spaces.
Give your hands and heart in a project to Build Refugee Camp Infrastructure to create needed spaces for an ever-growing refugee population.
Share the realities of life as a refugee and become an Advocate for Refugees through stories and photos that can help to dispel myths and misperceptions.
Reserve your spot today with a deposit of $350! Fees and start dates vary by destination and duration. Make selections below to get started. Did you know your out-of-pocket trip costs might be just a fraction of the below? Click here to find out how.