Now on to the core of your experience, your volunteer work. Cross-Cultural Solutions staff and volunteers are working to address critical global issues by providing meaningful volunteer service to communities abroad, and contributing responsibly to local economies.

As a leader in the field of international volunteer travel for 20 years, we know that the best approach to international volunteering—the only approach—is one designed by the community. In every community in which we work, we have long-standing relationships with local organizations who communicate real-time needs and objectives to the CCS team so that our volunteers can work alongside local people and make a sustainable impact.

Why Volunteering Abroad is Important

Our partners, Lighthouse Relief, has impacted the refugee population greatly. Learn more about our partners and the impact you will make in Greece:

Effective International Volunteering

You’ve listened to CCS Founder Steve Rosenthal share the CCS story, you’ve seen our partner organization Lighthouse Relief, and you’ve learned about the most respectful approach to service. Now let’s get down to business!

Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about figuring out what to do at your volunteer assignment on your own. You’re joining a community of over 35,000 alumni, the CCS HQ staff, and the CCS Peru team with years of experience at being an international volunteer.

So how do you make the most of every moment as a volunteer?

Be Flexible!
Whether you’re in a school that’s decided to take a last-minute fieldtrip, or a daycare where even the best-laid plans can be interrupted by the needs of a child, flexibility in your volunteer assignment is key. Expect the unexpected, go with the flow, and find the humor in every situation!

Take Initiative.
You’re at your volunteer assignment because you’re needed. In many cases, resources and staff are low, so there might not be a lot of time for someone at to put together your game plan for the day. This is your chance to be creative and take initiative. Have a great idea? See someone that needs help? Jump in! That’s why you’re here!

Be Open to Learning.
The local community and organization with which you volunteer understand their own needs best (that’s why the CCS in-country staff is all local). There will be moments in every experience where things are done a bit differently than what you’re used to. So ask the CCS in-country staff, or ask at your volunteer assignment any questions that you may have. This is not only a chance to learn about your assignment and the local people, but about yourself as well.

Volunteer Resources

Now that you have the basics in place, let’s talk about your individual volunteer work assignment. The tools you’ll need to be successful (flexibility, initiative, and learning) are the building blocks across all assignments, but it’s also helpful to dig in deeper and think about creative activities and projects, and to understand the population you’ll be working with. While you’re individual volunteer work assignment is based on the most immediate needs of the local community (this will come just a week or two before your program begins), you can start reviewing this information now, and continue to use it as a resource when you’re in-country.

Volunteering in Female-Friendly Spaces

In the Female Friendly Spaces you will have the ability to provide an atmosphere of safety and women’s empowerment for females of all ages and stages. Women volunteering here bring your ears to listen, hearts full of compassion, and a smile for reassurance. This space is the hub for women to connect and commune together from young to old. Volunteering in Female Friendly Spaces you will provides access to information, education, recreational activities, support and services. From recreational activities to infant feeding program, female dignity kits and English lessons.

Volunteering in Distribution & Building Projects

This is the foundation of the camp. It is what keeps families healthy, warm during the winter months and cool from the Mediterranean sun, and providing a voice to the rest of the world. Distribution of food, clothing and supplies is a daily activity at Ritsona. Lend a helping hand with sorting donations, distributing food and non-food items to families.
Are you ready to roll up your sleeves and handy with a hammer?! These skills are needed to for construction and manual labor of maintenance and building onto the camp. Supporting LightHouse Relief staff and volunteers in ongoing projects.

Volunteering in Advocacy

The pen is mightier than the sword! Communications is key to expressing the humanity and likeness that we as people have whether refugee or not. The status of the Syrian Refugees and Greece Refugee Camps are ever-changing. More often than not families do not feel the world has heard their cry for help. As a volunteer your voice and sharing your experience is crucial and in high demand. Your experience in marketing, photography, and/or writing will give an outlet and hope that the world will see the need for additional assistance and support.

Disaster Ready - Training Course (Mandatory for all volunteers)

You are now a Humanitarian Aid Volunteer! With this great responsibility, preparation is key. The Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and other collaborative agencies created the Humanitarian Starter Pack Training. This training prepares humanitarian aid workers from the UN, Red Cross, Doctors without Boarders and our partners LightHouse Relief to name a few. Through a combination of online courses, videos, and guide booklets, the Starter Pack will help familiarize you with the international standards and best practices that underpin effective and accountable humanitarian action. The Humanitarian Starter Pack will prepare you for the challenging and rewarding volunteering experience. Click here https://www.disasterready.org/ to get registered and select Humanitarian Starter Pack 1 - CCS volunteers are required to complete:
Humanitarianism Part 1: Applying Key Principles (1 hour)
Humanitarianism Part 2: Applying Key Standards (1 hour)
Humanitarian Standards in Context: Bringing the Sphere Handbook to Life (24min)
Wellness Briefing (1 hour).

GO TO: You in Greece

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